Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the July 2011 meetings, printed Thursday, September 15, 2011
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Gabriel Laurel, Juliana Pelican, and Emma Wreath, greetings.
Items listed below in square brackets have not been scheduled yet. For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=137.
The July Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, July 09, 2011, the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, July 24, 2011, and the Wreath roadshow held on Saturday, July 23, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Caid (29 Mar, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet) Drachenwald (03 Apr, 2011), West (08 Apr, 2011), Atenveldt (15 Apr, 2011), Trimaris (20 Apr, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (23 Apr, 2011), Ansteorra (26 Apr, 2011), Meridies (27 Apr, 2011), Gleann Abhann (28 Apr, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (29 Apr, 2011), Lochac (29 Apr, 2011), Middle (29 Apr, 2011), Atlantia (30 Apr, 2011), Calontir (30 Apr, 2011), Drachenwald (30 Apr, 2011), and Outlands (30 Apr, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, June 30, 2011.
The August Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, August 20, 2011 and the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, August 28, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Caid (30 Apr, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet), Northshield (09 May, 2011), An Tir (11 May, 2011), ∆thelmearc (12 May, 2011), West (15 May, 2011), Atenveldt (20 May, 2011), East (21 May, 2011), Middle (23 May, 2011), An Tir (27 May, 2011), Meridies (27 May, 2011), Ansteorra (28 May, 2011), Lochac (29 May, 2011), Outlands (29 May, 2011), Artemisia (30 May, 2011), Gleann Abhann (30 May, 2011), Atlantia (31 May, 2011), Drachenwald (31 May, 2011), and Ealdormere (31 May, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Sunday, July 31, 2011.
The September Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, September 10, 2011 and the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, September 17, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Middle (05 Jun, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (07 Jun, 2011), ∆thelmearc (08 Jun, 2011), East (16 Jun, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Jun, 2011), Caid (22 Jun, 2011), Drachenwald (28 Jun, 2011), Meridies (28 Jun, 2011), Caid (29 Jun, 2011), Lochac (29 Jun, 2011), Trimaris (29 Jun, 2011), An Tir (30 Jun, 2011), Ansteorra (30 Jun, 2011), Calontir (30 Jun, 2011), Gleann Abhann (30 Jun, 2011), Laurel (30 Jun, 2011), and Outlands (30 Jun, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, August 31, 2011.
The October Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in October 2011. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Gleann Abhann (10 Jul, 2011), East (13 Jul, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (13 Jul, 2011), West (13 Jul, 2011), Atenveldt (15 Jul, 2011), Middle (17 Jul, 2011), ∆thelmearc (18 Jul, 2011), Calontir (26 Jul, 2011), Drachenwald (27 Jul, 2011), Meridies (29 Jul, 2011), Ansteorra (30 Jul, 2011), Artemisia (31 Jul, 2011), Atlantia (31 Jul, 2011), Caid (31 Jul, 2011), and Lochac (31 Jul, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Friday, September 30, 2011.
The November Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in November 2011. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [An Tir (05 Aug, 2011)], [Northshield (06 Aug, 2011)], ∆thelmearc (19 Aug, 2011), Calontir (19 Aug, 2011), [Atenveldt (20 Aug, 2011)], Calontir (25 Aug, 2011), [Middle (27 Aug, 2011)], [Trimaris (27 Aug, 2011)], [Caid (28 Aug, 2011)], [Middle (28 Aug, 2011)], [An Tir (30 Aug, 2011)], [Gleann Abhann (30 Aug, 2011)], [Lochac (30 Aug, 2011)], [Meridies (30 Aug, 2011)], [Ansteorra (31 Aug, 2011)], [Artemisia (31 Aug, 2011)], [Atlantia (31 Aug, 2011)], [East (31 Aug, 2011)], Laurel LoPaD (31 Aug, 2011), and [Outlands (31 Aug, 2011)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Monday, October 31, 2011.
Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of posting of the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors may delay consideration of certain letters of intent. Additionally, some letters of intent received may not have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, et cetera) have not yet been met.
REMINDER: Until all administrative requirements are met, the letter may not be scheduled.
It is unfortunate but nonetheless true that not everyone can be relied upon to play nicely. OSCAR commentary reflects this, and intervention is sometimes needed to keep things productive, civil and useful.
It is not at all the wish of the Laurel Office that anyone should be personanon grata on OSCAR permanently, if they demonstrate that they have changed their ways. We are therefore instituting policy that addresses not only what can get one moderated, but how and when one may be released.
It's encouraging that such measures aren't needed very often, and we'd very much prefer not to have to use them at all. But I cannot overemphasize that commentary on OSCAR is a privilege, which if abused, may very well go away. Keep it informed, up to date, polite and pertinent. Otherwise, please keep it to yourself.
