Whats wrong in Dark Age re-enactment

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

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Medicus Matt
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Post by Medicus Matt »

katy wrote:'Though I would love to see some of my society's bods get lifted up on a shield. '
Ye Gads NO Brendan, our shields wouldn't take it!
Its as much as the Limitianii can do to carry some of our more 'Chunky' gladiators off the arena


Katy, a confusion of Brendans there. Brendan C is not the absinthe-fuelled Irish loon that you know from Britannia and Crime-watch. He's a completely different Irish loon who plays at the other end of the 'early' period.

Brendan...of course you do mate. As is only right and proper. :wink:
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Post by colonelboris »

Do you reckon if they met, they would cancel each other out in a burst of radiation? :shock:
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Post by Alan_F »

Parsley - a friendly lion wrote:at the end of the day there is only so much you can do with two lines of people armed with hand weapons.

How can it improve ........ get rid of the cricket gloves for starters.


I think that this is a question for all periods of re-enactment. When I did 17th century re-enactment, one of the members of our regiment was famous for saying "And the crowd went absolutely - home". A lot of battle become forumlaic and it can be pretty boring for the crowd when you watch the same group reform and charge the same group again and again.

Some things I would like to see changed in all periods are:

1) Stopping the same group from forming up at the crowd line every time. As i said above, it bores the crowd rigid to watch the same two groups fighting it out over and over again. This would take some effort - there are, as we all know full well, some group who will try and take that spot so that they can show themselves off to the crowd and they are usually not happy about having to change to the middle of the battlefield. To which I would (were I running the event) say to them "Goodbye". If they can't comprehend that the event isn't put on so that they can fight in front of the crowd all afternoon, then perhaps they shouldn't be invited back.

2) Ensuring that groups stick to the script. Again, there are groups who want everything run their way at events, despite the fact it's not their event! If a goup persists in trying to rewrite the script when the battle is underway, then perhaps that should be the last time they get an invite to an event.

3) Dropping the crowd charge at the end. I've been to Multi-Period events, do you know how boring it is when the same thing happens at the end of each groups turn in the arena?
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Post by Steven »

katy wrote:'Though I would love to see some of my society's bods get lifted up on a shield. '
Ye Gads NO Brendan, our shields wouldn't take it!
Its as much as the Limitianii can do to carry some of our more 'Chunky' gladiators off the arena


`Chunky gladiators'? Oh, Katy!

Stocky and Northerner are going to be really ****ed when they read this. I mean - you're not exactly talking about Anakin or Chaverix, are you?

BTW - it's libitinarii. I did a bit of looking around and found they were named after Venus Libitina (an aspect of Venus associated with death). According to our friends at Wikipedia, the temple for this was on the Esquiline hill.

Seems to make sense - they carried the `runners up' of bouts through the porta mortis into the mortuary.
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Post by katy »

Lets face it Steve with the exception of anakin & his anorexic bro they're all quite chunky, aren't they! But you got to love em and their lard.
I had the spelling down the same as you but was informed the other way was correct i'n not naming names but Henry mailed me that spelling over :roll:
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katy wrote:Lets face it Steve with the exception of anakin & his anorexic bro they're all quite chunky, aren't they! But you got to love em and their lard.
I had the spelling down the same as you but was informed the other way was correct i'n not naming names but Henry mailed me that spelling over :roll:
Have you read Sues's book yet? It's f***ing awesome.


Come on! Britannia consists almost exclusively of sylph-like figures. There's Anakin, there's Chaverix, there's erm, that other bloke...

Henry is talking out of his fox tailed-adorned hat if he thinks limitanei are the blokes who carried the stretchers - they were the frontier troops (as opposed to the comitanesis, pseduocomitensis and all the rest).

I'll have this out with him on the other forum (not the TORM)...

Not seen Sue's book yet - didn't know it was coming out quite yet. Is there a groovy pic of me doing the Samnite thang in Ostia?

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B*gger. Forgot to sign on!

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Post by Nigel »

I
I bow in awe to your far greater knowledge of the period. Though I would love to see some of my society's bods get lifted up on a shield.

