Search found 759 matches

by Brother Ranulf
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Tanning fur
Replies: 2
Views: 458

Re: Tanning fur

Tanning on the one hand and "keeping it white" on the other are sadly incompatible - unless you know some historic Native Americans who can do brain tanning in the old way. Apparently the Crows of the Northern Plains made the softest, whitest buckskin and buffalo hides - but nobody today c...
by Brother Ranulf
Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Grooming kit
Replies: 4
Views: 726

Re: Grooming kit

As for supertunics (fur lined or otherwise), this is certainly covered in the Rule of St Benedict. Chapter 55 (again) says: "Let clothing be given to the brethren according to the circumstances of the place and the nature of the climate in which they live, because in cold regions more is needed...
by Brother Ranulf
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Grooming kit
Replies: 4
Views: 726

Re: Grooming kit

You do not specify which type of monk you are interested in - nor the precise time period. "Personal" items were expressly forbidden by the Rule of St Benedict which governed the lives of all European monks, but that Rule was often less closely observed as the medieval period progressed (f...
by Brother Ranulf
Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: General History
Topic: Historical development of the English Archer
Replies: 1
Views: 520

Re: Historical development of the English Archer

From the use of peasant bowmen at the Battle of Standard (1138) where the worth of the English Longbow was first realised The Battle of the Standard certainly did see the use of militia archers, mentioned by several contemporary and near-contemporary writers. Putting longbows in their hands is a st...
by Brother Ranulf
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: General History
Topic: relationships between Herbalists, Apothecary and Alchemists
Replies: 3
Views: 891

Re: relationships between Herbalists, Apothecary and Alchemists

You need to specify a time period. In England there were no apothecaries or alchemists before the 14th century and witchcraft was not really acknowledged before the 13th. Remedies, treatments and medicines in the 12th century came from monastic infirmaries, from local midwives and wise women, from h...
by Brother Ranulf
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Medieval gardening tools
Replies: 3
Views: 886

Re: Medieval gardening tools

Medieval English people knew the difference between a spade (for digging) and a shovel (for moving stuff around), but this knowledge seems to have been lost today. Medieval shovels were very odd until the end of the period when metal shovels were introduced. They were all-wood construction, with a s...
by Brother Ranulf
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Medieval gardening tools
Replies: 3
Views: 886

Re: Medieval gardening tools

It's probably worth expanding on the previous thread with some more tools and details. First, it is necessary to dispel a few misconceptions - this will sound a bit negative and critical, but it is meant to be helpful so bear with me. It would be incorrect to think that "these things probably h...
by Brother Ranulf
Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Templar Flag
Replies: 10
Views: 3145

Re: Templar Flag

This drawing may help to explain some of the points made above, illustrating Templar lance pennons and just a few of the known shield designs: Templar shields2.jpg Pennons: 1 is from the Templar frescoes at Cressac-sur-Charente, France, dating to about 1163 - it is associated with shield B. The cros...
by Brother Ranulf
Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Templar Flag
Replies: 10
Views: 3145

Re: Templar Flag

The Templar banner from 12th and 13th century sources:

Templar Banner 1.jpg



The Italian Templar banner and shield, about 1270:

Templar Banner 2.jpg
by Brother Ranulf
Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Templar Flag
Replies: 10
Views: 3145

Re: Templar Flag

Ne'erdowell is right about heraldry not being prone to symbolism, but even people at the time might occasionally see some meaning in the design even if it was not intended. The French canon regular Jacques de Vitry describes in his Historia Hierosolymitana of about 1220 how the black over white flag...
by Brother Ranulf
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Templar Flag
Replies: 10
Views: 3145

Re: Templar Flag

Here's a few scholarly points to consider: (1) Any connection between Freemasonry and the Templars is relatively modern and tenuous at best, despite what the Freemasons claim (their first lodges date to the 18th century), so treat their opinions with an articulated lorry load of salt . . . In the wo...
by Brother Ranulf
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Friends and Gossip
Topic: What do MOPs mean when they ask if something is real?
Replies: 15
Views: 3730

Re: What do MOPs mean when they ask if something is real?