Proposed Changes to the Administrative Handbook (additions in bold):
VII.B.2. Persistent Breach of General Commenting Requirements -
Failure to abide by the requirements for format, distribution, or content of commentary may be construed as a failure to comment. In particular, commenters who do not submit comments to OSCAR, or who comment using inappropriate language or tone may be removed from the mailing list and OSCAR without warning.
VII.B.2. Persistent Breach of General Commenting Requirements -
Failure to abide by the requirements for format, distribution, or content of commentary may be construed as a failure to comment. In particular, commenters who do not submit comments to OSCAR, or who comment using inappropriate language or tone may be moderated or removed from the mailing list and OSCAR without waring.
VII.F. Policy on Moderation of Comments-
Commenters who are moderated may be considered for reinstatement if they make active substantial commentary for six months without having any comments which are not approved or which require editing to be approved. Commenters who are moderated and are not eligible for reinstatement within twelve months of initial moderation are subject to removal from the mailing list and OSCAR without warning.
My second (admittedly brief) term as Laurel has now come to an end, and the College is now the responsibility of the highly capable Master Gabriel. To all those who helped so much these past few months, my heartfelt thanks - Juliana Pelican, Istvan Wreath Emeritus, Jeanne Marie Noir Licorne, Mari, Shauna Ragged Staff, Emma Wreath, Marie Palimpsest and all the rest, not least my highly esteemed successor himself. Thanks to him I can now retire once again into pleasant obscurity, confident that the College of Arms will be in excellent hands.
As many of you know, on September 1, I took over as the Laurel King of Arms. Just as a little background, I've played in the Society for only about 15 years, mostly as a herald. I took a break as a herald to become an SCA corporate officer, and then applied for this job. Now I'm here.
Over the next several years, my main goal is to keep this process running as smoothly as possible and work with Istvan, Emma and Juliana to improve it where feasible. My other major goal is to work with the Kingdoms on continuing heraldic education. I hope to find a deputy to focus on promoting heraldic education throughout the Kingdoms and to act as a resource for Kingdoms who wish to find teachers and classes in heraldry. I have already started speaking to the Kingdom Heralds about this, and we'll ramp up the search for a deputy once I get situated a little more firmly in this chair.
I would like to thank Elisabeth, twice-quondam Laurel Queen of Arms (and yes, I want to know if that makes her the Duchess of Arms). Elisabeth stepped in as interim for the Board after Olwyn completed her term, and has done a great job in keeping the College running smoothly. I would also like to thank Olwyn. Olwyn did a great job as Laurel Queen of Arms. She traveled far and wide during her tenure, even completing a heraldic visitation of Lochac. She tried to promote heraldry wherever she went.
I look forward to working with all the heralds everywhere, and hope that we can all keep having fun.
Precedent about how we protect sovereign rulers has been somewhat contradictory over time. In the November 2004 Cover Letter, Laurel wrote "Sovereigns of nations and empires (Kings, Queens, Khans) are always important enough to protect."
However, there are many insignificant period nations, which disappeared over time into the modern nation-states we know. There were, for example, over 30 taifa kingdoms in 11th century al-Andalus, over 20 kingdoms in Anglo-Saxon England at various points, over 20 kingdoms in 9th century Norway, and six major and over 20 minor kingdoms in pre-Norman Wales. Similar numbers of kingdoms could be identified in other parts of Europe as well. Given the large number of these kingdoms and their relative lack of fame, it is difficult to simply find or create lists of all these rulers of these sovereign states. Because of that problem, Laurel has rarely protected the rulers of these states unless a commenter was interested in the region and went looking for such a ruler. Moreover, on the rare occasion that such a return was made, the sovereign ruler was usually someone most people did not recognize, let alone see as important enough to protect.
Therefore, we are modifying precedent about sovereign rulers: we protect historical rulers of nations that give rise to currently existing countries (including entities like England, Castile, and Aragon) and of nations that play an important role in medieval history but did not survive (Burgundy, Scotland, the Holy Roman Empire, and the like). Sovereigns of small period states that did not give rise directly to modern countries (Deheubarth, Asturias, Valencia, Connacht, Urbino) will be protected only if the individual's fame rises to the point that they personally are important enough to protect. This includes Italian city states and the French duchies. Similarly sovereigns of provinces or regions integrated into larger units like the Holy Roman Empire will be protected only if the individual's fame rises to the point that they personally are important enough to protect.
A similar problem exists with legendary rulers. The Gaelic Lebor GabŠla …renn alone lists over 100 legendary kings of Ireland. The Danish Gesta Danorum lists over 50 legendary kings of the Danes. Geoffrey of Monmouth lists over 75 kings of Britain before the Roman invasion in the 1st century BC. Unless a commenter is interested in checking these sources, we do not find out about these possible conflicts.
Therefore, we are modifying precedent about sovereign rulers here as well: legendary rulers, even of significant nations, will be protected only if the individual's fame rises to the point that they personally are important enough to protect.
This ruling does not address our treatment of the rulers of modern nation-states; that remains unchanged.
