Stones and Glasshouses

Levantia: An Australian scholar examines the SCA and compares our notion of authenticity with what was actually practiced in our time period of study. "Levantia is a site for Byzantine and medieval Near Eastern social history, especially that explored by means of practical reconstruction and experimentation. It also includes discussion of the issues of historiographic method and representation in public contexts."

So reads the introductory text for the Levantia web site. In this particular article, Tim Dawson examines the SCA and other living history groups and discusses why, in spite of all our efforts, we are still so far from true authenticity and why that isn't really so bad. The article includes a detailed dissection of the SCA notion of authenticity, with an eye toward SCA as practiced in Australia. He contrasts this with what scholars believe life was really like in the SCA, then examines the reasons why most of us are satisfied with what we do even though it isn't truly accurate from an historical perspective.

If you find this article interesting, you can visit the Levantia main page at http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~tdawson/levantia/.