In my former living history roles I came to the conclusion that there are many factors at work here and the answer is far from simple. There is the MOP who thinks they can "see through" what's being presented as if it were a conjuring trick: I heard one lady turn to her friend during a par...
by Brother Ranulf
Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Food and Drink
Topic: 12th Century Cook Book "In the Works"
Replies: 8
Views: 4051

Re: 12th Century Cook Book "In the Works"

Having followed developments on the publication of this book over the past three years, it has today been confirmed to me by Catheryn Kilgarriff at Prospect Books that publication of "Zinziber: Sauces from Poitou" has now sadly been cancelled. I am aware of the reason and suffice it to say...
by Brother Ranulf
Mon May 22, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Food and Drink
Topic: Anglo-Saxon cooking
Replies: 5
Views: 2670

Re: Anglo-Saxon cooking

I admit to being extremely sceptical about the majority of the so-called Anglo-Saxon recipes given in this document, for a number of reasons: [1] It is copied directly from another web page (http://www.tjurslakter.nl/viking%20recepten.pdf) which gives "recipes found on the Internet" as its...
by Brother Ranulf
Sat May 06, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Traders Discussion
Topic: Medieval Chest
Replies: 3
Views: 1842

Re: Medieval Chest

Whichever route you decide to go down, you first need to decide on a particular type of chest and how much decoration it will have. "Medieval" is far too generic a term - is it 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th century? Will it have pin hinges (the earlier method) or metal strap-hinges (later)?...
by Brother Ranulf
Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Daily rations for a castle guard or medieval foot soldier.
Replies: 2
Views: 1353

Re: Daily rations for a castle guard or medieval foot soldier.

Very little has been written about peasant diet and the foodstuffs available on campaign or during garrison duty in the period you mention - there seem to be more sources for the 12th/13th centuries and I have been in correspondence with a prominent and helpful environmental archaeologist regarding ...
by Brother Ranulf
Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: 410-1100
Topic: Purple dye
Replies: 3
Views: 1897

Re: Purple dye

No, it means that at least some of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians and others who settled in England were very well versed in Biblical and Classical history - the classical authors were often translated into Old English, as was the Bible. "Fish dye" refers to the Hexaplex trunculus, He...
by Brother Ranulf
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Book, Film, TV & Music Reviews
Topic: London Museum Medieval Catalogue 1940
Replies: 0
Views: 2383

London Museum Medieval Catalogue 1940

This is a 1993 reprint by Anglia Publishing (ISBN 1-897874-01-4) of the original 1940 Catalogue by J B Ward Perkins. To say the book is dated would be stating the obvious - "it does not reflect latest thoughts on the dating or significance of medieval objects", to quote the appreciation at...
by Brother Ranulf
Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Holy Orders in England, 13th c.
Replies: 3
Views: 1651

Re: Holy Orders in England, 13th c.

The first Knights Templar Preceptory (house, or more precisely a monastic or administrative complex) in England was established in High Holborn, London in the middle of the 12th century. These premises were soon to prove too small, so construction began in about 1165 on the famous Temple "churc...
by Brother Ranulf
Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Painting helmets
Replies: 3
Views: 1570

Re: Painting helmets

Consider first what medieval paints would have been used and how they might stand up to being bashed with any kind of weapon. Egg tempera was used on parchment, pigment mixed with linseed oil (just like modern tube oil paints) was used on wood and pigment mixed with wet lime plaster was used on wall...
by Brother Ranulf
Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: General History
Topic: St Valentine's Day
Replies: 3
Views: 1895

Re: St Valentine's Day

By way of evidence, this is the relevant calendar entry from the Westminster Psalter of about 1200:

