Lucian and Tamar
In evening court:
Nicola Bramante – AoA
Sigvarðr Skarfr – AoA
Gwyneth Rorrigsdottir – Golden Calon Swan
Other court tidings:
2 newcomers received mugs.
Their Excellencies Søren atte Raven and Rúadán del Wich begged leave of Their Majesties to retire from the Baronial seat of Forgotten Sea.
Duchess Aislinn Morcroft and Countess Elena Moreno del Mar are Their Majesties’ Thegns.
Her Excellency Rebecca Beaumont won the Judges’ Choice prize.
Honorable Lady Izza al Zarqa is the new Kingdom A&S Champion.
This is the sixth in a series of educational articles about heraldry in Calontir.
Previously, we discussed inspiration and general principles for your coat-of-arms. Now lets look at the key ingredients.
“Tincture” is the term heralds use for color. There are seven standard tinctures used in heraldry. Technically, the term “color” is only for the darker colors: blue, red, purple, black and green. The term “metal” is used for the light colors: white and yellow (aka silver, gold). The only time we can use other colors like orange or brown is if they’re the natural color of the object, such the wooden handle of a hammer.
Identifiably requires good contrast, so we need to avoid putting dark things on a dark background (color-on-color) and light things on a light background (metal-on-metal).
The 1st layer of your design is the background. Heralds call it the field. It is possible to have a coat of arms that is just a field!
The 2nd layer is made up of the primary, secondary, and/or peripheral charges.
Primary charges are the main motif/s in the central area of the shield, whether a stripe down the middle or a dozen caltrops scattered on the field.
Secondary charges are motifs around the primary charge, for example a circle of stars around a sun. This gets tricky, because that same circle of stars becomes the “primary charge group” if we remove the sun from the design.
Peripheral charges are motifs that are part of the edge of the shield such as a border or, in this case, a base. They can never be a primary charge because they can never be in the central area of the shield. It is possible to have a coat of arms that only has peripheral charges on the field, so they are different from secondary charges.
The 3rd layer is made up of the tertiary charges. Tertiary charges are motifs that are layered on other motifs, such as rings on a base or a heart on a sun. [Quaternary charges are not allowed.]
Overall charges are special. They’re a bit like overgrown tertiary charges that overlap the field. They have weird rules because of that, and it’s hard to make good designs with overall charges – they have to overlap the field enough, they can’t cover up too much of the other charges, etc. In this case, it’s hard to see that there’s a sun hiding underneath the cross.
At your service,
Sofya la Rus, Habicht Herald
Calontir Heraldic Education Deputy
Photos courtesy of Johann Steinarsson
If you have documentation for your class or QPT entry, please consider sending it in for publication in the Falcon Banner.
I am planning on taking photos of the Walk Through History at Clothiers, and select photos at QPT, but I may not catch everything, or photography what you think is important about your project, so don’t hesitate to send your photos as well.
Please send all submissions to email@example.com. If your material is too large for email, let me know and we will set up a Google Drive folder for you.
Mathurin Kerbusso, Editor
As it grew dark on Christmas Eve and people filed into church for the Vespers service, the late afternoon/evening service now held around 4 pm, the Christmas season officially began for medieval folk, at least for those in the Christian West.
Unlike us, who begin our Christmas season before the holiday, at Thanksgiving or even earlier, our medieval counterparts began the season with the religious events surrounding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Decorations were put up right before Christmas, often on Christmas Eve. I imagine our medieval alter-egos would have frowned on the concept of decorating to celebrate the birth of Jesus before Advent even began.
We live in a secular country that notes holidays like Ramadan and Yom Kippur on its calendars. It’s hard to truly comprehend how much religion and the Christian liturgical calendar were part of everyday medieval life. For the common folk the liturgical calendar was more important than the Julian calendar. Letters were dated by the holy day or week, for example “written on St. Catherine’s Day” or “on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday.” Few used the complicated Roman calendar to date personal correspondence (“vij kalendas Februarias”). Everyone knew when Holy Rood Day or Michaelmas was.
The first day of Christmastide, December 25, was followed by the second day, the Feast of St. Stephen, then the third day, the feast of St. John the Evangelist, and so on. On the evening before the twelfth day of Christmas, January 5, the celebration of Epiphanytide began. The Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrated the visit of the three wise men, or three kings, to the baby Jesus, also celebrated the baptism of Christ during SCA period and to a lesser extent, the miracle at the wedding at Cana. It ended eight days later, on January 13.
Christmas, Epiphany, Lady Day, All Saints’ Day, the feasts of the Ascension of Christ and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary are some of the most important Church holy days, known as Solemnity Days. These days outrank regular saints’ days and memorials. The celebration of Solemnity Days always began the day before, at Vespers.
All these Christian holy days, which is, of course, where our word holiday comes from, were part of the liturgical calendar for the year. Some, like Christmas, were fixed dates. Others, like the first Sunday of Advent, were moveable dates that were computed from when another Church holiday fell on the calendar. Easter, that most complicated Church holiday, determined when many of the other church events took place. I suspect that most people didn’t worry about computing each year’s calendar and simply let their churchmen tell them when to feast and when to fast.
