Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the January 2005 meetings, printed April 21 2005
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from François Laurel King of Arms, Gwenllian Wreath, and Margaret Pelican, greetings.
At the April 2005 Board of Directors meeting, the directors had a choice between two capable applicants for the next Laurel. At the end of the meeting it was announced that Elisabeth de Rossignol was selected and warranted as Laurel Sovereign of Arms. The appointment was effective immediately at the request and agreement of both the outgoing and new officers.
On a more personal note: with the mantle of office removed from my shoulders I am now preparing to depart on pilgrimage. It is my hope that we will meet upon my journey. Thank you all and keep up the good work. Farewell!
Each Barony, Principality and Kingdom in the Society gives awards to its citizens. The names of these awards are modeled on medieval Order names. However, there has, as yet, been little discussion of what syntactic and semantic model to use when forming Order names for registration. This call for discussion is an attempt to address this issue.
At the beginning of such a discussion it is important to define exactly what we are looking at -- what is an Order? The Oxford English Dictionary provides this definitions of an Order, which is what we in the Society try to emulate: An institution, modelled partly on the medieval and crusading orders of knights and monks but usually founded by a monarch or government, which confers an honour or honours for merit on those appointed to it; (hence) the honour conferred by such an institution. Freq. with capital initial and distinguishing word or phrase, as Order of the Bath, Order of the Garter, Order of Merit.
The OED gives two other definitions of Order, and we often consider these definitions when examining Order names: A body of people living by common consent under the same religious, moral, or social regulations and discipline. This, in particular, includes monastic orders; and a fraternity or society of knights bound by a common rule of life, and having a combined military and monastic character. Now hist. Generally applied to those formed in the Middle Ages for the defence or propagation of Christianity, or the defence of the Holy Land.
Another important piece of background information is what the Rules for Submissions say about Order names, and how this statement has been altered by precedent. Rule 3.II.b.ii, Names of Orders and Awards, says
Names of orders and awards must follow the patterns of the names of period orders and awards.
These are often the names of saints; others are similar to sign names (see RfS III.2.a.iii). Some examples are: the Order of Saint Michael , the Order of Saint Maurice and Saint Lazarus , the Brethren of the Sword , the Order of the Garter , La Toison dOr (the Order of the Golden Fleece ), the Order of the Golden Rose , the Order of the Star , the Order of the Swan , La Orden de la Jara (the Knights of the Tankard ), the Order of Lilies.
Precedent has expanded this in a couple of different directions. Specifically, the following items were held to registerable as Order names or parts of Order names:
Orders named after new world flora and fauna follow a pattern of naming an Order after a heraldic charge. Because heraldic charges using New World flora and fauna aret a step from period practice, so are Order names using the names of New World flora and fauna.
Place names either as a full Order name or as part of an Order name.
Order names may be named for constellations, and by extension, characters from ancient myth.
An Order name may be the given name of the Order's founder, but this is one step from period practice.
On the other hand, precedent has held the following items to be unregisterable as Order names or parts of Order names
Gemstones (unless grandfathered to the group)
Plural nouns referring to items (for example, feather is ok, feathers is not)
Order names that are documented only as heraldic titles.
Abstract descriptive adjectives modifying concrete nouns (for example Rising modifying Star)
Order names of the form Order of the X's Y, where Y is not an integral part of X. (For example griffins wing is registerable, while towers mirror is not)
Order names formed from names of items not easily depicted as a distinct entity.
Order names using abstract concepts.
Full names of ordinary people.
Most order names submissions these days are documented from a single source: "Project Ordensnamen" by Meradudd Cethin. This source is linked from the Laurel website; it contains a list of all period Order names so far located and an analysis of the structure of these names. This analysis is a literal word by word description of each word in an order name. Descriptives used in this analysis are adjective, body part, color, creature, group, name, place, quality, and thing. For example, Teutonic Order of the Saint Mary of Jeruselum is analyzed as "Adjective+Group+Name+Place." Make no mistake, this article is a valuable and much needed resource. However, it does have some problems. It appears to take all names by which an Order is know and conflates it with the Order name. In some cases, this may be legitimate, while in others it may be the equivalent of saying that nicknames and formal names always follow the same patterns. Another problem is that most of the names were reaped from sources that provide the standard English translation for the Order name -- the name in the original language is not included. Therefore, it is difficult in many cases to assess whether the translation matches the form found in the original language. Finally, the analysis of Order name patterns is extremely literal. While this is useful in some cases, in others it obscures a more general pattern which may need to be considered and leads to names that while following the literal pattern do not bear much resemblance to period Order names.
