Exhausted and homesick, but not giving up.

I left the East Kingdom on Memorial Day weekend in 2016 for Caid.
I left Caid for Trimaris in January of 2018.
Three kingdoms in three years, and not without scandal.

I normally don’t post dirt or personal feelings much on this blog. I prefer to have it reserved exclusively for my research and helping others. But sometimes, helping others and performing a service isn’t just steering them down the path of Byzantine goodness, it’s also helping them navigate this crazy life that is the SCA, because as Yoda said: Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

A hobby is not much of a hobby if it starts controlling your life.

Here’s the rub: This isn’t going to be a pleasant post for me to write, but I’m at the point where I need to play SCAdian Kool-Aid Man and bust through a wall. Much like it wasn’t easy last year for me to come forward about my battles with mental illness and the SCA, I need to come forward and discuss how the last year has taken a toll on myself, my marriage, and my want to participate in the SCA.

We had front-row seats to Caid’s “Trimgate” when we were leaving for Trimaris. Our last event was the coronation with the ill-woven trim. I didn’t see the blatant swastikas until after pictures were posted, because the day was rather joyous. The newly-crowned royals were well loved and it seemed like we were going to miss something fun. And, here I was, driving across the country when the hivemind went into overdrive, and those I knew from other Kingdoms were pinging me directly for the dirt. I admit, at first I got sucked right in. I was driving to a place I didn’t want to live. I was miserable and tired. I had no furniture and replied to Facebook posts via phone. I posted things, and then I backed up. I got reminded by others that I needed to focus, and I did. I stopped answering DMs, I started dispelling false accusations that were flying across my feed so fast I couldn’t stay on top of the fact-checking, and I slipped away from conversations that were getting heated and allowed the kingdom I was leaving to take matters into their own hands, which they did with grace, and without me getting in the way or being some weird third wheel to satisfy the hunger of a pack of wolves half the world away chomping at the bit for juicy drama. When all was said and done, that debacle was all and all a result of bad theater. Yes, go ahead, get mad at me: Bad. Theater. Bad choices were made, bad answers were given, bad accusations were being made. None of which, by the way, deserved death threats in response. I hate that knee-jerk reaction. I’ve been at the receiving end of them before in my mundane line of work and it’s usually the ultimate show of immaturity and lack of class. And, also a great way to get the FBI on your ass.

So, that’s how my 2018 started. I shook that off, and tried to make the most of being in Trimaris. I still should have made my husband make a hard turn back at Albuquerque.

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I’m not going to go into the entire saga that was last year’s summer reign in Trimaris. I’m not even going to post names so that search engines pick it up, but, like the Caid Coronation, I had front row seats, again, to the very religious Trimaris Coronation, which used the same ceremony structure as I did for the Eastern Coronation that same month. The words for how I felt watching that train wreck don’t exist. I wanted to chalk it up to Inter-Kingdom Anthropology, but when you get warnings on people the first week you live in-kingdom, the Spideysense tingles a bit hard, and I should have seen all this coming.

Anybody who is friends with me on Facebook, knows I’m actually some sort of fire elemental with a temper like Mt. Etna and enough heartburn for everybody. I also have zero tolerance for BS.

It was -my- Facebook page that his former majesty of Trimaris decided to use as his proving ground for baseless Nazi “jokes” a year ago. And I woke up to a barrage of DMs that made me wonder if somebody I knew died. Seriously. I was asleep the entire damn time, and it was my non-SCA friends who were in the fight.

Sure, blame it on them for instigating all you like, which I got, from a lot of people. Hell, I was victim-blamed enough myself, even from people I thought were my friends. And while I have a lot of friends that run the gamut of political opinion, I’m not a fan of the current hard right. When you start “joking” about treating liberals like Holocaust victims, I don’t care what kingdom you’re from, what your job is, or even if you’re Her Majesty Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you’re toast. I am going to nuke you from orbit, and rightly so.

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And sure, you may come in here with your whataboutism and go “But Anna, what about the Alt-Left, they’re all ANTIFA and COMMUNISTS, AND SOCIALISTS AND-” And I will knock you down with every book on my shelf in the form of Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition citations.

