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Giudo di Niccolò Brunelleschi

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SCA Humor [30 Oct 2003|03:18pm]
[ mood | bored ]
[ music | SR-71 ]

In another attempt to not do any work today, I have compiled a short list of SCA Humor sites that are definitely worth peeking at:

Latin for the Masses:

SCA For Dummies:

Pirate Alphabet / SCA Quotes:

Garbaholic Purity Test:

What I’ve Learned From the SCA:

Complete Information on Raising & Caring for your Peer:

SCA Slang:

SCA Garb Violation Notice:

Ryleh’s Renaissance Humor:

Includes such fun things as:

Haroldry for the NonHarold
Scottish Jokes
Men in Kilts
The Renaissance Purity Test
Medieval Pick-Up Lines
All I Really Need to Know I Learned at Faire

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SCA Barbie [20 Oct 2003|11:43am]
[ mood | tired ]

Another boring day at work has led to the discovery of the SCA posted on the message board:

Mattel Releases SCA Barbie and Friends

Mattel spokesperson Baroness Plastique Toise announced today the release of the SCA Barbie line of dolls, toys and accessories. The first batch, which was released today, consists of Barbie (Barbara du Mattel), Kenneth de Faux, Chani and Colleen MacNeil, as well as various horses and playsets.

Available with blonde hair and blue eyes, SCA Barbie (called Barbara du Mattel), comes dressed in the basic t-tunic, leggings and boots. Clothing packages include Elizabethan, middle period, early period fop, or Scottish. Accessories include pouch, belt, cloak, hat, gloves, wooden chair, candelabra, feast gear, armor, weapons, and horse with saddle and tack.

The Barbara doll is modified - she has flat feet, no arch, and cannot wear heels. Pull her string to hear her say... "What time does court begin?" "Long live the Queen!" "I'm sooooo drunk!" and "Stop looking at HER and pay attention to ME!"

Kenneth de Faux comes with blonde hair and blue eyes. He comes dressed in the standard t-tunic, leggings, and boots. Clothing packages include Elizabethan, middle period, early period fop, Scottish or Viking. Accessories include pouch, belt, cloak, hat, gloves, wooden chair, candelabra, feast gear, armor, weapons, and horse with saddle and tack.

The Kenneth doll is modified - he IS anatomically correct, so when he is in Scottish clothing, Barbie can kilt-check him. Pull his string to hear him say, "What time does the fighting begin?" "Long live the King!" "Here, drink this. It will save your life!" and "Who's that girl over there?"

Dark-haired and dark-eyed Chani comes dressed in a basic belly-dancing outfit (with accessories...veils, cap, shoes, coin-metal belts and bras and headpieces, etc.) with options for Mongolian, Chinese, Japanese, Elizabethan, Turkish and other Middle Eastern garb. She has drums, cymbals, pouch, belt, cloak, hat, gloves, wooden chair, candelabra, feast gear, armor, weapons, chirurgeon's kit, and horse with saddle and tack. Pull her string and hear her shriek out Xena's war cry or say "Which way to Schadenfreude's party?" "You drummers come back here! It's not time to quit yet!" "A cloven fruit? For me?" and "Maybe next time, big boy."

Red-haired and green-eyed Colleen MacNeil comes dressed in a basic t-tunic, leggings, and boots. Clothing packages include Elizabethan, middle period, early period fop, Scottish, Irish, Welsh or Viking. Accessories include pouch, belt, cloak, hat, gloves, wooden chair, candelabra, feast gear, armor, weapons, waterbearing equipment, and horse with saddle and tack. Pull her string and hear her say "Now, wasn't I just tellin' ye that?" "Slainte!" "Long live the Queen!" and "Water? Oranges? Gatorade? Me?"

A variety of horse packages are also available, complete with saddle, tack, blanket, trough, feed sack, blinders, etc.

A variety of weapons packages are also available, including:

The Catapult Sets (manually-operated and counterweight-operated, complete with catapult, rocks and rock baskets).

The Trebuchet Set (complete with trebuchet and logs).

The Siege Tower Set.

The Battering Ram Set.

The Viking Warship Set (complete with drums, sails, rope, dock [with barrels, crates, nets] and seagulls).

Accessory packages include:

The Camping Accessory Set (complete with tents, feast gear, chairs, tables, fire pit, firewood, kegs and water barrels, latrines, shade pavilions, candelabra, candles, lanterns, aric wall [black or white], fire extinguishers, food, ice chests [with period covers, of course], and cloven fruit).

The Wagon Accessory Set (complete with wagon and tow bar to attach to your horses or dragon).

