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

Forwarded mail...

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

> Poster: "Bonne of Traquair" <oftraquair@hotmail.com>
> Bob and/or Diana
> Please keep on asking.  Sometimes the most interesting topics going on 
> originated in your questions.  I've learned, although I felt that I was 
> learning SCA tradition and lore about a topic rather than verifiable 
> fact.  Much of it may be based in someone's research at some point, but 
> it's been filtered and perhaps distorted as it's been passed on.   

Speaking as someone who's a historian (by training, but not by
occupation), I sometimes find the results of what has happened to
this research as it filtered through the SCA's channels to be
almost as fascinating as the truth. I know that at least one
sociologist has studied the SCA in the context of other
historical recreation groups, but I'd love to know if a
folklorist has ever looked at SCA "mediaeval history urban

> Keep in mind that most SCA members are not professional researchers of 
> any sort and certainly not professinoals in the field of historical 
> research sub-specialty middle ages.  The answers you're getting are the 
> accepted SCA viewpoint developed from various unlearned source--movies, 
> fantasy novels, fairy tales, Arthurian literary tradition--and the 
> pontifications of people with a little bit of knowledge (or a lot) 
> lecturing at the bonfire or post revel and the conclusions others came 
> to from that. There may be the occaisional response from someone who has 
> actually researched the topic at least as well as you could yourself, 
> and even more rare response from soneone who has done deeper research 
> into that very topic. 

I appreciate your skepticism. It's the proper approach to take.

> I certainly hope you are comparing our answers against your own 
> research.  If not, I fear we may be leading you into exactly the sort of 
> novel that it sounds like you don't wish to write. You don't need to 
> read Latin or Old French or something like that to research the middle 
> ages.  Most likely that any reference mentioned here is available in 
> english through the nearest college library or even at new or used 
> bookstores--depending on where you live.   

This is possibly so. When I can, I try to give a citation to the
literature. I made the acquaintance of most of the books cited in
my time as a grad student at Catholic U.'s mediaeval and
Byzantine studies program, so I know that they're at least in the
Storvik area.

However, a familiarity with Latin and a few modern European
languages is pretty much a bitter necessity for anyone wanting to
do post-baccalaureate-level research in mediaeval studies. As an
example, while you can do lots of fun stuff in Arthurian lit.
using only English sources, a lack of familiarity with the French
works and modern research (and to a lesser extent, German and
Dutch research and lit.) can cast some doubt upon whether you've
understood the context of the English stuff.


Craig Levin
List Archives, FAQ, FTP:  http://merryrose.atlantia.sca.org/
            Submissions:  atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
        Admin. requests:  majordomo@atlantia.sca.org