On This Day: Bologna Gets Its First City Clock

In 1356 the City of Bologna’s first city clock is unveiled. Installed in the Palazzo Capitanato at the Piazza, it strikes the hours for the first time on this day.

Since it was in Italy, the clock was set to “Italian time.” The first hour of the day was a half-hour after sunset. The hours proceeded clockwise around the clock face, with the 19th hour at about the spot where we would have 12. It struck the 24th hour about a half hour before sunset, ringing the bell or bells 24 times. The clock pictured here, which is still in Venice, is similar to the one Bologna had.

Italian time required the clock minders to reset the clock every three weeks or so because the days would grow longer or shorter, depending on the season. They had to lift and move the heavy iron clock works backwards or forwards so that the first hour rang a half-hour after sunset. Strange as this system was, it continued for a long time in Italy, Hungary and some other scattered places.

Norman Centuries Podcast Review

Norman Centuries 
“A Norman History Podcast”
By Lars Brownworth

Editor’s Note: Have a favorite history podcast? Share it with the Falcon Banner. Send review to rex.deaver@gmail.com.

Brownworth is a teacher and author, so his podcasting approach is more like a recitation than the more informal, sometimes irreverent look at history many podcasters present. In his Norman history podcast he doesn’t ask for questions or interact with the listeners. I imagine he’s reading his book, or at least his lecture notes. He does answer questions on his blog “Finding History” (https://larsbrownworth.com/blog/), which seems to cover all his podcasts and perhaps his books.

Brownworth is the author of the popular podcast “12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of the Byzantine Empire.” He also is the author of the books Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire that Rescued Western Civilization, The Normans: From Raiders to Kings and The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings. The latter book made it to the New York Times bestsellers list. So this podcast is presented by a recognized expert.

And it is informative. Brownworth describes the Normans as a “footloose band of individual adventurers who appeared out of nowhere to blaze across the face of Dark Age Europe.” He begins with Rollo and follows the Normans through William, Tancred and Bohemond. He follows their adventures in France, England, Ireland, the German states, Sicily and Antioch. And he notes that the Norman Principality of Antioch outlasted the Kindgom of Sicily by a century.

It’s been a year since I listened to this, and I remember I particularly enjoyed the stories of the Normans in Outremer. His theme, that the Normans never stopped being restless, never settled down completely, is supported by a lot of evidence. And he appears to know his subject well.

But his website contains nothing more than you find on iTunes or Stitcher. No maps, no reference material, not even a place for comments. On the plus side, it also doesn’t ask you to subscribe or join Patreon. He doesn’t ask for money anywhere.

“Norman Centuries” began in September  2009 and ended with episode 20 in October 2014.





Calontir Announces EPay Registrations

Gleaned from Facebook:

The Kingdom of Calontir would like to announce ePay registrations have arrived! Thanks to the hard work of many folks, but mainly HE Roise ni Ullachain and Lord Giovanni Loredan, we will now be able to take pre-registrations for events.

The first event open for pre-registration is Kingdom A&S. It will be open until April 6th. The EPay Site can be found at https://epay.calontir.org. This will be the link for all future pre-registrations, so save the link somewhere you can find it again!

Please stay tuned for more announcements.
Mistress Meadhbh inghean uí Shuibhne
Kingdom Exchequer

Funeral for Sveinn Njalsson

From Ragnheiðr:

The funeral for Lord Sveinn Njalsson (Duane Nelson) will be held this Tuesday, March 13, at 11 AM, at Memorial Park Cemetery in St Louis. We will hold the service in the lovely Victorian faux-medieval chapel, right at the entrance to the cemetery. With our Kingdom at War, I do not expect to see the chapel full of friends in garb — but if you do attend, garb is always appropriate.

We will also hold a memorial celebration sometime in April.

Please do not send flowers! Instead, consider setting aside a donation for the upcoming Sveinn’s Shieldmaiden Fund, to assist and encourage the women of Calontir who wish to take up arms. (If you would donate to a registered charity instead, please donate in his memory to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association.)

