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matching arms on the field (fwd)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Henry Best:

> 2) This circumstance could occur in period.
> Okay, I want to take point two a little further. 
> Gosh, guys! What an _opportunity_! Relax and have a little fun with this. 
> Perhaps you could get each fighter to hire a herald to argue that he has
> the right to bear the arms and to claim the other is an upstart. The
> heralds can spout heraldi-babble at each other for a bit, talk about
> lineages, et nauseum, then declare it a draw. Then the fighters can fight
> over who gets to keep the arms. The loser can apologise and difference his
> arms for the day. 

That's generally what seems to have happened in the early years.
It sounds like lots of fun. Probably is.

> They didn't have the internet or even the US Postal Service in period. 
> They didn't have a centralized bureaucracy of heralds, either.  That's
> something the SCA and FDR came up with as part of the whole "Jobs for
> Heralds" program. Surely, without those things, this sort of thing must
> have come up often.  Find out how they handled it and do the same. I bet
> it would be fun. 

Generally, the "visitor" would do something to difference his
arms. Sometimes, it was just a bend drawn across the shield.

If nobody broke down and differenced, it went to the courts,
which could handle this question either by judicial duel (which
basically went out of style after Lateran IV) or by the
procedures of canon and Roman law. I'm in favor of the old Roman
law, myself, but I'm an odd egg. Most people would be asleep
before the first _litterae_ would arrive _in_ _faciem_ _judicis_.

> As to one suggestion I read about bothering the _autocrat_ about the
> matter. Well, ummm, c'mon. I think the autocrat is too busy to be called
> onto the field to arbitrate dress codes, eh? Settle it like grownups. I am
> reminded of the words of the immortal philosopher, Joel Hodgson, who said,
> "Tell yourself: It's just a show. I should really just relax." 

A coat of arms is more than a "dress code." There's rather a
tidy body of law behind it-which was enforced, btw-that make it
more than just a fancy suit. Besides, I'd prefer it to be a
formal court hearing, not a drumhead decision by the autocrat.
That's more or less the whole reason why _curiae_ _militaris_
were established in the 1300's.

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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