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New Peerage? (fwd)

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

> Poster: Scott Silvers/James of Westmorland <ssilvers@liberty.uc.wlu.edu>
> 	I am forwarding this letter to the Merry Rose because I found it 
> to be an interesting proposition.  Besides it will provide a different 
> topic of discussion from the "Escorting Ladies/Boring Court" discussion 
> that we've become entrenched in.  

<shrug> It's all part of the soup.

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 10:04:52 +22300454 (EST)
> From: Karen Stegmeier <karen@addl.purdue.edu>
> To: sca-equine@dnaco.net
> Subject: [SCA Equestrian] New Peerage?
> 	Greetings, I am about to post a letter I recieved a month
> or so ago.  By posting this I do not say that I agree or disagree,
> that comes later, but I do think that it is an issue that needs to
> be discussed and this household's proposition is as good a place to
> start as any. and we will see where it takes us.  Please know that
> I copy this letter in its entirety unabridged and unedited, I am
> not a member of this household, nor do I speak for them-Isabeau
> The Order of the Courtier: A Proposal
> 	We have heard alot of talk lately about fencing and equestrian 
> activities and how they should fit into the SCA hierarchy.
> 	We have noticed that the fencers are going through many of the 
> growing pains that archers went through not very long ago.  We also 
> notice that the fencers won't be the last.  The equestrians and the
> hound coursers are already growing in popularity, and we may see falconry
> take its place in the SCA (if it hasn't already in some places!).
> 	Indeed, Where do these activities fit in?  All are good and noble
> activities, and each have many talented gentles involved.  Some of these
> gentles are reaching (or have reached) the mastery and range of skills
> and attributes that call for peerage recognition.  One can achieve 
> such recognition in almost any area of expertise.  Therefore, it should be
> that fencers, equestrians, etcetera should be able to become peers of one sort
> or another.
> 	But what order would suit these noble activities?  The Laurel?
> These activities do not really fit in as an art or a science, and their 
> practice certainly does not fall under A+S Criteria.  They require 
> authorization to participate and Marshal-type supervision to practice.

In theory, all activities can be considered arts or sciences. The
difference between an art and a science is, as the Philosopher
puts it, that the science has a body of knowledge separate of
mere technique. That is why heraldry is a science.

> 	What about the Chivalry?  They require authorization and 
> supervision, and they practice a physical activity that these noble 
> activities would compliment well.  And Horse-mastery is where the
> term "chivalry" came from!  We have heard knight-hood suggested by some 
> for fencers.  However, we do not feel that this is quite appropriate,
> either.  Even though we have heard talk of a "fencing king" or a 
> "fencing crown tourney"  we do not think that this would ever be considered
> the equal of a heavy weapons crown.  The SCA has been forged with a 
> heavy weapons Crown, and to alter this might be too much of a fundamental
> change.

Indeed. I would think that such a change might also annoy the
large party of quasi-Victorian romantics out there who feel that
fencing is out of bounds.

>   	It seems to us that there is a gap between knighthood and the
> Laurelate.  between the practice of war and the arts and sciences, and
> in this gap is where we feel these noble and courtly activities fit.

I see no gap, perhaps, but I do think that the ars nobiliora of
falconry and horsemanship, amongst others, deserve to be
considered differently from the mechanic arts-as they were
before. See below:

> 	In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the nobles serving at court
> would practice at activities for recreation and to keep their minds and
> bodies sharp.  They would go hunting-ussually on horseback and using
> hounds or falcons.  They would course the hounds for enjoyment.  
> They would shoot Bow and arrow, either in contest or to hunt.  
> They would fence, for enjoyment or to settle a dispute.  These were
> all Noble activities that the people at court-or courtiers, would practice.

This is so-and I'd add heraldry into the pot as well.

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
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