In the past year, we have applied a different interpretation of the patterns of Order names from the one used in the article. We have applied the literal syntactic patterns outlined in the "Project Ordensnamen" article as sub-patterns of a larger, more semantic based, set of patterns. We feel it more closely reflects the models actually used as well as those implicitly applied by the College of Arms over the past several years. Under this system, Order names fall into the following types:
Orders named for Christian Saints. These includes saints who are know by a single name, such as Saint George or Saint Anne, as well as saints known by complex names such as Saint John Laternan or Saint Thomas Becket. These types of order names may include placenames where the Saint for whom the order is named had a major shrine.
Orders named for Jesus and Mary, or for holy days in the Church year. These include Orders such as Our Lady of Victory, Supreme Order of the Annunciation, and Order of Jesus and Mary.
Orders named for places. These include the Order of Calatrava and the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.
Christian relics or objects of religious veneration. Examples are Shield of Saint George, and the Flag of the Danes, which, according to legend. fell from the sky on June 15, 1219 to the Danish King Valdemar II during his crusade to Estonia as a sign of divine favor.
Orders named for Virtues. These include Silence, and Mercy.
Orders named for their founder. These include one post-period Order name, the Order of Maria-Eleonora (Sweden 1632), and may include the Order of Pius (because we do not know the name in the original language, it is unclear whether this is a correct translation. Given names found in Italian for this Order, Pious Knights may be a more accurate translation.)
Orders named for heraldic charges. In comparing a list of Order named for creatures and objects, every Order so named uses the creature or object whose name it bears as a badge or as part of its regalia. These include the Order of the Garter, the Toison d'Or (Golden Fleece), the Unicorn, and Order of the Ermine and the Ears of Corn.
So, after nearly three pages of background, let me get to the point. There are several issues to research and discuss here. First, most medieval Order names were not originally English. Can we find period references to these Orders in their original languages, particularly in contemporary documents? If so, what are they, and are the standard English translations reasonable? What has been added or removed by time and translation?
Second, does the pattern we have been using follow the patterns for period Order names? If so, what is missing from it? In what ways is it reasonable to expand this pattern? For instance, given the large number of Orders named for Saints, Mary and aspects of Mary, or Jesus, is it reasonable to allow the registration of Orders named for non-Christian Gods, demi-Gods and, for want of better word, Saints? If such names were held to follow a pattern, would they be held one step from period practice? Given the existence of the Order of the Golden Fleece, it it reasonable to extend the pattern to Orders whose names come from ancient myth (as current precedent suggests)? Given at least one Order named for a secular founders, do Orders named in honor of secular people follow the pattern of medieval Order names? What questions do these patterns raise in your mind? Please bring them forward, as they are important to formulating a reasonable statement of what constitutes a pattern for forming a period Order name.
I thank the commenters of the College of Arms for the time and effort this discussion will take. I hope the result will be well defined guidelines of what we now believe are valid period Order name patterns, and a better understanding of those Order names.
In April the Laurel office has changed. The new Laurel Sovereign of Arms, Elisabeth de Rossignol (Lisa Mohr), 16308 SE 165th ST, Renton, WA 98058-8221, phone: 425-277-0763, email:firstname.lastname@example.org is added to the roster and mailing list. The previous Laurel, François la Flamme (Wendel Bordelon) remains on the roster, without a title, but is removed from the mailing list.
Because of the number of updates and corrections that have been made to the roster since the last complete roster was published, a new roster is enclosed. If the information listed for you is incorrect, please contact Jeanne Marie Lacroix at email@example.com with the correct information.
For all Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera, send one paper copy directly to each of the Sovereigns of Arms, Laurel, Pelican and Wreath at their mailing addresses as shown on the College of Arms mailing List.
Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related paper, including
Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera (note: such paper copies are in addition to the personal copies for Laurel and Wreath mentioned above)
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.
Send the required electronic copies of all submissions-related files to firstname.lastname@example.org. This applies to all LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, et cetera.
Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent directly to the Society Chancellor of the Exchequer who is temporarily acting as Laurel's chancellor of the exchequer.
Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.
