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Re: On SCA hierarchy and what is period

Poster: "Erica Stark" <ejstark@hotmail.com>

Betty & David Eyer <Betty_and_David@compuserve.com>wrote:
>Although I do love the SCA, some of it's laws and traditions I do not 
>love and some I am totally baffled by.  One habit that baffles me is 
>the ability of SCA members to argue pro or con something (like the 
>behaviour of SCA monarchs) because it is or is not period, while 
>completely accepting other traditions or behavior that are not >period.  
We are not really doing pure living History.  If we were we >would never 
have visible duct tape on our armor, for instance, or >sneakers peaking 
out from under our skirts.  

That's it, exactly.  'Period', or 'not period' is a red herring in this 
discussion.  The real argument is whether their majesties are fulfilling 
their duties or not, and I have no reason believe they are not.  

> I cannot think of any kingdom in period that regularly chose its 
>monarchs by their combat in a single tourney.  Obviously the SCA 
>started doing this back when rocks were soft and all the crown 
>tourneys were fought in California, and we continue to do so because 
>of tradition and Corpora, not because it is representative of the 
>history of the period we are studying. 

I believe the tradition started when the winners of the early 
tournaments crowned the ladies for whom they fought as 'Queen of Love 
and Beauty' until the next tournament.  I have been told this is why the 
'Western rite' kingdoms have three reigns a year, and the 'Eastern rite' 
kingdoms have two (they didn't play as intensely thirty years ago).  
These days, we play a lot harder, and many people invest a lot more of 
their egos in this game than anyone did back then.

>So, after we have chosen our monarch in a nonperiod manner, why then 
>do we argue that some facet of that reign is or is not period (such >as 
not appearing in court simultaneously)? 

That one has always puzzled me.  In this case, I think it was thrown in 
as an additional argument by someone who felt it would bolster her side.  
Whether it was a crafty debaters trick (distract the other side with a 
red herring), or she really was pissed off enough to think it means 
something, I don't know.

>And what does history have to do with whether or not we as a group 
>want to function in a particular way within this game structure that 
>we have made?   

You got it exactly again.  You can find examples of almost any model of 
government within our period, from near anarchy to police state, from 
Althing (where the landowners vote- hey, wasn't that what Jefferson 
advocated?) to an almost absolute monarchy (though I think Absolute 
Monarchy on the level of George III of England is out of our period).

>It was definitely period to complain about, challenge, rebel against, 
>go to war against monarchs and whether or not this was considered 
>treason and dishonorable is generally determined by who won said wars 
>and rebelions.  Since this game is of our own construction why is it 
>'treason' to discuss how it should be played?  

It is possible that the person who saw 'treason' where I saw 'rude, 
poorly worded statement' is one of those who thinks the entire middle 
ages, from the Migration period to the Renaissance consisted of knights 
in armor galloping around rescueing damsels in distress... If your idea 
of the Middle Ages comes directly from Tennyson (I never could get into 
'The Idylls of the King) or Sir Walter Scott, it's a pretty good bet 
you're going to have some odd ideas...

>If we spent more time studying history for our own enjoyment and 
>sharing our enthusiasm and knowledge freely and less time measuring 
>ourselves and others by some sort of made up ranking system, we would 
>all be having more fun and, probably, doing better history.  
>Magdalena de Hazebrouck

Exactly again, now let's go back to our regularly scheduled raids on 
Borders Books.  I'll scout out the bargain tables, you take the medieval 
history section....

Erica Poitevins

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