[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]

Re: boring court? (was re: escorting ladies) (fwd)

Poster: clevin@rci.ripco.com (Craig Levin)

I wrote:

> I'm beginning to get tired of the question of escorted vs.
> unescorted, as it is presently discussed. I'm off to the stacks
> to get some primary sources on how people ran courts in period.

Being a man with both too much and too little to do, I confess,
has its points. I had thought to find court ritual in Froissart,
but I lacked the time to go through our French complete
collection of his works. However, Malory is somewhat less...mas-
sive, and a lot more fun to read, and one of the advantages to
using Arthurian literature to do this kind of work is that almost
all of the "books" begin in Arthur's court.

Instances of unescorted women coming to Camelot are more common
than those of escorted. Of the escorted, a few are escorted by
knights, and the others are escorted by dwarves, who, in Malory's
version of the story, also act like heralds. Being a short
pursuivant, I resent that! :-)

One may plead that, this being fiction, this had little to do with
real life, but, I would argue that Arthurian literature was
considered one of the guides of courtesy at the time, and so
Camelot's court culture can be seen as an idealization of the
real McCoy. 

One may plead that the women who entered Arthur's court were not
doing so for the same reasons as women who enter our sovereigns'
courts, and this is so. However, throughout history, people
entering into the courts of their lords rarely were doing so in
order to receive a reward. Mostly, they were there to ask for
justice, both men and women, and so what was sauce for the gander
was sauce for the goose.

I would also note that women swore fealty and homage as _femme_
_sole_-women alone, as can be seen in Littleton.

In short, while my examination of court ritual has been anything
but exhaustive, it has been somewhat informative, I hope, to
demonstrate that an escort into court was not necessarily the

In Service,

Pedro de Alcazar, AoA
Barony of Storvik, Atlantia
Pursuivant Extraordinary and Junior Minion
Or, six Castles Vert within a Bordure Gules semy of Roundels Or
Craig Levin
List Archives, FAQ, FTP:  http://sca.wayfarer.org/merryrose/
            Submissions:  atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
        Admin. requests:  majordomo@atlantia.sca.org