The Waterbearer's Accessory Set (complete with bottles, slings, tubing, oranges, pickles, extra cigarettes and lighters, duct tape, scissors, towels, cameras and sashes).

The Chirurgeon's Accessory Set (complete with medical supplies, stretcher, walkie talkies and sashes).

The Marshal's Accessory Set (complete with marshal sticks, walkie talkies, measuring tools, whistles and sashes).

The Autocrat's Accessory Set (complete with walkie talkies, golf cart, sashes, a chair to collapse into, and alcohol and aspirin).

The Exotic Party Games Accessory Set (complete with cloven fruit, alcohol, condoms, lotions and potions, whipped cream and strawberries).

The Archer's Accessory Set (complete with bows, arrows, quivers, hay bales and targets).

The Rapier Fighter's Accessory Set (complete with rapiers, daggers, cloak, small shield, helm, gorget, cup and supporter, gloves, foofy hat, feathers and nice clothing).

The Hardsuit Fighter's Accessory Set (complete with armor, weapons, shields, duct tape, tabards, elbow and knee pads, kidney belt, cup and supporter, gorget, gauntlets, gloves, demigauntlets, leather working kit, and extra basket hilts).

The Nobles and Peers Accessory Sets (complete with crowns, thrones, pretty colored belts, nice clothing and numerous servants, spurs where appropriate).

The Herald's Accessory Set (comes with scrolls [both finished and unfinished], medallions, gifts, tabards and a glass of water).

The Mercenary's Accessory Set (comes with tent, bedroll, armor, weapons, alcohol, cloven fruit and condoms). [There is NOTHING else missing from this kit, so please do not write to us asking where the rest of the set is.]

The Sheriff's Accessory Set (comes with stocks and rope).

Scenario Sets include:

The War Scenario Set (complete with battle pit, redoubts, castle, bridge, chirurgeon's point with medical supplies, marshal's point, hay bales, emergency evac helicopter and ambulances, portajohns and cleaning trucks, shower trucks, rope roads, troll booth, site tokens, kid's corner, marshal sticks, walkie talkies, garbage barrels, golf carts, cell phones and court pavilions). You must provide your own rain, mud, blowing dust, grass, pollen and parking lot.

The Archery Scenario Set (complete with hay bales, targets and aric wall).

The Tournament Scenario Set (complete with aric walls, list table and pavilion, marshal sticks, walkie talkies, extra weapons and shields, water table with coolers, etc.).

The Court Scenario Set (complete with thrones, pavilions, chairs, banners, scrolls [both finished and unfinished], swords for the court members behind the thrones, tabards, cushions for kneeling upon).

The Executioner's Scenario Set (complete with stocks, axe, chopping block, head-catching basket, hangman's noose and beam, clean-up rags and black mask).

Other dolls and sets will be released periodically over the next year, Baroness Plastique said. Stay tuned!

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Pennsic for Dummies [09 Oct 2003|03:18pm]
[ mood | giddy ]
[ music | Enigma 5: Voyageur ]

Everyone in the SCA hears about Pennsic. Everyone wants to go. But here is the ULTIMATE Pennsic Survival Guide. I've read through this site so many times, I'm DYING to get to Pennsic to find out if I've learned what I read: The Pennsic Primer ===>

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Italian Apothecary [09 Oct 2003|03:12pm]
[ mood | anxious ]
[ music | Enigma 5: Voyageur ]

One of the many areas of interest of mine is the life and trade of Italian Apothecaries. I've found little to no resources on my own, but here is one that was forwarded to me to search for (and one I have yet to review). Once I learn how to read/speak Italian, I might be able to utilize this resource, if I ever find it:

Ok, you'll need access to Interlibrary Loan and a willingness to puzzle out italian for this one, but here's the citation if you would like to chase it:

Astorri, Antonella.
[Notes on the sale of drugs in Florence in the 15th century].
Archivio Storico Italiano [Italy] 1989 147(1): 31-62.

The history of Renaissance Florence has lacked studies of the professional classes, except for doctors and lawyers: existing work on apothecaries has dealt with the structure and evolution of the guild. The first half of the article covers the gradual development of a monopoly within the trade, reflecting a general trend; the second deals with everyday details of individual apothecary shops. [Based on material in the State Archives, Florence; 135 notes.]

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Leather Soles for Tights [09 Oct 2003|03:06pm]
[ mood | amused ]
[ music | Enigma 5: Voyageur ]

Here is a tidbit I received from a very helpful soul on how to add leather soles to tights. This is a great thing for those men out there planning on going for a period Italian Renaissance appearance:

Over the years, I have tried MANY experiments to provide some type of soles to prevent wearing out the feet of your expensive, custom made costumes. For a variety of reasons, I never came up with a solution that could be mass-produced and fit everyone's individual sizing. HOWEVER, I have now come up with a simple, "Do-It-Yourself" procedure that solves this little problem handily!

