Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

2212 S. 64th Plaza, #418
Omaha, NE, 68106
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For the December 2011 meetings, printed January 31, 2012

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

The December Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, December 17, 2011 and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, December 18, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: West (02 Sep, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (15 Sep, 2011), Caid (18 Sep, 2011), Atenveldt (25 Sep, 2011), Ealdormere (25 Sep, 2011), Calontir (26 Sep, 2011), Ealdormere (26 Sep, 2011), Middle (26 Sep, 2011), An Tir (27 Sep, 2011), Drachenwald (27 Sep, 2011), Ealdormere (27 Sep, 2011), Ansteorra (29 Sep, 2011), Lochac (29 Sep, 2011), Meridies (29 Sep, 2011), Outlands (29 Sep, 2011), Artemisia (30 Sep, 2011), Atlantia (30 Sep, 2011), Caid (30 Sep, 2011), and West (30 Sep, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, November 30, 2011.

The January Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in January 2012. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Northshield (06 Aug, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet and scans), Laurel LoPaD (08 Oct, 2011), Trimaris (09 Oct, 2011), East (12 Oct, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Oct, 2011), Drachenwald (22 Oct, 2011), Middle (23 Oct, 2011), Ansteorra (25 Oct, 2011), Lochac (25 Oct, 2011), Meridies (26 Oct, 2011), An Tir (29 Oct, 2011), Caid (30 Oct, 2011), Gleann Abhann (31 Oct, 2011), Northshield (31 Oct, 2011), Outlands (31 Oct, 2011), and West (31 Oct, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, December 31, 2011.

The February Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in February 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Ęthelmearc (01 Nov, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (06 Nov, 2011), Atlantia (11 Nov, 2011), Caid (13 Nov, 2011), Ansteorra (15 Nov, 2011), Atenveldt (15 Nov, 2011), West (20 Nov, 2011), Drachenwald (22 Nov, 2011), Lochac (24 Nov, 2011), An Tir (27 Nov, 2011), Outlands (28 Nov, 2011), Artemisia (30 Nov, 2011), Ealdormere (30 Nov, 2011), Gleann Abhann (30 Nov, 2011), and Northshield (30 Nov, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

The March Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in March 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: East (04 Dec, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (05 Dec, 2011), Caid (11 Dec, 2011), Ęthelmearc (16 Dec, 2011), Ęthelmearc (17 Dec, 2011), Meridies (17 Dec, 2011), Ansteorra (18 Dec, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Dec, 2011), Atlantia (21 Dec, 2011), Lochac (21 Dec, 2011), [Middle (21 Dec, 2011)], [Drachenwald (28 Dec, 2011)], An Tir (29 Dec, 2011), Calontir (29 Dec, 2011), Gleann Abhann (30 Dec, 2011), Outlands (31 Dec, 2011), and [Trimaris (31 Dec, 2011)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

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.

From Laurel: Status Of The New Rules

At the January, 2012 Board Meeting, held on January 28, the Board returned the new Rules for Submission to this office for further review. Laurel and Palimpsest are working with the Board to determine what is necessary to get these rules approved. More details will follow as we receive such.

From Pelican: Some Name Resources (A Series)

Like most other parts of Europe, the Iberian peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) was linguistically diverse in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Most languages spoken on the peninsula are descended from Latin; the Iberian peninsula was fully integrated into the Roman Empire. In the western area, the language developed into modern Portuguese and Galician. In the central area, the language developed into modern Castilian (also called Spanish). In the east, it developed into modern Catalan. This is an oversimplification, as considerable linguistic variation continues to this day, but these define the major languages and the major language groups. In addition to the Romance languages, two other languages were important. Basque (also known as Vasco or Euskadi) was spoken in some parts of northeastern Spain. Arabic was spoken in the south from the Arab invasion in 8th century until the end of period (despite the conquest of the last Muslim kingdom in 1492 and the early 16th century expulsion of Muslims from Spain).