For subscriptions to the paper copy of the LoAR, please contact Laurel, above. The cost for an LoAR subscription is $25 a year. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". For subscriptions to the electronic copy of the LoAR, please contact Laurel at email@example.com. The electronic copy is available free of charge.
For all administrative matters, or for questions about whom to send to, please contact Laurel.
The following is a table showing the status of Letters of Intent, Laurel Letters of Pend and Discussion, and Letters of Intent to Protect. The header rows are the dates of the meetings that will consider them, the dates when primary commentary is due, and the dates when responses to primary commentary are due. The key follows.
|Wreath meeting||Sep 11 & 25-26||Oct 23||Nov 13, 26, & 28||Dec 18 & 27||Jan 29||Feb 26||Mar 19||Apr 30||May 28||Jun 25|
|Pelican meeting||Sep 25-26||Oct 30||Nov 20||Dec 18||Jan 15||Feb 19||Mar 26||Apr 16||May 15||Jun 25|
|Comment by||too late||too late||Apr 30|
|Respond by||too late||Apr 30||May 31|
|Letters of Intent being considered:|
|AEthelmearc||May 25||Jun 24||Jul 25||-||Sep 26||Oct 23||Nov 26||-||Jan 25||-|
|An Tir||-||Jun 29||May 27||-||Jul 30 &|
Sep 30 &
[P Sep 04]
[P May 29]
|Jun 22||Jul 19||Aug 19||Sep 20||-||Oct 21 &|
|Dec 17||Jan 20||Feb 23|
|Artemisia||May 28||Jun 23||Jul 17||-||Sep 20||Oct 18||-||Dec 27||-||(Feb 23)|
|Atenveldt||May 20||-||Jul 25||Aug 30||Sep 28||Oct 28||Nov 30||Dec 25||Jan 23||(Feb 25)|
|Atlantia||May 27||Jun 24||Jul 24||Aug 27||Sep 28 &|
|Oct 29||Nov 25||Dec 30 &|
|Caid||May 10||Jun 30||-||Jul 30|
[P Aug 02]
|Sep 30||Oct 28||-||-||Jan 28||-|
|Calontir||May 28||-||Jul 22||Aug 20||-||-||Nov 24||-||-||(Feb 14)|
|Drachenwald||May 27||Jun 28||Jul 22||Aug 28||Sep 23||Oct 22||Nov 27||Dec 23||Jan 22||(Feb 22)|
|Ealdormere||May 27||-||Jul 26||-||Sep 22||-||Nov 15||-||-||(Feb 25)|
|East||Apr 30||Jun 28||Jul 20||Aug 01||-||Sep 30 &|
|Nov 27||-||Jan 24||-|
|Gleann Abhann||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Feb 03|
|Lochac||May 25||Jun 22||-||Aug 28||Sep 24||Oct 28||Nov 17|
[P Dec 02]
|Dec 28||Jan 28||(Feb 28)|
|Meridies||Apr 30 &|
|Jun 30||-||-||Sep 30||-||Nov 29||Dec 19||-||-|
[P May 21]
[P Jun 30]
[P Aug 05] &
[P Aug 27]
|Sep 20||Oct 20||Nov 20|
[P Dec 01]
[P Jun 07]
|Jun 28||Jul 29||Aug 27||Sep 30||Oct 30||Nov 30||Dec 30||-||Feb 28|
[P Mar 07]
|Outlands||May 27||Jun 27||Jul 27||Aug 27||Sep 27||Oct 27||Nov 27||Dec 27||Jan 27||(Feb 25)|
|Trimaris||Apr 30||-||-||Aug 30|
[P Sep 02]
|-||-||Nov 30||-||Jan 31||-|
|West||May 25||Jun 22||-||Aug 30|
[P Sep 02]
|Sep 27||Oct 26||-||Dec 28||Jan 25||Feb 22|
[Mar LoAR] &
Month day: the date on the Letter of Intent, Letter of
Pend and Discussion, or Letter of Intent to Protect.
(Month day): for administrative reasons, this LoI has not yet been scheduled.
[P Month day]: postmarked on that bracketed date, so the LoI is redated or postponed.
"-": no LoI is scheduled for that meeting from that kingdom.
Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of mailing 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.
Pray know that I remain
François la Flamme
Laurel Principal King of Arms
Created at 2005-05-15T13:29:51