Most of the people who receive this message have an interest in chivalric combat in the Middle Ages. This will be an opportunity to study it in depth by looking at original accounts and talking with others who are interested in the same subject.
The "deeds of arms" discussed will be formal (and in some cases friendly) confrontations between men-at-arms, such events as jousts, foot combat, and duels. Most of the events will be from the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries.
Our discussions will be based on written accounts of the deeds produced at the time or soon after. The challenge and the fun will be to see how much we can learn about the chivalric mentality in talking about and comparing these records.
The Deeds of Arms Discussion will not be a series of on-line lectures by me. I expect other participants to stick their necks out and offer opinions so we can really discuss. It won't be much fun unless we have a variety of people taking an active part.
Fortunately I have run something of this sort before, on Charny's Questions on the Joust and the Tournament, and it worked out very well. We had a lot of fun and I at least learned quite a bit.
The Deeds of Arms Discussion will begin Monday, January 13, 2003. It will end when it runs out of steam.
You must be a member of the Tournament Companies list to take part. You can join at http://www.topica.com (search for Tournament+Company or Tourney+Company). Topica provides a very flexible service -- you can receive individual messages, get the messages in digest form, or receive no mail at all and read the discussion on the Web. As far as I can tell, membership in Topica does not generate a lot of spam.
The discussion will work like this. I will provide a text for discussion -- either by sending it out to the list or by providing a link to web site, depending on what it is and how long it is. We will discuss that text until we are tired of it, and then I will provide a new one.
Some of the material is already on line at the Deeds of Arms site at http://www.nipissingu.ca/department/history/muhlberger/chroniqu/texts/de... (associated with the Knighthood, Chivalry, and Tournaments Library at http://www.chronique.com/ ) or at the Tales from Froissart website at http://www.nipissingu.ca/department/history/muhlberger/froissart/tales.htm .
If you have a favorite text, already on-line or in your pocket, you can contact me in advance and suggest it for discussion.
I may be leading the discussion from another address, but you can reach me at email@example.com .
Contacting me is no substitute for joining the Tournament Companies list at http://www.topica.com/ .
(Editor's note: The author, Finnvarr, has given permission for this message to be forwarded and republished. The above has been edited to fit the web format but not for content.)