When exactly did Christmas end? Christmastide ended on Twelfth Night. Shakespeare mentions people taking down the Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night. If you include Epiphanytide, you extend the holiday season another week. But in some places they remove Christmas decorations on Candlemas Eve (Feb. 1), and some calendars describe Feb. 1 as the end of the Christmas season. Christians believe February 2 is when Jesus was presented in the Temple and when Mary was purified, so continuing the season of the birth of Jesus until February 2 has some logic to it. However, it seems to be more of a post-SCA period practice.
So what happened after Epiphanytide? The weeks between major Church events were known as Ordinary Time. These weeks were numbered, from one to 34, and usually began the Monday after a significant church time period. For example, Ordinary Time begins on January 14, the day after the end of Epiphanytide, with the first Sunday of Ordinary Time on January 20 this year.
Below is part of a reconstructed medieval liturgical calendar. Since my persona is 12th century English, it represents the holidays and saints’ days my persona would have known.[i] It covers the time from the birth of Jesus to his presentation in the Temple.
Reconstructed Medieval Liturgical Year
Constructed Using 2018-2019 as the Example
Dates marked with (M) are moveable feasts or days of worship. Dates in bold are Solemnity feasts[ii], Church events deemed more important than regular feast days. Optional or obligatory memorial observances are in italic.
|Christmastide (beginning of a week off for the peasantry)|
|Christmas/Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ||Dec. 25, 2018|
|Feast of St. Stephen||Dec. 26|
|Feast of St. John the Evangelist||Dec. 27|
|Childermas (Feast of the Holy Innocents)||Dec. 28|
|St. Thomas Becket (from 12th century)||Dec. 29|
|Feast of the Circumcision (eight Roman days after Christmas)||Jan. 1, 2019|
|Twelfth Night (eve of the 12th day of Christmas/end of Christmas)||Jan. 5|
|Feast of the Epiphany (Visit of the Magi/Baptism of Christ)||Jan. 6|
|End of Epiphanytide||Jan. 13|
|Ordinary Time (ordinal – the counted weeks)[iv]||Jan. 14|
|(Begins on January 14 this year)|
|First Sunday of Ordinary Time||Jan. 20|
|Second Sunday of Ordinary Time||Jan. 27|
|Candlemas/Feast of the Presentation of Christ/Feast of the Purification of the Virgin||Feb. 2|
[i] Modern liturgical calendars have additional holy days or have removed or added saints’ days. For example, the celebration of the baptism of Jesus is now held on the Sunday after Epiphany in the Roman Catholic Church.
[ii] Solemnities replace Sunday services when they fall on a Sunday. Celebration of Solemnity feasts begins the night before at Vespers.
[iii] Modern church calendars consider Epiphanytide a subset, or part of, Christmastide.
[iv] Ordinary Time runs from the Monday after the Sunday that follows Epiphany (January 13 this year) to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (March 5 this year), then resumes on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday (June 10 this year) and concludes before First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent (Dec. 1 in 2018).
That said, when I posted the link on New Years Day, I gave the wrong link for the Falcon Banner group on MeWe. When I was setting this up over the holidays, I ended up creating two groups. And, in my haste, I of course posted the link to the wrong one.
The link to the active Falcon Banner link on MeWe is https://mewe.com/join/thefalconbanner1 (note the “1” at the end)
Also, the link to the Falcon Banner page on MeWe is https://mewe.com/p/thefalconbanner
I will give everybody time to shift, then I will delete the other group this weekend.
My apologies for the confusion. Excuse the dust, don’t walk under the ladders and watch your head in that low spot. We are very much under construction.
Tonight at midnight most of the world will celebrate the new year. But few of our medieval counterparts used January 1 as the start of the new year. When your persona marked the change of the year depended on where you lived, and when.
Are you French, Italian, German, English, Byzantine? Each of these places celebrated the new year on a different date.
At least seven different calendar styles were used in the Christian West alone. And to make matters worse, some areas (Spain in particular) would use one convention for several centuries, change to another, then change to yet another style a few hundred years later.
Depending on when and where you lived in SCA period, New Year’s Day could be:
January 1: Circumcision Style – extends from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Named for the Feast of the Circumcision (eight Roman days after Jesus’s birth), this style, which is nearly universal now, was perhaps the least used style. Julius Caesar imposed this change on the Roman world with his new calendar in 46 BC, and many others have tried to implement it at different times during SCA period. William the Conqueror made January 1 the beginning of the new year in England, but the people used March 25 for most purposes.
March 1: Venetian Style – from March 1 of the given year (2019) to the last day of February of the subsequent year 2020). Derived from the pre-Caesarian Roman style, it was used by the Merovingian Franks and was the official style in Venice until 1797. So for the Venetians, the new year will not begin for three months.