Brendan C[/quote]

Right thats it get me a shield and er um a small crane
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Post by WorkMonkey »

Going back to the battles being boring thing,

me and some of my local group went to go watch our boys fight in the big battle in York last week, even from a re-enactors way of seeing things I got bored very quickly, the P.A's that usually bring life to Regias show were unaudiable, what I did hear was rambling on about the battle of Hastings and had nothing to do with what was meant to be being depicted on the field, in particular I found the whole "3 charges then die" thing abit predictable and dull, I heard alot of people around me, especially kids saying "Why isnt anyone dying?" it seemed to go on for ages with people just not doing alot, I was actually clock watching by the end of it, it only got semi-interesting at the end, as the lines broke down, by then I was just glad it was over to be honest. I never realised how boring the battle plan was until you see it from a MoPs perspective.
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Post by Skevmeister »

What is the dark ages?

Actually this is a serious question, i know of the bronze, iron, roman periods but what does everyone classify as the dark ages?

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Post by WorkMonkey »

410 - 1066 is the common cut off points.
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Post by Brendan C »

WorkMonkey wrote:Going back to the battles being boring thing,

me and some of my local group went to go watch our boys fight in the big battle in York last week.


Workmonkey,

How big was the big battle (i.e. numbers)?

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Post by WorkMonkey »

well it's the big regia battle in York, so mm, 50 - 75 a side, I reakon.
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Post by Brendan C »

WorkMonkey wrote:well it's the big regia battle in York, so mm, 50 - 75 a side, I reakon.


50 - 75 a side?

Not bad, but not as big as it was a few years ago.

Shame.

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Post by WorkMonkey »

Yeah it does seem to be getting smaller.
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Post by Simon_Diment »

Used to be over a hundred a side when I used to attend as a member of Regia.

We went up to shop at the traders and saw some really awful kit on display, on the newer members rather than the veterans which is a shame. You could tell the charity shops had been raided for blankets. Back in the nineties it was relatively understandable but with two markets and a plethora of traders selling wool at more than reasonable prices I don't get it.

Saw one newbie marching through the city with thumbs tucked in belt thinking he was the canines nads, sorry you're a peasant in a blanket with a nice new helmet was my thinking. Ho hum!

:shock:

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Post by Brendan C »

Simon_Diment wrote:Used to be over a hundred a side when I used to attend as a member of Regia.


Simon

The last York I did, nearly a decade ago, I remember JP having to get a willing volunteer to count the numbers coming off the field because he was certain that his initial count of over 300 was wrong. He wasn't wrong.

I also remember Roger Farr cursing in the Bay Horse at the fact that he had been on the road for hours and had not been able to get close enough to the opposition to so much as swing his sword due to the huge numbers in the way.

Those were the days :)

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Post by Nigel »

they were indeed

scary to think we managed 30+ a side at Middlewhich and I didnthink that was big


But Hastings looms

That will be big
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Post by Medicus Matt »

Skevmeister wrote:What is the dark ages?

Actually this is a serious question, i know of the bronze, iron, roman periods but what does everyone classify as the dark ages?

Skev



It's an outdated Victorian term for the post-Roman, pre-Christian period. IT was coined to indicate that it was a period about which very little was known although it was assumed that everyone reverted to living in pooh and eating each other. We've come a long way since then in terms of understanding of the period and the term 'Dark-Age' no longer has any real relevence. Migration period maybe, Early Medieval certainly, Early English (being the period in which the foundations for England and the English nation were laid), absolutely.
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Post by kael »

scary to think we managed 30+ a side at Middlewhich and I didnthink that was big


Probably better to watch a skirmish than a full on battle from a crowds' POV - you can pick your champion, watch individual fights rather than a mess as a whole.

Plus the circle etc.. on the weekend got a fair reaction.

Shame about the overcast sky and slight drizzle :P

But on another note, the use of clear audio naration and music can really bring an even to life, a kind of movie quality perhaps... that being said, spfx also help :p

Living history needs to be more interactive, it is quite easy to get bored just 'looking', especially if you're not an entusiast (the people who get dragged along by husbands, wives etc). They need something to do.
My society has one or two nterative stalls, and they are busy all day (such as archery, coin striking, surgery), but I feel we could do more to involve people, and we are working on it in that respect. From what I gather of some groups, authenticity takes precedence, but perhaps it should just be the criteria for making a stall look good, rather than the be all end all; it has to be as historically correct as possible, but aught to have clear goals for what it's function is.

