Wide World of Medieval Recreation

SCA Today is a rather nice medieval/SCA news site; I just dropped by it for the first time in a long while. Since I’m awake, I thought I’d link to some stories that might be of interest to folks who come to my blog.

A Classical Studies professor has written a book on the social significance — to ancient Roman women — of the clothes and fashions they chose to wear.

In the SCA, folks simulate medieval fighting. They have thus created a rather strenuous martial art, with real armor, real shields, real helmets, and “swords” that function as clubs made out of rattan and duct tape. (Rattan weaponry can still break bits of other people. Hence the armor.) Push for Pennsic (a Midrealm SCA event that prepares the kingdom’s fighters for melee fighting in units at the Pennsic War in August) was up in Wapakoneta this year. The local newspaper did a quite nice article, and my old barony’s gold and ermine are showcased in the photo. đŸ™‚

An article on that oceangoing Viking longship that sailed last summer.

A 3D virtual cathedral at Duke.

Some undisclosed ancient-lineaged family in Tokyo had socked away a full Muromachi period ms copy of The Tale of Genji. Then an even older ms, which had been thought lost during WWII, finally surfaced. Geez! Check your ancestral attics more often, will ya?!

Another nice newspaper article on SCA doings, this one focusing on a local group’s educational efforts directed at the general public.

Astronomers recalculate the date of Caesar’s invasion of Britain. ‘Cause time and tide wait for no scholar.

Austin SCA members try keeping the canonical hours at a camping event. You’ll note that this wasn’t a super-serious attempt (there are public domain medieval books of hours and translations of them, but they apparently didn’t try to read any real liturgies of the hours). But just keeping the rhythm of a day in this way would be pretty enlightening. Also, you will note that they didn’t do it out of anti-Christian mockery, and apparently didn’t suffer any anti-organized religion backlash. Both of these things can certainly happen in the SCA (or did in my day), although most folks are polite and keep any anti-religious sentiments to themselves.

The illustrious theater track at Pennsic will grow in luster once again, as a group plans to produce A Man for All Seasons. (In 2009. Not this year.)

Medieval scriptorium safety tip: Don’t lick the cinnabar paintbrush. (Or breathe the cinnabar when you grind it up to make the paint, or use the paint in an unventilated area. Cinnabar is mercury.)

Finally, if you feel the need to count your blessings, you might want to check out this little girl, Avery. She’s the daughter of an SCA guy, according to Joe Bethancourt (whom I know), and she’s had some very severe cancer. There’s a matching fund you can donate to. There’s also an update blog, which for some reason is behind a consent wall. (I guess because it’s “disturbing” to read about a little girl with cancer and a father trying to make a home for his kids and accept help graciously.)

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