16 kalends March.JPG


It reads 18C, 16 days before the Kalends of March, [feast] of Valentine, martyr. This is the standard manuscript way of expressing 14 February.
by Brother Ranulf
Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: General History
Topic: St Valentine's Day
Replies: 3
Views: 1895

Re: St Valentine's Day

No English king needed to make any decree - various saints named Valentine were part of the Roman Church calendar long before Henry VIII or any of his ancestors. The Feast of Valentine (February 14) goes back to at least 496 AD when Pope Gelasius added Valentine of Terni to the list of Christian Sai...
by Brother Ranulf
Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: 1100-1500
Topic: Artillery in UK castles during 14th century.
Replies: 12
Views: 3191

Re: Artillery in UK castles during 14th century.

Not a castle, but Canterbury's late 14th century city wall and drum towers (a rebuild over earlier walls) were built with loops for hand cannons - I have heard that this is the earliest example of such a feature in English towns and cities. The earliest mention of the guns themselves is in 1403/1404...
by Brother Ranulf
Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: General History
Topic: Being anti-social in Medieval England.
Replies: 9
Views: 2264

Re: Being anti-social in Medieval England.

My error - too much research into tithes has fuddled my thinking. This is from Mark Bailey's useful little book "The English Manor 1200 - 1500": By the fifteenth century it was increasingly common for both leet and manor courts to be amalgamated into one magna curia, a move which partly re...
by Brother Ranulf
Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: General History
Topic: Being anti-social in Medieval England.
Replies: 9
Views: 2264

Re: Being anti-social in Medieval England.

Tithes were the prerogative of the Church of Rome, first established in England under Ethelwulf in 855 and eventually given formal legal validity by the Statute of Westminster in 1285. So the Dissolution of the Monasteries by 1540 (and the end of the Catholic Church at that time) also meant the end ...
by Brother Ranulf
Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: 410-1100
Topic: More Old English pronunciaton question
Replies: 5
Views: 1817

Re: More Old English pronunciaton question

Middle English often provides clues to the earlier pronunciation of words - in this case "dawn" is ūghten in ME, which is said ooKHten (KH is a guttural in the throat). So the Old English uht is ooKHt. Ceare has that same ea diphthong mentioned in another thread, starting with e as in &quo...
by Brother Ranulf
Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: General History
Topic: Being anti-social in Medieval England.
Replies: 9
Views: 2264

Re: Being anti-social in Medieval England.

It's not possible to generalise, the feudal system was far more complex than most people today can appreciate. Unfree peasants (by far the largest group) belonged almost entirely to a feudal overlord and he set out exactly what was required of his own workforce - and this was usually completely diff...
by Brother Ranulf
Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: 410-1100
Topic: The easy and authentic way to speak "old English"
Replies: 12
Views: 2814

Re: The easy and authentic way to speak "old English"

"eald englisc"- and how would you pronounce that? could it be "old English"? At the risk of feeding the Troll, no it is not pronounced "old English" - that is the modern translation, not the pronunciation. The diphthong ea begins with the sound of e (as in "bed&qu...
by Brother Ranulf
Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: 410-1100
Topic: The easy and authentic way to speak "old English"
Replies: 12
Views: 2814

Re: The easy and authentic way to speak "old English"

This would be exactly the same as pretending that modern Italians speak Classical Latin, simply because both languages share many words - but ignoring the differences in meaning, pronunciation, grammar and syntax. So the premise is that this kind of speech can be pronounced as if it were made up of ...
by Brother Ranulf
Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Buy and Sell
Topic: WLTB medieval chair / stool
Replies: 7
Views: 1938

Re: WLTB medieval chair / stool

Furniture at that time was associated with (a) social class and (b) with a dwelling, specifically the dwelling of someone of means. The tax returns of 1294 and 1301 from Colchester showed that the most prosperous townsmen had no more than a bed or two and that many persons had nothing that a tax col...

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