…So now’s a good time to talk about what I do. I’m a historian. A real one. Not just a hobbyist. Some of my projects from my previous employer have involved working directly on the cause and effect of fascism and anti-fascism movements in 1920s-1930s Italy and Germany. So when somebody plays the wingnutty crap on my social media, I tend to get a wee uppity. I can also go into a lengthy discussion on the differences between Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, and other examples of Communist regimes because that comes part and parcel with this whole focus on mid-20th Century history that I was doing for a while. (Hilarious for a Byzantinist, I know, but research and historical method don’t change. I also had excellent courses on this period as an undergrad that allowed me to have a springboard.) This is something I know A LOT about, and I also know that it hasn’t been communists sending me death threats.

What this king said was bad. What he was posting on his own account was bad. I didn’t even remember friending him, or why he decided to target one of my threads that specific day. It’s over now. And then Pennsic happened, and then the BOD did their thing, which is still a contended issue.

And then I was nominated to the Board of Directors, and am currently sitting on the list of other nominees wondering if my time is going to come around. It’s a thankless job, and people will hate me for it. I know I can’t go in there with an agenda, and nor do I plan to, but if my voice can be the slightest hint of change, then so be it.

Gieffrei and I refused to attend a single Trimaris event from then on out. We spent our entire last spring prepping for Pennsic as our only SCA involvement, which worked out, because I’m also a member of other clubs and it was nice to see something else for a change. I was reached out to by many Trimarian peers, and while they are all wonderful people with the truest intentions in mind, our hearts were broken. We wanted to be done. We wanted to get our citizenship back in the East, and go forth with that.

Our minds were actually changed at Pennsic by the then-heirs to Trimaris, who heard about my issue, and took the time to hear us out. We’d go to Fall Coronation, and see how it went. Honestly, I really enjoyed the break we had. I was gung-ho active in Caid for 2 years, and I needed a nap.

Jeff, on the other hand, being fresh off of a sea duty, wanted to hit everything he could before he got back to a boat and I didn’t see him again for another 3 years. I obliged him. I decided that we could start reentry by checking out the baronial chancery. I could get back into scribal, and he could meet others. This ended up getting him into scribal extremely hardcore, and he went from painting blanks with my gouache to taking off with my dry pigments and making his own paints for use on pergament in the span of about 2 weeks. My head spun.

We treated ourselves to a trip back up to the East Kingdom for Birka this last January, and it was a nice, fun, change of scenery. But I also found it made me dreadfully homesick upon coming back down to Trimaris after a scant 2 nights away in the frozen north. Jeff fulfilled his dream of chartering the Royal East Kingdom Moneyers Guild while living 1500 miles away, and I enjoyed catching up with friends.

Inter-Kingdom Anthropology between the East and Trimaris is pretty substantial, way more than I experienced in Caid. Every event down here is pretty much the same: you go to one of the three most commonly used sites, and there will be cabins/tents, fighting, fencing, something A&S, and a feast, so the scenery doesn’t really change. This is what works best for Trimaris, and I’m simply making my observation as an outsider. Coronation and Crown are 4 hours from where I live in the kingdom, and are at the same site, so you’re guaranteed to make that haul 4 times a year. My parents live 2 hours from site, so we’ve been able to work from there for a day trip until this weekend when we actually camped it. It’s a nice summer camp site, but provides little opportunity for the populace to bust out their good garb for coronation. If the climate won’t make you want to die in it, the dust will destroy it. It’s a minor detail for those that have lived down here their whole SCA career, but for someone like me with a closet full of fine silks and wools just waiting to be moth bait, it’s depressing. This isn’t anybody’s fault but my own, of course. It’s my wardrobe, and my variety of experience. It’s the price I pay to be a Navy spouse, you could say, but it doesn’t make me any less homesick if anything for the ability to wear something other than linen I can throw in the wash from my Pennsic wardrobe. Hell, even using the term “homesickness” is somewhat ironic in this sense, considering I grew up in Florida.

We were very much welcomed this weekend at Coronation, and apologized to frequently for last year’s explosion. But I still feel distant, and foreign. I’m not sure if the pilgrimage to Birka did this, or not. I think it was the concurrent ongoing of East Kingdom Coronation and getting those notifications popping up across social media at the same time I was elsewhere that may have done it. It’s hard to watch my friends assume the thrones of the East when we’re not in striking distance enough to help. When we can’t go to the events we were so accustomed to, and were looking forward to attended again before the Navy invested me as Baroness of the Alligators. It’s not that we’re not having fun, we are, and simultaneously can’t wait to leave in order to form the strangest collective of feelings one can feel at once. The folks we’ve fallen in with here in Castlemere are our kind of tribe, so at the very least, if we don’t make it down to the Crown site again, we can still have a good time up here.

