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Poster: firstname.lastname@example.org (Craig Levin)
> Poster: "Bonne of Traquair" <email@example.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
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.
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