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Re: Documentation help needed

Poster: Robert J Welenc <rjwelenc@erols.com>

At 10:35 9/4/97 -0400, Nancy Davis wrote:
>Poster: Nancy Davis <nancyad@mindspring.com>
>At 10:04 PM 9/3/97 -0400, you wrote:
>>Poster: Cecil Jones <roland2@mindspring.com>
>  <snip>
>>  I am looking for any period example of a minotaur.
> I need to
>>try and find some sort of documentation.
>I remember finding a period French bestiary in the Duke University library
>that had all sorts of marvelous creatures. I do not remember the specific
>book or if it actually had a minotaur. Bestiaries were listings of various
>creatures, I believe including those from mythology, and should be a
>possible reference for documentation.
>Good luck,

Documentation is not the problem with minotaurs.  *Description* is.  From
the Rules of Submission:
VII.7.b.   Reconstruction Requirement - Elements must be reconstructible in
a recognizable form from a competent blazon.
	 Any element used in Society armory must be describable in standard
heraldic terms so that a competent heraldic artist can reproduce the armory
solely from the blazon.  Elements that cannot be described in such a way
that the depiction of the armory will remain consistent may not be used,
even if they are identifiable design motifs that were used before 1600.  

There is no *standard* representation of a minotaur such that a "competent
heraldic artist" can look at just the blazon (the description) and
reproduce exactly the same creature.  For example, if I give the blazon, 

"Gules, a centaur statant argent," 

to a heraldic artist, I will get the same thing that I would have drawn --
a monster with the body of a horse and a man's torso rising from the place
where a normal horse would have a neck and head. Centaurs are standardized
in this form.

What does a minotaur look like?  Is it something like a centaur but with a
bull's body and horns on the human head?  Or is it a  man with the head of
a bull? I have seen both depictions in mundane art, and if given the blazon:

"Gules, a minotaur statant argent"

I would not know what to draw.

But if your friend really wants a minotaur, all is not lost.  He just has
to come up with a beast that *can* be described in blazonry terms.  Again,
from the Rules of Submission: 
VII.5.   Compatible Monsters  - Monsters compatible with period armorial
practice may be registered in armory.
	 Monsters described in period sources may be used in the Society, even if
they were not used in period heraldry.  New monsters may be formed for
Society use on the analogy of period monsters, so long as all components
remain sufficiently identifiable in the compound monster.  For example, the
Society has created the sea unicorn parallel to the sea lion and sea horse.

So, if your friend wants 'a bull-headed man', that is a registerable,
reproducible charge without the need for documentation.  This would come
under the 'new monster' clause above. And more than likely, anyone seeing
it would say, "Oh, cool, a minotaur."

If what he _really_ wants is that _term_ 'minotaur', then the circumstances
change. There are no minotaurs listed in the SCA Ordinary, so this would be
a defining registration, one that specifically states "Minotaurs are men
with the heads of bulls".    *Consistent* period descriptions or
illustrations that indicate minotaurs are normally depicted as this kind of
creature would be a very Good Thing, but are likely hard to come by.
Alanna Volchevo Lesa
Partan Pursuivant, Barony of Lochmere
Laurel Minion
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