I’m sure a lot of this is exacerbated by my inability to find work, my daily struggle with depression and anxiety, and my new friend fibromyalgia, who moved in several years ago, but didn’t get a name until recently. It’s making camping suck, which for me is horrid, beause I love camping events, I love our tents, and now I’m dreading being a physical burden on my husband and household at Pennsic should I have a kicker of a flare. I felt like hot garbage for a fair chunk of coronation, but did my best to not let it show. Nothing some Tylenol and a few cups of magic grape juice couldn’t at least distract me from.
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I also feel that the political climate being what it is, the upheavals across the society being what they are, are also a driving factor in my exhaustion. It did me little good to have last year drudged up again at Coronation, though I wholeheartedly accepted each and every apology given to me, because it is right to do so.

As a historian, I am beyond aggravated at these internet memes and “alternative facts” that support and drive white supremacy and Nazism into Medievalism. I want them out of my game and my life. Period. We’re always told that we should let peers do the work of dealing with such affronts, but I say, in this regard, that we’re all peers when it comes to striking down hate and dragging it out of our lives and our game. When we see something, we DO something. Period. We stop bad theater before it starts so nobody gets hurt making a bad choice, we catch bad behavior in action and deal with it accordingly before they ascend to the throne. No more casting the job off on somebody else based on a hierarchy that will get us a latte at Starbuck’s for $5. It is not “social justice” to want a club that has diversity and inclusion, especially when the periods we are representing WERE diverse. (HELLO The Byzantine Empire had an “Office of Ritual Brotherhood”, which may have been same-sex marriage, AND allowed and accepted transgender individuals to join their calling in the orthodox clergy and FFS there were African blacks in Europe that were NOT SLAVES.) There is enough counter-offensive on the internet now with sufficient documentation from us pros in the history biz to stop this cassarole of Nazi nonsense. I have a hard enough time taking them seriously when they show up dressed like Homer Simpson with tiki torches, but I’d be damned as hell if I let my grandparents’ bones turn in their graves further or the legacy of my husband’s career be diminished by allowing them to walk all over my hobby. We are an educational group, are we not? We do what we need to do in order to blare our ZERO TOLERANCE neon sign from on high and nip this junk in the bud before it blooms.

Despite my own exhaustion, I’m not leaving. I’m not going to quit and let the SCA turn into Uncle Hitler’s Charm School for Wayward Jaded White Men. I may be in pain, but I still have a lot of fight left, and if I gotta go, I’m going colorfully, and with lots of company. I’m sick of reading posts by other members who have had their hearts broken.

If my nomination to the BOD goes through, great. I will do what I can to make the SCA a better place. If I’m ever elevated to peerage, great, I will do what I can to make the SCA a better place, but my work should not be limited to if I achieve those positions.

This is going to take a village, a populace, and a knowne world.

Never Again. And not in my SCA.

How I became a liturgist: The Coronation Ordo of Brennan III and Caoilfhionn III

In November, I was asked (or rather, crashed a Facebook convo) regarding the new Eastern heirs coronation wishes. Byzantine!

Having worked with the couple before for their first coronation (wherein I was a spooky Vestal Virgin reading a scary prophecy) I knew that their love of display and theater is something that I had missed dearly living in Caid. At the time, the Norman still had orders back to the East Kingdom, so we were planning on being around for the spring coronation anyway.  I didn’t hesitate in agreeing to help build them their wish. Even after the orders were changed, I decided I wouldn’t drop the project, and that we would find a way to make the pilgrimage back home to the East Kingdom for one event.

Since I was most familiar with the source materials, I would develop the coronation ceremony, as well as ensure that the kingdom looked as fabulous as possible, despite my distance. So in January, after our move across the country, I sat in the library for a few hours and pecked away at the page here on my site to help folks get dressed. Once I was finally able to get internet installed, I located the primary source for the Coronation, and began my work in writing the modus.

I had several personal goals in mind:
– The ceremony had to be based on authentic period procedure.
– The ceremony had to be secularized and welcoming, but still “sacred”.
– The ceremony had to contain the traditions and relics of the East Kingdom.

The first two I could do, but the third I called in the reserves, and reached out to Master Steffan ap Kennydd, who I had worked with before, for his knowledge of ceremony and the needs of an East Kingdom-specific ordo.