I purchased the following supplies from Wal-Mart, but these items can be purchased from almost any department store or shoe store. Although this proceedure can be applied directly to the attached feet of any costume, you might consider purchasing a pair of our removable booties or footies. This way, the attached feet of your costume can remain as you purchased them, and the booties or footies with your new soles can be slipped on or off at will.

In your particular foot size, purchase:
1 pair of simple, plain, rubber or plastic Flip-Flops or Sandals
1 pair of Dr. Schols foam shoe inserts (or equivalent)
1 tube of "Shoe Goop" shoe repair adhesive.
AND: get a few sheets of newspaper to to this on, protecting your floor from any adhesive which may drip.

Remove the top straps from your Flip-Flops, leaving just the sole piece. Apply a generous layer of the Shoe-Goop adhesive to the top of the Flip-Flop soles. Next, slip one of the Dr. Shols foam inserts into each bootie, and slip your booties onto your feet. Then, carefully align the bottom soles with adhesive under your feet and stand up. Remain standing for at least 10 minutes to allow the adhesive to bond. Wipe off any adhesive that may have squeezed out from between the sole and your booties. CAREFULLY remove the booties from your feet and allow to dry for 24 hours.

As you stand on the bottom soles, the Shoe-Goop adhesive will penetrate the spandex material of your bootie, and will bond the Dr. Shols foam insert and spandex fabric to the rubber sole pieces... permanently! You now have the perfect solution to wearing out the feet of your expensive costumes, and your new soled-booties will provide some traction and help eliminate slipping and falling when walking on smooth floors. This solution is so inexpensive that you can afford to make a pair of these soled-booties for every costume you own!

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Personal 'Newbie' Links [09 Oct 2003|03:00pm]
[ mood | okay ]
[ music | Enigma 5: Voyageur ]

Following is a series of links that I would personally recommend, or applicable for the area that I reside in. They are great beginner resources, and ones that everyone should take a look at if they are just starting out in the SCA:
This is the link to my local shire...the Shire of Deodar.

As for good sources, the best places to check (depending on what you are looking for) are: ==> The SCA homepage which links to just about everything you can possibly think of. ==> This is the main homepage for the Kingdom of Calontir, and is a great resource for Kingdom level information. ==> A great online resource for researching names and armorial devices. [And when we re-open sometime soon, a great place to submit research requests for specific names/devices...] ==> Modar's Homepage: Modar is in my eyes the God of Heraldry...but he's got a lot of other great information linked off of his site, including many Intro. to the SCA kind of sites. ==> Stefan's Florilegium, which Lady Bekah LaChiene pointed me to...and one that I've had much fun researching and reading. A great compendium of all things A&S (and more). ==> Another great heraldry resource, especially for research possible armorial devices. ==> A link I just got today, but definitely worth checking out, especially if you start hearing people talking about RUSH. ==> And just for thrills, here's the official Pennsic homepage. A great place to get a feel for Pennsic, and definitely fun looking through the photo galleries. [I think I've wiled away many hours looking at the pictures.]

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Renaissance Florence Websites [09 Oct 2003|02:41pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]
[ music | Enigma 5: Voyageur ]

On one of the many Italian persona mailing lists I'm on, a list of Renaissance Florence links were sent out. These are all FABULOUS resources:

Labrynth Library: Italian Texts
This is a list of links to Italian sources on the web. The primary sources center around Dante and Bocaccio. Some images can be found at the Columbia University site.

Online Catasto of 1427
Edited by David Herlihy, Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, R. Burr Litchfield and Anthony Molho
(Site Excerpt) The Online Catasto is a World Wide Web searchable database of tax information for the city of Florence in 1427-29. It is based on David Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Principal Investigators, Census and Property Survey of Florentine Dominions in the Province of Tuscany, 1427-1480.

Sandro Botticelli Image Directory
This site is composed of six gif's of Botticelli's work. Click on a menu item to see it. (Medieval Tuscan Castles)
(Site Excerpt) ....But one can not pass through this land without being aware of Medieval Tuscany. Still visible are the small walled towns which are a testimony to the Middle Ages just as much as its great cities. Castles, fortresses, watch-towers, and town walls appear everywhere; some are well preserved, others are in ruins, but the main remnants are not on the tourist routes. In this site, created to inform people of the existence and preservation state of these testimonies to the medieval era, you will find history, photos, and plans of some of these fortifications.