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Post by m300572 »

Living history needs to be more interactive


We are in the business of heritage interpretation (like it or not). The originator of the term 'interpretation' for getting information to the mops was very much of the opinion that interpretation should engage with the emotions of the visitor in some way - so all LH should be interactive otherwise it won't do what it should.

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Post by kael »

indeed.

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Post by Medicus Matt »

We'd love to be able to make some of our activities more interactive and let the public have a go at some stuff, jav and axe throwing, bit of archery, try some of the food etc but our insurers won't allow it (or, to be more precise, it'd cost us a fortune in increased premiums).

Not sure how I could make my surgical display interactice though. The MOPs complain when they get blood on them as it is.
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Post by DomT »

There are ways of involving the MOPs that dont get them messy, hurt or otherwise getting insurance people in a twist.

Of course it all rests on a element of showmanship on the part of the re-enactors. We do have a tendancy to sit behind our ropes and get on with it.
Even something as mundane as explaining the functions and forms of gun tools or weapons and armour can be spell binding if done well. Equally the most intresting subject in the world can be made boring and tedious by a bad teacher/demonstration.
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Post by Medicus Matt »

DomT wrote:There are ways of involving the MOPs that dont get them messy, hurt or otherwise getting insurance people in a twist.

Of course it all rests on a element of showmanship on the part of the re-enactors. .


Oh, all of our craft/LHE stuff is interactive in as much as we talk to the MOPs about what we're doing as opposed to sitting there studiously ignoring them. I just wish we could make it a bit more 'hands on' without the ever-present H&S demon leering over our shoulders.
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Post by WorkMonkey »

Medicus Matt wrote:There are ways of involving the MOPs that dont get them messy, hurt or otherwise getting insurance people in a twist.


you can have a "touch workmonkey" bit, they can come up to me, and touch my arm, and go away feeling satisfied with their day.
I think that'd go down well.
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Post by Medicus Matt »

WorkMonkey wrote:you can have a "touch workmonkey" bit,


I'll tell Mark, he'll be thrilled (you are staying over this Saturday night aren't you?). :twisted:
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Post by Alan_F »

Simon_Diment wrote:Used to be over a hundred a side when I used to attend as a member of Regia.

We went up to shop at the traders and saw some really awful kit on display, on the newer members rather than the veterans which is a shame. You could tell the charity shops had been raided for blankets. Back in the nineties it was relatively understandable but with two markets and a plethora of traders selling wool at more than reasonable prices I don't get it.

Saw one newbie marching through the city with thumbs tucked in belt thinking he was the canines nads, sorry you're a peasant in a blanket with a nice new helmet was my thinking. Ho hum!

:shock:


Somin, there are a lot of people in re-enactment who can't afford nice new kit: sometimes making kit from old blankets is the only option.
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Post by Medicus Matt »

Somin, there are a lot of people in re-enactment who can't afford nice new kit: sometimes making kit from old blankets is the only option.


Only because they've spent all their money on a shiny new sword.
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Sorry Alan but I think that's a crap argument. When you start any hobby there are certain set-up costs to equip yourself to a minimum standard (even if it's just a notebook, pencil and a thermosflask). Decent soft kit (not flashy or decorated, just made well and from good looking materials) and a pair of shoes doesn't seem too much to ask.

We can always find a spare spear and shield for someone, spare trousers we tend not to have.
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Post by kael »

Of course it all rests on a element of showmanship on the part of the re-enactors. We do have a tendancy to sit behind our ropes and get on with it.


That is, unfortunatly, very true in a lot of cases. If people wanted to go and see a static exhibit, theyd go to a museum - it would likely be cheaper anyway. But they come to see vikings, saxons etc, they want a bit of horrible history, look and feel, spectacular and unsanitised - that way they might actrually remember something about their day, rather than "oh yeah, i went to york to see some vikings" "yeah? What did you think?" *shrug* (Actual quote from a non-reenactor friend of mine from the other weekend).

It's also sad that, with meeting a variety of characters at kelmarsh, tintagel and rougham in recent years who arguably should be full of showmanship, that there isn't as much as perhaps there is needed to keep the public entertained. And we should stop kidding ourselves about the priority is 'authenticity' and 'education'; while these are very important, at the end of the day you are playing to an audience who want to be entertained for a day, and get their monies worth.

More showmanship please! :p

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