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Re: Response to Proposed IAC Banishment Change

On Tue, 26 Mar 1996, Lisa Steele wrote:

>   I am researching that very topic (9-15C Italy, that is), but I hestiate 
> to say that the Italian city-states were turbulant because of their 
> democratic functions.

As I understand it, one of the many causes of that turbulence was 
political factionalism.  It's my experience that there's quite enough 
politicking in the SCA as it is, and I am loathe to add more.

>   I know I raised the point in my letter to the BoD and GC. I consider it 
> a possible risk because it is so clearly ahistorical and, unlike many of 
> the safety rules, lacks a good justification. I raised the Carolingian 
> example not as an ideal for method, but as evidence that even in a highly 
> active, very political barony, one could have an election without the 
> politics often feared.

Perhaps you're right, but somehow I think the prevalence of fairy-tale 
costuming, nylon dome tents and soda cans presents a more immediate 
threat to the historical nature of SCA activity, and thus to the 
non-profit ed. org. status of the Society as a whole.

> > (though on the battlefield and not in tournament) in medieval Europe -
> > William of Normandy thus became king of England, after all. 
>   And similarly the Normans captured Sicily and Naples, but it was not 
> done by single combat.

Which is what I said.  I think it is an issue here to remember that the 
crown tournament, flawed and inauthentic as it may be, is still one of 
the cherished institutions of the SCA as a whole, and changing or 
abolishing it would impact the Society as a whole - not just Atlantia.  
Such changes, if undertaken at all, must be done with extreme care and 
caution, or Master James' fear that the SCA will degenerate into a bunch 
of squabbling regions without a unifying structure could be realized, 
just as that fear could be realized by the granting of excessive power to 
the royalty of the SCA.  I re-read Master James' statement last night, 
and I get the impression that perhaps his complaint is not so much with 
the method of selecting the kings, as with giving too much governing 
power to kings selected in that way.  James, have I interpreted you 

  > > I would say here that the concept of the *monarch* as opposed to the
> > *sovereign* is not a medieval idea, or really even a Renaissance one.  The
>   Too true, especialy when one goes outside England. Perhaps the problem 
> is then that some royalty and some members of the society have the wrong 
> idea of what a king should be. That aside, while a monarch needed the 
> cooperation of major landholders (including clergy), he or she rarely 
> needed the cooperation of an independent bureaucracy. I think it is that 
> concept that reminds me too much of how modern civil servants view 
> political appointees.

Well, perhaps the medieval sovereign didn't need to cope with an 
independent bureaucracy per se, but almost all of our kingdom-level 
officers are derived from medieval royal administration.  And the 
individuals who made up the royal administrations in the Middle Ages were 
uniformly drawn from the landed nobility of the kingdom - the same people 
with whom the king had to cooperate, and who were frequently the king's 
worst adversaries.  This was especially the case in France, where such 
offices were also hereditary, and jealously guarded by the landed 
families who held them.

In service,

Stephanie M. Thorson			*  SCA: Lady Alianora Munro
University of St Andrews		*  
St Andrews, Scotland			*  Clan White Wing
email smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk		*  Tarkhan, Khanate Red Lion