The source depended on what period their royal highnesses desired. Both the 6th and 10th Centuries were brought up, and after some gentle nudging toward the later option, I was able to go forward with working with De Cerimoniis/The Book of Ceremonies by Constantine VII Pophryogennetos.  Drafted in the mid 10th Century as a court manual for his heir, the book contains a collection of various ceremonies pertaining to the Byzantine court: coronations of the emperor, the empress, how to address foreign dignitaries, how to invest an officer of the court, and what to wear to the emperor’s birthday dinner. I knew that the coronation ceremony was available online here, but after some eyelash-batting toward the husband following our tax return, I purchased the full paperback copy that was available through Brill Publishing, in an updated translation that would help me pick up anything that was missed, including the separate coronation ceremony of the empress.  (as of April 10th, 2018, I’m not seeing the print version available. Just the ebook here: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/books/9789004344921 )

It took me a good week to really get my first draft where I wanted it to be. And then, the Facebook chats began. I’m not really sure how other kingdoms work, but at least in the East, being that the coronations are often a production, so there’s a lot of moving parts after just the ceremony.  My work was far from over. I made sure Steffan saw it first, and then passed it on to their highnesses, and Brigantia Principal Herald, Malcolm. For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to go into much detail on what was discussed, but mostly it was taking what I had written, plugging in the East Kingdom ceremonies, and figuring out logistics on music, and the performance of the demes (circus factions) leading the acclamations.

Mistress Margretha reached out to me to help with the music, and we decided that a processional hymn would be ideal. I pinged Martyn Halliwell and Mistress Aneleda for demoi assist, and Martyn just took it and ran with it. We were getting close, and my confidence was waning, if it wasn’t for Margretha and Martyn, I have no idea how I could have pulled it off. Margretha, a Greek native, knew what we needed for a hymn, so she secularized the Christmas Kontakion into a chant, and formed the “manly wall of sound” as she referred to it. Byzantine hymns very rarely have soprano or alto notes, so singing recruitment was a challenge for her. However, she nailed it, as you will see in the videos below.

Here is a link to her source material:

And her hymn:

Greek:
Το Βασίλειον σήμερον άνακτας νέους λαμβάνει
Βασιλέαν ανίκητον, Βασίλισσάν τε ωραία
Αρχοντες μετα Μαϊστόρων ούτους υμνούσιν
Ρόδα δε μεθ’ Ιπποτών δοξολογούσιν
Δι’ημάς γαρ στεφθώσιν
Κολφίννη τε και Μπρένναν εξ Ανατολής

Anglicized:
To Vasilion simeron anaktas neous lamvani
Vasilean anikiton, Vasilissan te orean
Archontes meta Maistoron outous imnousin
Rodha dhe meth’ Ipoton doxologousin
Di’imas gar stefthosin
Kolfinni te ke Brennan ex Anatolis

Translation:
The Kingdom today receives new Sovereigns
Invincible King, Fair Queen
Lords and Masters sing praise upon them
Roses and Knights rejoice
For they are crowned for us
Caoilfhionn and Brennan of the East

Martyn knows how to wrangle a crowd. So rather than go with my original plan of having a chorus of Greens and Blues answering Brigantia, he got the factions to lead the populace, thanks to a handy print-out, and planting folks in the audience. It went off without a hitch the day of and sounded great.

The final piece, once Steffan had helped determine where we would place the traditional unction of water from the Bay of the Mists (San Francisco Bay), and the swearing of the coronation oaths, was actually writing the oaths. There’s not much in De Cerimoniis regarding this, believe it or not. In period, the patriarch performed the blessing and coronation, which is something that we do not do in the SCA. As far as East Kingdom tradition goes, the transfer of power is peaceful, and the previous royals crown the heirs, who then swear their oath on a relic vial of dirt, from the backyard of Diana Lystmaker where the society was founded. Brigantia performs the unction. The order of operations is fluid, but they have to be in there. Since investiture is also a part of the Byzantine coronation, where the rulers are clothed in the khlamys, that needed to go first. So cloaks, crowns, oaths, and unction are the order we decided on.