ORB Online Encyclopedia: Late Medieval Italy - A Guide to Online Resources

Medioevo Italiano
Click the English link at the bottom of the page. This is a portal to Medieval Italy resource site, inlcuding the yahoogroup dedicated to Medieval Italy, which bears the same name as the site.

Albertano of Brescia resource site
(Site Excerpt) This site offers texts and basic bibliographical references to those interested in the works and influences of the thirteenth-century Brescian causidicus , Albertano. Known and used by i.a. Brunetto Latini,
John Gower, Peter Idle (Idley), Erhart Gross, Geoffrey Chaucer, Renaut de Louens, Dirc Potter, Heinrich Schlüsselfelder (= 'Arigo'), Jan van Boendale, archbishop Pedro Gomez Barroso of Seville, Bono Giamboni, Zucchero Bencivenni, the author of the Fiore di virtù, the author of the Cavallero Zifar, Guilhelm Molinier, Christine de Pizan and (arguably) Dante Alighieri, Jacobus von Jüterbog (= Jakob von Paradies), Raimund of Béziers, Aegidius Albertinus and Fernando de Rojas, Albertano and his work are often known only vicariously to mediævalists.

Vatican Library Exhibit: Rome Reborn
(Site Excerpt) Rome now is one of the grandest cities in the world. Millions of pilgrims and tourists come every year to admire, and be awed by, its treasures of architecture, art, and history. But is was not always this way.
By the fourteenth century, the great ancient city had dwindled to a miserable village. Perhaps 20,000 people clung to the ruins despite the ravages of disease and robber barons. Popes and cardinals had fled to Avignon in southern France. Rome was dwarfed in wealth and power by the great commercial cities and territorial states farther north, from Florence to Venice. In the Renaissance, however, the popes returned to the See of Saint Peter. Popes and cardinals straightened streets, raised bridges across the Tiber, provided hospitals, fountains, and new churches for the public and splendid palaces and gardens for themselves. They drew on all the riches
of Renaissance art and architecture to adorn the urban fabric, which they saw as a tangible proof of the power and glory of the church. And they attracted pilgrims from all of Christian Europe, whose alms and living
expenses made the city rich once more. The papal curia--the central administration of the church- -became one of the most efficient governments in Europe. Michelangelo and Raphael, Castiglione and Cellini, Giuliano da
Sangallo and Domenico Fontana lived and worked in Rome. Architecture, painting, music, and literature flourished. Papal efforts to make Rome the center of a normal Renaissance state, one which could wield military as well as spiritual power, eventually failed, but Rome remained a center of creativity in art and thought until deep into the seventeenth century.

Medieval Italy
(Site Excerpt) Byzantine dominion was however short-lived. In 568AD a new Barbarian invasion brought the Lombards of Alboin to Italy. They reached as far as the southern regions and built a large kingdom, with its capital at Pavia, which was to last for over two hundred years (774AD). Italy was now incapable of taking an independent political initiative and after the Lombards had to submit to another European people. The Franks descended into Italy to support the pope against the Lombards. With the victory of Charlemagne over the Lombard Desiderius, Italy was to remain for over two centuries (774AD) in the orbit of the Carolingian dynasty, which had substituted the Lombards in the Kingdom of Italy.

The Chivalric Epic in Medieval Italy Book Review
(Site Excerpt) The Chivalric Epic in Medieval Italy offers a new interpretation of the role of one of the most popular literary traditions in northern Italian medieval culture. Whereas most previous studies describe these epics as either inferior copies of their aristocratic French models or as representations of a bourgeois ethos, Juliann Vitullo shows how the epics contributed to discourses of social power. Emphasizing issues of orality,
literacy, and identity, she challenges the notion that late medieval Italian society uniformly adopted humanistic models of bourgeois individualism.

Warfare in Medieval Italy (from Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries) A bibliography
A comprehensive bibliography woth several types of materials listed.

The Very Model of a Medieval General: A Website Dedicated to the Career of Matilda of Tuscany
(Site Excerpt) Matilda of Tuscany is one of the few women whose place in history rests on military accomplishments. The details of her career have to be gleaned from sources such as monastic chronicles, saints' lives and polemics that were not intended to record military actions in a logical or systematic manner. Despite their deficiencies by modern standards, these sources allow a reconstruction of the measures taken by Matilda of Tuscany on the pope's behalf when used in conjunction with other tools, especially maps, and a working knowledge of the now-accepted paradigms of medieval warfare.

