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The Medieval Herauld #2

Medieval Herauld #2 The Medieval Herauld

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Tent Floor Plans: Tentsmiths Conical Tents

Today we depart from the high brow philosophizing on reenactment for some pragmatic, hard resources which everyone can use without regard for the subjectivity of best practices or proper procedure. In my previous rendition of this series, I drew the drawings on graph paper with a pencil and pen. Revisiting the project I have upgraded to a basic digital drawing platform called LibreCAD. I am not an engineer, architect, or qualified technical designer and I don’t even play one on TV. They say you don’t know what you don’t know, so I can’t even begin to fathom what these drawings are missing if they were professionally designed. But no one is building buildings based on my design, that’s not their intent. They are technical drawings in feel and style to provide context and perspective on a subject some have difficulty visualizing, especially those new to reenacting and who don’t have much experience with what tents and the space in them look like. 

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Featured Image for the article Researching and Commissioning a New Arm Harness on the medieval living history and reenactment resource website The Turnip of Terror.

Researching and Commissioning a New Arm Harness

– 24 minute read, 4,800 words

As I design my dream armor and the elements I want to appear in it, as I suspect everyone does, I have dived into researching the armor, its components, and its features. Before I go further it is important to acknowledge the motivations behind a project such as this. If we, as medieval enthusiasts doing living history and reenactment are going to sink years of our lives in research and development and spend thousands of dollars on solid-steel dress up, we owe it to ourselves not to lose sight of the “why” behind doing it. A resounding love for history and interpreting it is my fundamental motivation to do reenactment and living history generally, and a variety of periods catch my interest. I got my start in 19th-century maritime living history, but I’ve also dabbled in and had exposure to SCA style medieval, 18th century British Fusiliers, WWI, and 16th-century colonialists.

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Featured Image for the Medieval Country Society video on the medieval living history and reenactment resource The Turnip of Terror

Medieval Country Society

We have all learned about medieval feudal hierarchy in school, but there is a lot more to society than an easy to read pyramid chart. We can we learn from the nuances of peasant and noble perspectives and apply them to our living history and reenactment impressions. This is also a collaborative project with Andrew from Modern Medieval Man​ and his YouTube alter ego Popula Urbanum. My video focuses on the country, and his on how feudalism operated in the city as metropolitan areas started to buck the trend of rural feudalism.

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Featured Image for the Settling vs. Good Enough for Now Article on the medieval reenactment and living history resource website The Turnip of Terror

Settling vs. Good Enough for Now

In the pursuit of a high-quality commoner impression of an authentic, accurate, and gossip-worthy yeoman it is conservative to say one could spend many thousands of dollars to achieve the look, fit, and feel desired. From there it spirals when one looks into the costs of equipping one’s self in the martial accouterments of well-equipped archer or man at arms. Even barring the idea of filling up an entire encampment if one then looks into a minor gentry or even noble impression and the costs of custom harnesses made my preeminent armorers, horses and their tack, sumptuous soft kit with all the fur-trimmed and gilded extravagances imaginable the sum of tens of thousands of dollars can be spent in the reenactment of medieval living history. Some never spend this much. Few drop this much cash from the start. For most this is an investment accruing in smaller purchases over a lifetime of enjoyment in the hobby. Which means for most of us purchase decisions are either long saved for items, concessions, or placeholders for future upgrades. This article addresses the latter and to some extent its preceding, option.

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What Is A Reenactor?

A Video With Purpose

My friend Matt over at The Agincourt Solider has been working to develop one of his newest of many projects, History Live! North East; “a 501c3 Non-Profit organization that provides high-fidelity, accurate, informative, interactive, and engaging Living History presentations and demonstrations to primary and secondary schools, free of charge.” During the school shutdown he has been working diligently to develop the site into a distance learning tool. As a fan of collaboration (Matt and I are working together on the Pilgrim Progress Challenge) I was eager to assist. However, my articles and videos to date are not aimed at the elementary school audience, and they are more meant to be resources for the reenactment and living history community than instructional on history itself. Still, I wanted to contribute something to help and Matt suggested I work on a video about what reenactors are.

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Featured Image for the article Why I Don't Want to Be a Specific Person for the Medieval Reenactment and Living History Resource The Turnip of Terror

Unique Portrayals (I.E. Why I Don’t Want to Be A Specific Person)

When putting together a living history impression one must consider multiple elements, to include material culture as well as knowledge and skills. Each element must be judged on its own for accuracy and authenticity (a conversation for another article) and has to be relevant and coherent to the other elements worn, demonstrated, presented, or carried with the rest. The amount of effort the living history community will invest to reproduce the minutiae on historical elements is dizzying. From the choice of materials to the method of construction incalculable amounts of time and resources are spent on ensuring everything is correct for its place in time and purpose. Though the conversations continue about various shades of the authenticity versus accuracy subject, the subtext of what the community strives for is to have a reasonable aesthetic passable for normal in the time and place we portray. Our material culture should support this underlying goal. In everything I portray, my goal is: if I, in my living history kit, were to be flung back in time to the 1400s, I could walk down the streets of Nantwich or across the battlefield at Shrewsbury and (as long as I did not say anything, I do not speak Middle English) not raise a single eyebrow or garner a curious glance by looking out of place.

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Featured Image for How Two Medieval Podcast Episode 5 for the medieval reenactment and living history resource The Turnip of Terror

How Two Medieval – Episode Five

Episode Five – To Buy or Make?

Tapping into the wealth of knowledge and resources of Trevor Clemons, founder of the n this episode we discuss purchasing items vs. making them. Does one leap into creating medieval items or do you purchase from vetted merchants? The living History hobby leaves many aspects to learning new skills, but not everyone has the time and space. Join us as we give our opinion on the topic. You can listen here on the website, directly on Anchor, or add the podcast’s RSS into your favorite app.