This is when Princess Caoilfhionn stepped in. I was at a loss at where to go for oaths. Baroness Konstantia had used a rather loquacious one when she stepped up as Gold Falcon Principal Herald in Calontir, but it seemed too informal for a coronation, as it was strictly an officer’s oath.  Her now-Majesty found the missing puzzle pieces we needed in the Coronation of Anastasius I from the 5th Century. While it was earlier than De Cerimoniis, it provided the puzzle piece needed to complete the Eastern-specific ordo we wanted. Caoilfhionn wrote her own versions of the oaths, which are available here in their primary source form. Since we had acclamations already planned from De Cerimoniis, the ones here were removed. The secularized edit is in the ordo document linked at the conclusion of this entry.

Link: https://archive.org/stream/coronationrites00wooluoft/coronationrites00wooluoft_djvu.txt 

Transcription of primary source:

EMPEROR. It is manifest that human power de
pends on the will of the supreme Glory.

PEOPLE. Abundance to the world ! As thou hast
lived, so rule. Incorrupt rulers for the world ! and
so on.

EMP. Since the most serene Augusta Ariadne
with the assent of the illustrious nobles and by the
election of the glorious Senate and mighty armies,
and the consent of the sacred people, have advanced
me, though unwilling and hesitating, that I should
assume the care of the Empire of the Romans, agree
ably to the clemency of the Divine Trinity

PEO. Kyrie eleeson. Son of God, have mercy upon him.
Anastasie Auguste, tti vincas ! God will keep
the pious Emperor. God gave thee, God will keep
thee ! and so on.

EMP. / am not ignorant hoiv great a weight is
laid upon me for the common safety of all.

PEG. Worthy of the Empire ! Worthy of the
Trinity! Worthy of the City. Out with the in
formers. (This last is doubtless an unauthorised
interpolation.)

EMP. / pray Almighty God that as ye hvped me
to be, in this common choice of yours, so ye may find
me to be in the conduct of affairs.

PEO. He in whom thou believest will save th#e.
As thou hast lived, so reign. Piously hast thou lived,
piously reign. Ariadne, thou conquerest ! Many be
the years of the Augusta ! Restore the army, restore
the forces. Have mercy on thy servants. As Marcian
reigned, so do &>w…(and much more to the same
effect).

EMP. Because of the happy festival of our Empire,
I will bestow 5 solidi and a pound of silver on each
man.

PEO. God will keep the. Christian Emperor.
These are the prayers of all. These are the prayers
of the whole world. Keep, Lord, the pious Emperor.
Holy Lord, raise up thy world. The fortune of the
Romans conquers. Anastasius Augustus, thou con
querest ! Ariadne Augusta, thou conquerest! God
hath given you, God will kesp you.

EMP. God be with you.”

 

Being at this point, about 2 weeks out from the event, things were as good as they were going to get. The husband and I hit the road 5 days before Coronation from Florida, making some mundane stops along the way. We arrived at our crash space for the evening, which doubled as the prep space for the dayboard, so we got to get some catching up in over balls of matzo dough, while the Norman did what he does: design and strike coins for the reign.

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Gieffrei is nuts, it’s fine. I need to make him blog more.

But you didn’t come here for coins, you came here for the ceremony. So, here it is, is all of it’s splendiferous PDF form.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Eg1wzPEo2_kkXSO0Kh65HFVyB5Djkzf7/view?usp=sharing

And Videos! These are taken with my phone, so professional they are not. Bear with some of the moving and the shaking.

The only hiccup we had is that the bridal tunnel utilized to get the procession where it needed to be created a bottleneck, and we had a backup. Just more time to listen to Margretha’s beautiful hymn, and set the Byzantine mood.

Enjoy!

Hymn:

Procession and Ceremony:

Acclamations:

 

PS: What about the garb? I had maybe 2% to do with that. Baroness Fortune St. Keyne has my trust implicitly, and I just helped her with some basic pointers on the shape of the divetesion, and color of the silk. (The orange was not me!)

Operation: Whiter Shade of Pale. The Coronation of Brennan and Caoilfhionn and my journey to become a Vestal Virgin.

There’s a great deal that I could say about what goes on behind the scenes at events. I’m unsure how in-depth other kingdoms go, but here in the East, we like to be rather grandiose with coronations. I’ve autocratted royal progress events before, but I’ve never really been apart of the research and development strike team, so to speak, so this is a summarized post of my experience working on the spring coronation here in the East Kingdom.