The Battle at the Hill of Death
(Note: Site contains an image of the original MS with a striking illustration of battle. Site Excerpt) What links the beautiful Tuscan town of Sienna with Dante's vision of hell? The answer lies in an act of treachery that decided the course of the bloodiest battle in medieval Italian history. In the thirteenth century, Italy as we know it today did not exist. In the South, the Kingdom of Sicily (which incorporated most of southern Italy) was ruled by King Manfred, the illegitimate son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Central Italy was under the nominal rule of the Pope, who vied with the Emperor for the hearts and minds of Christian Europe. But the north of Italy was a fractious and shifting collection of city states, ruled by petty tyrants and warlords and dominated by the competing interests of Pope and Emperor. In 1260, the town of Sienna, in northern Italy, was prosperous as never before. Sienna's fortune was an accident of geography, for it straddled the great Francigene Road, the major highway that lead from Rome northward toward the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. The taxes reaped from merchants that travelled the Francigene Road had spawned a mercantile industry that made it the envy of its neighbours, an envy that spawned a fierce rivalry with neighbouring Florence. And in the fragmented politics of
thirteenth century Italy, such commercial rivalry could easily flare into bitter warfare.

Booklist: Medieval Italian History

The Sforza Hours
(Site Excerpt) The Sforza Hours, is one of the British Library's outstanding Renaissance treasures. The manuscript was commissioned about 1490 for Bona of Savoy, widow of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. It was decorated by Giovan Pietro Birago, a leading Milanese illuminator much favoured by the ducal court, whose style reflects familiarity with the work of Mantegna and Leonardo da Vinci. Even before work on the book was finished, a number of major illustrated pages had been stolen from Birago's workshop and the Hours remained incomplete for more than quarter of a century until it passed into the hands of Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands and Bona's niece by marriage. In 1519-20 she arranged for the missing pages to be supplied by her own court painter, Gerard Horenbout, one of the most celebrated Flemish book painters of the day.

The Art of Manuscript Illumination (In Italy)
(This site is richly illustrated with examples of Italian Illumination. Site Excerpt:) The decorated initial emerged as an accentuated or emphasized first letter of script, providing a marker for the reader's eye in an otherwise unbroken line of text. Initials mark the beginnings of books or chapters and, in this way, offer a visual gateway into the more important parts of a book's text. Such initials became the focus of exceptional decoration clearly to draw attention and to help classify the priorities of the text. Familiar images within an initial's decoration (called historiated initials) further assisted in explaining the text visually. In an era when books contained no page numbers, decorated letters made a text easier to find. Large decorated letters also enhanced a manuscript visually by providing a look of great luxury, often sought by the book's owner.

History for Kids: High Middle Ages Italy

Italian Renaissance Persona
(Site Excerpt) Rinaldo Moretto de Brescia is the name of one of my secondary personas. It allows me the excuse to wear the Italian garb that I like. I am fortunate to have a wonderful Lady-wife who loves to make clothes for me. Check out her wonderful work on one set of my Italian garb made of white satin and blue leather, by clicking here. If you have an interest in developing an Italian name and/or persona, check out the following links:

Family Portrait: The Medici of Florence
(Site Excerpt) Chapter 1: THE FIRST MEDICI IN FLORENCE, ITALY The Founder of the Medici fortune was Giovanni, son of Averardo (also colled Bicci). He belonged to the Cafaggiolo branch of the family and he occupied the highest position in the popular party. There he worked prudently and silently, in accordance with his mild, affable character. The Medici policy was always aimed at encouraging democratic aspirations, but the basic
intention of the family was to turn those aspirations to their own advantage and to exploit them into their own interest. Giovanni was a skillful banker, intelligent businessman, thoughtful and reserved. He didn't distinguish
himself in dress or lifestyle. He lived simply in the serene peace of his family. Giovanni didn't like to be involved with public appointments, but he accepted to be "Priore" (prior) in Florence for three times.

Stefan's Florilegium: Clothing of Medieval and Renaissance Italy
This collection of messages from various email lists deals witht he subject of clothing in Medieval and Renaissance Italy.

Italian Illumination from the Bodelian Library collection

Distinguishing Characteristics of Medieval Italian Heraldry ©1997 Louis Mendola
(Site Excerpt) Were the observer to view the oldest Italian coats of arms depicted in medieval rolls and seals, or engraved in relief on the walls of castles and other structures during the Middle Ages, he would encounter
designs remarkably simpler than the ornate Renaissance and Baroque imagery identified with Italian armory today. During the Longobard, Norman, Swabian and Angevin domination of much of what is now Italy, Italian coats of arms were not too different from those encountered in France, England or elsewhere. Something resembling the "heater" shield, as opposed to the squarish escutcheon (scudo sannitico) seen in most Italian achievements today, was usually employed in these early representations, and most of the charges were not rendered too differently from those seen in the coat armor in use outside Italy. None of this is surprising or unexpected if one considers the origins of the peoples who ruled Italy when heraldry was introduced.