The Passing of Sveinn Njallson

Courtesy of the Knowne World Memorial Shield Project

Lord Sveinn Njallson has passed after a valorous battle with cancer. He is survived by his lady wife, Lady Ragnheiðr Refsdóttir, and his son Kristian. He is preceded by his first wife, Dagny Vigunnsdatter, of blessed memory.

Sveinn was squired to Syr Duncan Eardstapa.

Svein joined the SCA in 1979. Though he could not travel extensively, he was a constant and stalwart member of the Kingdom of Calontir and of the Barony of Three Rivers. He served in the baronial guard for a time, also receiving the Order of Three Rivers Silver and the Baron’s Order of Gallantry.

His Kingdom awards include the Order of the Iren-Fyrd, Order of the Leather Mallet and Order of the Torse.

While he is remembered as a stalwart brother in arms, Sveinn is also remembered as being kind, helpful and welcoming to newcomers, always willing to share his knowledge of Norse lifestyle.  Not seeking the spotlight, he nevertheless worked behind the scenes, quietly and competently, to insure thing ran smoothly.


Sveinn also participated in equestrian activities. From Sir Sato Jiro:

Sveinn, before his cancer was diagnosed had been coming to B3R equestrian practices regularly and was learning to do mounted combat on our mules. After he was diagnosed and had begun treatment he continued to come to practices and continued to ride for some time even while on harsh Chemo treatments. His refusal to give up doing things he loved (like riding the mules in combat) even when feeling unwell was an inspiration to many of us equestrians in Three Rivers.

In origin, the term chivalry means “horsemanship”, formed in Old French, in the 11th century, from chevalier (horseman, knight). Sveinn showed me he was a horseman and he was full of Chivalry with his bravery.



Finally, here is a story shared by Lady Pádraigín an Ein i gh:

Not many know this, as I officially joined SCA later in my life – but I’ve known a very special, wise, clever and amazing man known as Sveinn (Duane Nelson) for a while now.
I was 13 when I met him and his first wife at a NYE party hosted by Jennifer Llewelyn. The funny thing about SCA people is they don’t see a teenager or a toddler, they just see smaller humans and treat them with respect and inquire and show genuine interest. I was f—ing shy when I was 13, and I remember reading this book at the start of the NYE party and Duane came up to me and just started to inquire about the book and talking to me like an adult – a new thing for me to experience. He recommended some authors I might like and to this day, they are some of my favorite authors.
I will never forget heading to my first(ish) event (I was there a total of 3 hours, so I don’t really count it) that same year and every time I saw Duane, he’d always ask how I was doing, was I enjoying myself, had I drank water, you know the typical SCA hospitality questions.
When I officially joined the SCA 6 years ago, I walked up to Duane and asked if he remembered me and he gave me the biggest hug and said, “Welcome Back, of COURSE I remember you.” He was, in part one of the reasons I decided to jump in feet first with the SCA. He was a familiar face in an unknowing crowd and that was always comforting.
A few months ago my goddaughter and I met Duane and Rebecca at Central Reform Congregation for an evening service. Rebeca was walking my goddaughter through the service, as she is planning on converting.
Afterwards we went out to dinner at Ari’s. And I will never forget what Duane said after her ordered the lamb chops: “Always order the lamb chops. Our own lives are fleeting and precious if you want the lamb chops, order the damn lamb chops.”
May Vallhalla greet you with songs and mead a’plenty.


A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with final expenses.

Announcement – Board of Directors Update – Hate Speech/Hate Symbol Policy

Detail from the Hunterian Psalter, Glasgow University Library MS Hunter 229 (U.3.2) circa 1170. Public domain in the US

The Board of Directors is fully aware of the concerns of our membership regarding hate speech and hate symbols. We are working on drafting new policy to help with these important issues.  Our intention is to create the most effective policy that we can before it is put out for commentary. Please know that your concerns have been heard and are not forgotten.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.