Several months ago, I was approached by Master Steffan ap Kennydd about aiding him in designing a unique coronation ordo for the incoming heirs. It was going to be wildly anachronistic, as we were replacing 7th Century Saxons with 1st Century Romano-Hibernians, and I agreed, knowing that this could be a lot of fun.

I’m not too well-versed in early Irish culture, in fact, the Romans did not really interact with the Hibernians that often, and described them as basically crazy, so I knew that this was going to be tricky. Initially, I was brought in to help Steffan with the Latin, and things ballooned from there. We needed a story, we needed a good reason for Kenric II to abdicate, because court schtick is the best schtick. This involved a secret Facebook group, a Google document, and a conference call. Lots of discussion was had to be able to pull this together between about 8 people. @_@

Since Kenric II is the cousin of the martyred Kenric I, who was killed mysteriously by an archer bearing black arrows, visions of this sainted king have been plaguing his cousin. We had the benefit of working with 3 very superstitious cultures, so this was going to work. It would be far-fetched and as anachronistic as we could muster transitioning smoothly between time periods without a TARDIS, but this was going to rock.

Mistress Aife was brought in to help with the Irish, and I focused on the Roman. What else could we do to make this work? Steffan came up with the idea of taking it a dark route, and bringing in seers to proclaim Kenric’s doom during court. Aife wrote up a doom as follows, that we translated into Gaelic and Latin:

“King of the East! I speak your wyrd.
I see it in the flight of birds,
in the rising smoke, in the curling clouds.

King of the East, I speak your wyrd.
The wolf is coming, cloaked in splendor.
The eagles scream above his stride.

King of the East, I speak your wyrd.
The pale horse falls from the high place,
the victorious wolf hard at his heels.

King of the East, I speak your wyrd.
The three pale moons crowned by courage
are swallowed by the shadow of the wolf bearing the eagle.

King of the East, your wyrd is spoken.”

“Wyrd” from what I understand, is a very Anglo-Saxon concept, so is the white horse. The Irish revered wolves, while the Saxons found them to be bad omens. In this case, the wolf is also in Brennan’s arms, so it worked. The Eagle of course, is Rome. So Brennan essentially became, “The wolf bearing the eagle.” The “three pale moons” are Kenric’s arms. It’s vague, it’s spooky, and it was perfect.

Steffan and I translated it into Latin, and this was the result:

“Rex Orientis, fatum tuum dico.
Video in volatum avum, in fumo oriente, in nubibus volventibus.

Rex Orientis, fatum tuum dico.
Lupus venit, palliatus fulgore. Aquilae clangunt super passibus suis.

Rex Orientis, fatum tuum dico.
Equus albus descendit de loco alto, lupo victorioso vincendo.

Rex Orientis, fatum tuum dico.
Tres lunae pallidae virtute coronatae umbra lupi aquilam ferentis voratae sunt.

Rex Orientis, fatum tuum dictum est!”

This was more of a geek-fest for us rather than everyone else, but we enjoyed it.

Next came the performance aspect. Aife and myself were conscripted into duty as the seeresses, and I took on the role of a Vestal Virgin, the most well-known and recognizable Roman priestess. I’m hardly virginal material *cough* but for the day, it would be well worth the project.

Vestal garb is relatively simple, with some twists. I reached out to Maestra Julia Sempronia of An Tir, who had recently received her Laurel while donning the robes of the Vestal, and she was a great source of help, as well as others from the Romans of the SCA Facebook page.

In addition to wearing all white, the most important part of the Vestal was the headwear, the infula (fillet) and suffibulum (veil.) Other than that, I needed white sandals, a white chiton, and a white palla. Those pretty much took care of themselves. However, I need to proudly display my sandals for a bit, because  even though they’re modern, I found a pair that had a trinity knot as part of the design. So not only was I Roman, I was wearing what could be considered a rather Irish symbol, that could easily stand for all three cultures represented in the ceremony: Saxon, Irish, and Roman. Gods, I’m a NERD.

Back to the headwear. The infula was going to be the worst part. I needed to make funky round bands of funkiness in red, long enough to wrap around my head 5 times and have 2 loops over my shoulders. What I did on Maestra Julia’s suggestion was purchase cotton cording used to edge pillows, and dyed it red. It took me two dye baths to get it the right shade, and the dying process did leave the cotton looking a bit weathered and raggy, almost like felted wool. So I got the right look. It even faded just a bit like period red dyes do.

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I posted this as-is on Facebook. Imagine the responses.