The Battle of San Romano Cycle
(Note that there are photo images of artwork. Site Excerpt:) Florence and its neighbour Siena had long been rivals when, in 1432, the Sienese formed an alliance with the powerful Duke of Milan against Florence. The Sienese mercenary army, under the command of the condottiere Bernadino della Ciarda, won a number of successes against the Florentines. In the face of these losses the Florentines replaced one condottiere commander, Micheletto da Cotignola, with another, Niccolò da Tolentino. The latter rapidly turned the tables on the Sienese. On 1 June 1432 Tolentino and a handful of cavalry were surprised by della Ciarda and his troops near the Tower of San Romano. Despite being vastly outnumbered Tolentino and his men fought on for eight
hours. They were finally relieved by the main Florentine force under Cotignola and the Sienese were put to flight.

Modern Political Map of Italy in about 1050

Aila's Atlas of the early Italian Renaissance
Menu items are: Early Modern Italian States and Early Modern Italian Cities. A drop-down menu provides a comprehensive list of in-depth articles to read.

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Auntie Em's SCA 101 Lecture [09 Oct 2003|02:22pm]
[ mood | pleased ]
[ music | Enigma 5: Voyageur ]

Following is an E-Mail that was sent out by 'Auntie Em' on the Yahoo Mailing List for the Shire of Herald's Hill in the Kingdom of Calontir. It's a great reference for those trying to understand 'crowns and coronets'...and a great story for anyone to hear. [Believe me...I sat through her lecture in person during her SCA 101 class at Snowflake & the Seven Boars a couple months ack. A wonderful storyteller...and she's got a lot of them to tell since she was one of the 'founding members' to the Society. So if you ever meet Auntie Em...feel very special...'cause she is!!!]

Anywho...on to her tale:

Marvelous! Now, for a lesson.

DISCLAIMER!!! The following is not intended for everyone. Many of you already have this information and should not feel insulted or put down. There are many new people in our various shires who feel quite intimidated by lots of "hats" and/or Peers. This is for you.

WHAT TO CALL WHOM! or, Auntie Em's basic event survival guide

You are about to attend an SCA event that will be very heavily populated by people wearing all kinds of interesting head gear. As we all know, in the SCA head gear generally means that the wearer either already sits on a throne, has sat on a throne, or is about to sit on a throne. This means that at some time everyone has bowed, curtsied, and/or kneeled in front of this person, and they are entitled to be addressed by some sort of honorific.

Auntie Em's Survival Guide to Brass Hat Interaction will get you through any and all encounters with SCA "hats". Now you too can "hang with the hats" and not stumble around on two left feet. First and foremost, remember that under that hat is a normal nice human being. While nasty people are all too common in our modern life, nasty SCA people are rare animals, and nasty royals/peers are almost non-existent. That is one of the nicest things about our wonderful SCA!

Second, please keep in mind that Auntie Em comes originally from Kingdoms which are far more formal regarding royalty and peers than is our fair Calontir. So my standards are undoubtedly more rigid than would ever be expected let alone required in Calontir. And finally, remember that if someone either insults you or is insulted because of the way you spoke to them, they are not worthy of your respect. So shrug it off and keep going wherever you were headed.

Now before I tell you how to talk to these people, let me answer the burning question of the day: Why on earth would I WANT to talk to one of the royalty? Or one of the Peers? I'm just a (fill in the blank). You are NOT "just" anything, for starters. Everyone in the SCA is someone, and everyone has something to contribute. Remember, under that hat is a normal human being who may well be as curious about you as you are about them. More importantly: no one gets to be a peer or a royal without some singular achievement. Either they are a superb
fighter, or they have excelled in one of the arts and/or sciences, or they have consistently demonstrated a very high level of service to and knowledge of their kingdom and the SCA. These are people who know things, who have done things, and have interesting and complex knowledge and skills. They are generally fascinating, and they LOVE to talk about what they do. That lady wearing that incredible Norse costume will talk the ear off anyone willing to listen about how she made it, how she is pretty darn sure this is what "they" wore... you get the ida. These are interesting people, and you will have fun talking to them. As a side note (we will talk later in this lesson about how to approach a peer or royal), many of these people are quite unhappy about the gap, real and perceived, that exists between peers and non-peers. One of their obligations placed on them when they were elevated was to teach. If no one talks to them but other peers they have little opportunity to share their accumulated knowledge.