This month, we considered the question of how we can use (and not use) patterns for heraldic titles across time and space. Under precedent created in January 2009, "we require that heraldic titles also provide documentation showing that they follow a pattern of heraldic titles in the language of the submission." This is intended to expand on that ruling to make it clear how it applies to documented patterns.
Heraldic titles began to be used in the early 14th century. Therefore titles cannot be created in languages that had fallen out of use by that time, such as Old English, Old Norse, Frankish, and the like. Their daughter languages, such as Middle English, Swedish, and French, were used to create titles and may be used in submissions.
Heraldic titles are clearly documented in English, Scots, French, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Hungarian, and Polish (see Juliana de Luna, "Heraldic Titles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance," for more details). They are probably also found in other languages spoken within the wide area covered by those languages, including Danish, Occitan/Provencal, and various Italian languages. Interestingly, there seem to have been no heraldic titles as such in "native" Italian states, as opposed to those parts of northern and southern Italy dominated by French or Iberian overlords; however, these foreign-dominated states include a great part of modern Italy, and it seems likely that the titles in use within those regions were written in Italian as well as the language of the overlords. The use of heraldic titles elsewhere in Eastern Europe has not been demonstrated, but sources are relatively limited.
These domains all seem to have shared a set of models for heraldic titles, deriving them from placenames (found everywhere), the names of heraldic charges (sometimes with color modifiers, found everywhere that I found more than six titles), brief mottos or desirable traits (found everywhere I that I found more than six titles), and order names (found in England, France, and Iberia; a title derived from an order badge is found in Germany as well). These patterns can be justified for any language in which heraldic titles can be found.
Other patterns for heraldic titles, like the use of family names, seem to be limited to the Anglo-French region. Those patterns that are not broadly found across Europe must be justified as plausible for an individual language.
Heraldic titles were often recorded in Latin, as well as in the vernacular. As such, Latinized titles will be registered. However, they must follow a relevant pattern: for example, Latinized titles created from family names must be created from family names found in a region that used this pattern.
We were also asked to consider whether blazonry terms used in the SCA for period charges may be used to create order names and heraldic titles when the terms themselves cannot be dated to period. This is a problem, as we do not know the period terms for some period heraldic charges. As order names were often derived from badges, it seems unfair to say that a period charge for which we have no period name cannot form the basis of an order. Therefore, the standard names used within SCA blazon for charges used in period armory and for charges compatible with period practice (that is, those charges that are not considered a step from period practice) will be allowed in order names and heraldic titles. This does not extend to blazonry terms that were not used to create order names and heraldic titles (like lines of division). While we will allow the use of out of period standard Society blazonry terms for period charges in order names, this usage will carry a step from period practice.
This month I'm continuing my discussion of the articles and books I most frequently use to document names from a given time and place. Having talked about Old and Middle English, we can move on to late period English.
Let me begin by saying that until relatively recently, we had fewer resources for 16th century England than for 14th century England, which is a strange state. But it's due to the biases of the published sources we use; they focus mainly on the earliest citations of a given name element (given name, surname, placename).
If you're using the print resources, Bardsley is more likely to have late period citations than Reaney and Wilson, and Mills Dictionary of London Place Names more than Ekwall or the other Mills. But the best resources for this period are not in print.
The best is our new resource: the search program for the IGI Parish Extracts, which I discussed in last month's cover letter.
However, there are several important articles online as well. For given names, I start with Julian Goodwyn's "English Names from Pre-1600 Brass Inscriptions" (http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/names/brasses/). It's a good source for surnames as well (most bynames by this time are inherited surnames, so that John Smith is probably not a smith and Alice Johnson's father may have been named Henry. There are a variety of articles that list a few thousand surnames from that time found at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/eng1450to1600.shtml. There's not much to choose between them (unless you're looking for a particular place), so you can just start clicking or use a search engine to look at multiple of them at once. If you do that, don't forget that a bunch of them are not housed at http://www.s-gabriel.org/!
I also find myself using British History Online (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/Default.aspx), which includes a variety of sources about British history. Many preserve period spellings. You have to be careful, though, as some sources on this site modernize spellings; in general, you want to look at other names in the same source to make sure that elements aren't always found in the standard modern spelling.
Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent.
Submission packets (one copy of each name form plus documentation, including petitions; two colored copies of each armory form plus two copies of any associated documentation, including petitions) to the SCA College of Arms, PO Box 31755, Billings, MT 59107-1755.
Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to David Duggar, Attn: Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 1705 Holiday Pl, Bossier City, LA 71112-3706.
Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.
For a paper copy of a LoAR, please contact Laurel, at the address above. The cost for one LoAR is $3. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". The electronic copy of the LoAR is available free of charge. To subscribe to the mailings of the electronic copy, please see the bottom of http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/lists.html#lists for more instructions.
For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.
Pray know that I remain,
Laurel Principal King of Arms
Created at 2011-09-15T00:42:30