The final result:

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I was still missing pieces to the puzzle. The infula slipped off of my short hair very easily, so I was reminded that I needed a vitta, or a plain white fillet to keep it in place. I simply cut and hemmed a small rectangle of white linen, and that did the job. Next was the suffibulum, or veil. This took a bit more troubleshooting than I thought it would. I needed to get the right shape to have it drape across my shoulders evenly. I tried a few rectangles, and then had a moment of pure “derp” when it was suggested by Domina Vestia on the Romans of the SCA page that it should be semi-circular. That did the trick. I trimmed it in deep reddish-purple bias tape, and made a brooch out of a huge shank button I found at Joann’s, and the headwear problem was solved.

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I put together the whole kit, scared Lord Geoffrey, and made him take pictures:

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Looks about right.

Of course, that was just the beginning, now the fun began. We had the words, we had the garb. I couldn’t memorize the lines entirely, so I cheated and taped them into my wax tablet. It did the job. Let’s spook the Eastern Populace.

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Wyrd up.

But wait, there’s more!

You can’t have a victorious emperor of Rome come into court without showing off! It was my idea that Brennan and Caoilfhionn have a Triumph to begin their First Court. And although I couldn’t convince his Imperial Majesty to paint his face red, what resulted was an epic, and I do mean EPIC parade of regalia and pomp into court unlike anything I think the East has ever seen. Brennan paraded in after the kingdom champions, and I stood behind him, holding one of the Eastern crowns over his head, and chanting, “Respice post te, hominem te memento.” This translates to, “Look behind you and remember that you are but a man.” This was done typically by a slave with a laurel wreath, on the triumphator’s quadriga (4 horse chariot.) It reminded the emperor or general that they were still mortal, and not a god, and to control their hubris and pride. I have several reports that I gave members of the populace chills by doing this.
Her Imperial Majesty Caoilfhionn was carried in on a lectica, surrounded by the artifacts and relics of the East Kingdom, as well as amazing displays of heraldry as Roman vexillae. I missed the second half of the show because as soon as I got to the dais, I bolted to the royal room to change into less…conspicuous clothing so that I could enjoy court and be called upon as a member of the Queen’s Guard.

A fantastic gallery of the day can be found here, taken by the talented Baroness Cateline la Broderesse: https://plus.google.com/photos/107530822403255590361/albums/5999165371424216881

In closing, thank you everyone who came to Coronation and enjoyed our little performance. Thank you to their Majesties Brennan and Caoilfhionn, and their Graces Kenric and Avelina for playing along with our crazy idea. I’m looking forward to a nice, Roman summer. 🙂

Addendum: For those interested, here is the doom in Klingon. Generously translated by a poster on the Romans of the SCA Facebook page:

“ta’ chan! mu’qaDlIj pejatlh
vIlegh qaStaHvIS cha’par HIv,
qaStaHvIS Hu’DI’ loD tlhIch, qaStaHvIS chen.

ta’ chan, mu’qaDlIj pejatlh.
paw Qongbogh chalDaq tlha’ Dat, qaStaHvIS ben law’ batlhmey So’.
jopbe’ jach wovbe’ mIw.

ta’ chan, mu’qaDlIj pejatlh.
pum Sargh meqlaHchaj vo’ jenwI’ Daq,
Qap Qongbogh chalDaq tlha’ Dat let yISum.

ta’ chan, mu’qaDlIj pejatlh.
mIv’a’ toDuj maS meqlaHchaj wej
ghup pong Qongbogh chalDaq tlha’ Dat toQDuj SIQ QIb.

jatlh chan, mu’qaDlIj ta'”

East Kingdom Coronation Garb – Vir.

The hubster needed Roman garb.

The hubster got Roman garb.

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Isn’t he adorable? 😀 He looks so amused for a highly displaced 11th Century Norman!

Our upcoming coronation here in the East Kingdom is Roman-themed, so naturally, I needed to make sure that we were both properly attired. Rufus here (I’m calling him that because of his lovely ginger hair, good cognomen) is wearing a basic man’s tunic with green clavii and some machine embroidered Greek key on his hems, his kidney belt for fighting, sandals we found at Salvation Army (real caligae will be coming in the future since he’s quite bent on being authentic) and a 6 yard toga in the semi-circular cut. Nice and lightweight and easy for someone not familiar with the feeling. He still says he feels naked. 😉

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