So... you've screwed up your courage and you're gonna talk to them. Let's go Peer Hunting. Most Peers (even in Calontir!) wear identifying marks. Get out your handy dandy Guide to the Peerages book, and scan the crowd. Is that gentleman over there wearing a white belt? You've found a Knight! (Or someone with incredibly bad
judgement. LOL White belts are for knights, and while you could wear one I would advise against it.) Knights are Sir. In the absence of knowing his or her name, you could approach and say, "Good Sir Knight, may I know your name?" Yes, I know it sounds formal. But it is such a period way to open a conversation, and once the
conversation has started you can loosen up. Or, if you prefer a more casual approach right from the beginning, try "M'lord, I see you have a white belt. Were you knighted here in Calontir?" and move on to the name. Let's suppose it is Sir Geoffrey. You may call him Geoffrey or M'lord; when introducing him to your friend who wanders by, you would call him Sir Geoffrey.

You notice that Sir Geoffrey's wife, who he has introduced as Katheryne, is wearing a medallion either on a chain or on her circlet which bears a picture of a pelican. This means that Katheryne is a Companion of the Order of the Pelican, a Peerage given in recognition of the highest level of service to the Kingdom and Society. Katheryne
may call herself "Mistress" or "Dame." More and more female Peers are choosing Dame or some other title in preference to Mistress. So ask what title she has adopted. Male Pelicans are called Master; but some have also chosen alternate equivalents.

Finally, Katheryne and Geoffrey's good friend Pyotr comes by and is introduced. Pyotr is wearing a medallion or other identifying marks which depict a laurel wreath. Yep! You've found a Laurel! The titles or honorific as it is properly called is the same for Laurels as for Pelicans.

You will find, as you cultivate friends and acquaintances amongst the peers that most prefer not to have their honorifics used in casual conversation. However, courtesy requires that you use them when introducing them to anyone. If you find that Geoffrey is both a knight and a laurel, choose only one of his titles when introducing him. For example: "Lady Becka, I would like to introduce Sir Geoffrey. Sir Geoffrey is also a member of the Pelican." When passing a Peer while walking about the event, a curtsey is nice but not required. Definitely a deep nod of the head is in order, something more grand than the casual nod you reserve for a friend or acquaintance.

There are many kinds of royals, and some of them are hard to identify. Let's start at the top, and work our way down. First, the King and Queen. If they are wearing their crowns, they are really really hard to miss. Just in case though, you might want to go to the Calontir web site and take a look at the crowns. Sometimes the King
and Queen go without their crowns. If you know that this person coming down the path is the Queen, curtsey and or bow deeply to her even if she isn't wearing the crown. But if she has passed you by, and suddenly it registers on you that the queen just went past, don't panic. If she wasn't wearing the crown then you are off the hook. No
curtsey/bow, no foul. Don't go running back making a big deal out of it; the fact that she wasn't wearing the hat meant she was seeking some private, "I'm just a person not the queen" time. The proper way to address the crown is Your Majesty.

Crown Princes/cesses and Principality Princes/cesses are much harder to identify. There is no set standard for their crowns, as there is for others as you will soon find out. Generally, their crowns are more elaborate than the others except for the King and Queen. So if the person approaching has a really fancy hat other than Their
Majesty's, bow/curtsey and say nothing. Or you can murmur "Your Highness." Officially, the Crown Prince is Your Highness as is the Principality Prince when addressing them. When referring to them, the Crown Prince is His Royal Highness while the Principality Prince is His Highness. We heralds get paid to remember that sort of thing.

Now, I'm going to give you Auntie Em's Secret Peer and Royalty Survival Word(s). This is the first, but not the last time, you will hear this. If you can't remember Your Majesty (yes, I have forgotten what to call the King! LOL) or Your Highness, you can just say, "Good Morning, M'lord." Everyone in the SCA, no matter what his or her
title, is M'lord or M'lady. Handy, isn't it?

Next in the pecking order is the Duke and Dutchess. A Duke is someone who has been King two or more times. Dukes and Dutchesses wear coronets that have strawberry leaves on them. They are called "Your Grace." If you've just made friends with Sir Geoffrey and your girl friend comes by, impress the heck out of her by saying, "Bridgette, may I introduce His Grace, Sir Geoffrey. Your Grace, my lady and friend, Bridgette of Saildale." Okay, you've identified the strawberry leaves, this nice man is smiling at you, and you can't remember what the heck you call a Duke. Auntie Em's survival guide to the rescue: call him "M'lord."