Articles for all these areas may be found at the Medieval Names Archives ( and For Portuguese, the earliest vernacular (as opposed to Latin) records show up around 1200, and my article "Early Portuguese Names" (at documents those forms. Both Aryanhwy merch Catmael and I have done research on later Portuguese names, which can be found at the first link above. For Castilian/Spanish, research spans a broader period of time. For names before 1200, I still go first to a print source: Gonzalo Diez Melcon's Apellidos Castellano-Leoneses: Siglos IX-XIII, ambos inclusive (Surnames from Castile and Leon: 9th to 13th centuries inclusive). It's a stunning set of data, and well indexed. Talan Gwynek published an index to the given names from it in the Known World Heraldic Symposium Proceedings in 1993; he has declined to revise it for online posting, but it's definitely worth finding. Otherwise, I tend to go to the articles, especially my "Spanish Names from the Late 15th Century"( and Elsbeth Anne Roth's "16th Century Spanish Names" ( Each indexes thousands of names; other excellent articles include smaller datasets. For the Catalan-speaking areas, I start with Aryanhwy merch Catmael's "Catalan Names from the 1510 census of Valencia" ( In addition to the published data, I have several unpublished datasets for this area that cover the 14th and 15th centuries, so feel free to inquire if your clients are interested in that period.

For the non-Romance languages, we also have sources. Basque is problematic, as there are relatively few Basque language sources before 1600. But the names of Basque speakers were written down in Catalan and Spanish. Many are identical to the names of Spanish speakers, as some Basque names were adopted into Spanish and many Spanish names adopted into Basque. However, with that caveat, Karen Larsdatter's "Basque Onomastics of the Eighth to Sixteenth Centuries" ( is a great introduction to these names. She includes in this article both elements that were used by Basques and elements that were Basque by origin but used by Spaniards. You can generally tell which are which by looking at her sources: citations from Diez Melcon are generally from outside the Basque-speaking area.

For Arabic names, I start with my "Arabic Names from al-Andalus" ( (al-Andalus is the Arabic name for the Islamic parts of the Iberian peninsula). This article includes data from a group of studies of Arabic names in the area. There are other great articles on Arabic names, but they focus on the Middle East proper, rather than explicitly on the Iberian peninsula. These Arabic names can be registered with or without all the diacritical marks (long marks, emphatic dots, etc.). For Jewish names, you need to focus on location, as Jews tended to use vernacular names as well as Hebrew/biblical ones. Therefore, the names of Jews in Catalan-speaking areas were not the same as those in Castilian-speaking areas. We don't have any studies of Portuguese Jewish names; I'd love any recommendations. For Castilian context, I use a mundane article by Lidia Becker, "Names of Jews in Medieval Navarre" (found at and Julie Kahan's "Jewish Women's Names in 13th to 15th Century Navarre" ( For Catalan contexts, I start with my "Jews in Catalonia: 1250 to 1400" ( Again, we have no sources for Jews in Arabic-speaking Spain. Therefore, I usually start with the information that we have from Jewish Cairo, including my "Jewish Women's Names in an Arab Context: Names from the Geniza of Cairo" and the sections about bynames that have been published in Known World Heraldic Symposium proceedings.

From Wreath: Knotty Serpents

While most serpents in period armory are erect or encircled, it is not uncommon to find serpents nowed, and discussion was raised this month on whether or not to count difference between serpents twisted into different kinds of knots. Precedent has long held, with the exception of knots-as-charges, that "knots are knots", with no difference granted for type of knot. This is true for both serpents as well as other parts of charges that may find themselves tangled up, such as lions' tails.

More recent precedent, based on not granting difference between a serpent involved in annulo and an annulet, states "A serpent nowed in a simple recognizable knot therefore has no significant difference for type from that knot itself." [Eve the Just, March 2004 LoAR, R-Ealdormere] However, we have no evidence that the two types of charges, serpents and knots, were considered identical in period. Knots themselves were typically depicted as braided cords with frayed ends; serpents are also long, slender, and flexible, but the similarities end there.

Therefore, we are explicitly overturning the March 2004 precedent: unless evidence is provided showing that they were considered interchangeable in period, serpents are significantly different (a CD) from cords, but may continue to have visual conflict with knots under section X.5 of the Rules for Submissions.

Send What to Whom

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.

Roster changes and corrections to contact information must be performed by the rostered individual on OSCAR. Changes and corrections to heraldic roles and titles must be performed by the kingdom's principal herald on OSCAR. The current roster is always available on OSCAR for all College of Arms members with an account.

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 for more instructions.

For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Gabriel Kjotvason
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2012-01-30T23:53:04