March 25: Annunciation Style – begins the year on March 25 of the previous year (stilus pisanus 2020) or on March 25 of the given year (stilus florentinus, mos anglicanus 2019). This was one of the most popular styles during the Middle Ages. In England, March 25, or Lady Day, still marked the beginning of the new year for a variety of purposes.
Although they used the Annunciation Style in Pisa, they started counting a year earlier than everyone else. In other words, the new year might begin on March 25 in both Pisa and Florence, but in Piza it already would be 2019, and would become 2020 in March, while in Florence it would still be 2018 until March 25, when it would become 2019.
Easter Style – Begins the year on the movable feast of Easter Sunday of the given year. Sometimes the year is too short, and other times too long. This year would run from Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 to Holy Saturday, April 11, 2020. Because Easter can fall on a day somewhere between March 22 and April 25, there is a possibility a date could occur twice in one year. The two dates had to be distinguished by marking them “after Easter” and “before Easter.” This style was the most popular one in France.
September 1: Byzantine Style – extends from September 1 of the previous year (2018) to August 31 of the given year (2019), in accordance with the Byzantine use of dating from the creation of the world.
This style was used by areas influenced by Constantinople, particularly during early period. Since Justinian’s time it was the day taxes were due.
September 24: Indictio Bedana – extends from September 24 of the previous year (2018) to September 23 of the given year (2019). Introduced by England’s “Venerable” Bede during the late 8th century, it was never used in that country, although later it was widely used on the Continent, especially in Germany and by the Imperial chancellery. It uses a date near the fall equinox, rather than the spring equinox, for the beginning of the year.
December 25: Christmas Style – extends from December 25 of the previous year (2018) to December 24 of the given year (2019). This is the style most widely used in the Middle Ages. It is the style that held sway during Anglo-Saxon England’s era, as well as being the New Year of choice for parts of France and Spain for 200 years.
Completely confused? You’re not alone. Historian Reginald Poole gave the following example:
“If we suppose a traveler to set out from Venice on March 1, 1245, the first day of the Venetian year, he would find himself in 1244 when he reached Florence; and if after a short stay he went on to Pisa, the year 1246 would already have begun there. Continuing his journey westward, he would find himself again in 1245 when he entered Provence, and on arriving in France before Easter (April 21) he would be once more in 1244. This seems a bewildering tangle of dates.”
The easiest way to determine how your persona would have dated the year is to use the online Calendar Utility created and maintained by Dr. Otfried Lieberknecht at: http://www.lieberknecht.de/~prg/calendar.htm. This is an amazingly useful tool. You can type in a Roman-style date and find out what its modern-style calendar date is. You can plug in any date and see what its official Roman calendar date is, along with what year it would be. For example, today is ii Kalendas (or Primus Kalendas) Januarius (the day before the Kalends of January) 2018 for me, because my persona is 12th century English. My new year is nearly four months away.
For those with non-Christian or early period personas, the task of identifying New Year’s Day can be challenging. In non-Christian parts of Europe, such as Scandinavia, parts of Germany and eastern Europe, local pagan customs prevailed. Most celebrated the new year sometime in March, usually tied to a spring fertility festival, although customs vary widely.
For those with Muslim personas or with personas that lived in Islamic-ruled areas of Spain or Sicily, tying the Muslim New Year to a Christian calendar date can be a challenge. Because the Muslims use a strictly lunar calendar, the Islamic year is only 354 days long. The Islamic new year begins eleven days earlier each year. It changes months and seasons regularly. Perhaps someone with a Muslim persona knows of a similar calendar utility to figure out historical dates. If so, please share.
And while Jewish personas would, of course, celebrate Rosh Hashanah in September, they most likely would keep secular records the same way others in their area did.
So to all of you, Happy New Year – sometime this year.
The Calontir Royal University of Scir Havoc (RUSH) is seeking a new Provost to serve on the RUSH board. The Provost serves as the administrative assistant to the RUSH chancellor.
The RUSH provost writes and distributes the minutes for the RUSH board meetings. Volunteers for this position should plan to be present at all scheduled meetings. Minutes should be sent to all board members and posted to the RUSH Board Facebook group within one week of the meeting.
The RUSH provost is also in charge of providing a quarterly update to the populace on RUSH activities. The new provost should be prepared to create a template for a short newsletter. The newsletter should include upcoming RUSH events and graduation dates, a summary of the past quarter’s RUSH events and a list of graduates, and RUSH policy updates.
Interested individuals should contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply or with questions.
In evening court:
Gaius Cornelius Scipio Titianus – AoA
Dana Tartare – AoA
Ívarr inn rauði – AoA
Other court tidings:
1 newcomer received a mug.
Ms. Rebecca Beaumont announced that Their Majesties were accepting application to be Chair of the Lilies Committee.
Lady Allison of Forgotten Sea was sworn in as the new Kingdom Webminister.
It was announced that Their Majesties are accepting Letters of Intent to be the new Kingdom Exchequer and the new Regalia Coordinator.
A boon was begged for Helena Soranzo to join the Order of the Laurel.