Next are Viscounts/Viscountess. Generally Viscounts' coronets sweep up to a point in front. This particular style is not limited to Viscounts, but theirs tend to be higher and more pointed than other variations you might see. A Viscount is addressed as Your Excellency. And what does Auntie Em remind you if you can't remember Viscount?
You got it! Call him/her M'lord or M'lady.

Counts and Countesses are amongst the easiest to identify. Their coronets are embattled: little crenelations like on the top of a castle wall. Counts and Countesses are called Your Excellency, or... (test time!) "M'lady or M'lord!"

At the bottom of the royal pecking order, though certainly no less worthy of respect and a bit of veneration, are Barons and Baronesses. There are two types of Baronets: Court Barons who hold no land, and Landed Baronets who hold land in fief to the Crown. Both are called Your Excellency. Their coronets are also easily identified, since they will have pearls around the coronet. The pearls may be on points, or they may be set into the circlet. The former is the most common. And if you can't remember "Your Excellency?" Very good, m'lords and m'ladies. You remembered.

Do you see a pattern in the honorifics? Everyone except the sitting monarchy and dukes is called Your Excellency. Makes it a little easier, doesn't it. And Auntie Em's Second Survival Guide for Encountering Pointy Hats says that everyone sitting on a throne and anyone who is a duke/dutchess is also or has been at one time a Your Excellency. So you can hardly go wrong addressing any fancy hat as Your Excellency.

If after all of this you are still tongue-tied, then keep in mind that the most minimal level of courtesy is to bow, curtsey or nod to anyone wearing a coronet or a Peerage identifier. If on the other hand you are now inspired to try out your newly acquired skills, why not talk to one of these people? If the person you have homed in on is alone and not obviously hurrying toward a meeting or other obligation, approach, catch their eye, and introduce yourself. If you can't remember the proper honorific, you address her as? Yup, "M'lady." You may inquire as to her rank, but please don't say "What are you?" She's a person. Instead, try something like "M'lady, what does your coronet signify?" or "M'lady, are you a countess?" And for goodness sake, if you see someone of obvious rank whose costume you think is absolutely stunning, tell her! She didn't make it or have it made for her to hide it! Men like to be told their costume is stunning also. That's why they wear them. If the person to whom you wish to speak is surrounded by a gaggle of people -- Kings and Queens always have retinue with them -- approach to about five feet and try to make eye contact. Don't speak or wave your hand like teacher-teacher, just make eye contact. Either they will not respond, which means that serious business or private stuff is being discussed and they just can't make time for you right now; or they will nod and either wave you forward or indicate that you should wait for a minute. If they indicate you should wait, do NOT walk away because they are busy. That is an insult. Just wait. Your King and Queen want to meet you. Give them a chance.

Now for the last piece of business. You are sitting in court, and horror of horrors, your name is called. You have been asked to come before the throne. DO NOT PANIC! This is fun; it is supposed to be fun. If you were to run up, fall on the pillow gasping, and ask "why am I here?" everyone would undoubtedly laugh and the crowns would put you at ease. But you won't panic, because you will know what to do.

Go to the back of the crowd and walk down the center aisle. When you get about half way, bow or curtsey and then continue on to the throne. There will be a pillow in front of the thrones. You are to kneel ON THE PILLOW. Do not kneel to the side, in front, etc. Kneel on it. The symbolism of the pillow is that the Kingdom supports you.
Use the pillow. And if you have a physical infirmity that would make it difficult either to kneel or to get back up, please ask permission to remain standing. Otherwise the Crown and/or Their retinue is going to have to help you back up. From the time you kneel on the pillow until Their Majesties are done with you, everything will be scripted by the Herald and the Crown. You will be treated with dignity and respect and won't have to worry about anything. You have been called forward to be honored. No one ever gets called up in court to be punished. It doesn't happen. If you are there it is because you are going to get a really big pat on the back. It is your 15 minutes, so enjoy it!

If you have any questions, please ask. That's what we heralds get paid for.

In joyous service,

Emma Randall, Heraldshill Pursuivant
Sable, three open books Or

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My SCA Geek Code [09 Oct 2003|02:14pm]
[ mood | calm ]
[ music | Enigma 5: Voyageur ]

I found this wonderful site that helps one create their SCA Geek Code. For those familiar with Geek Codes, it's an abbreviated way to identify someones interests and personality. To learn more about the SCA Geek Code, go to:

And now for my Geek Code Block:

SCA GEEK CODE. Version YF0307c. %
SR-ii { DM FA KW RG } HS-ii { B } A+o HW+ii G+o P.15c~it/+i EX.xxxii/-ii
TR-i FM-ii MP+o/-ii NT+o/+i WB+iv %

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