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This is the electronic edition (excerpted) of the SCAtanic Verses. It can be copied and distributed with the following proviso: for every copy made, electronic or print, C$2 must be donated to a museum or library which makes available books or artifacts to do with the Middle Ages.

This document may not be posted to Internet newsgroups nor to computer bulletin boards.

The (excerpted) SCAtanic Verses

or

Some Essential Facts about the Real Middle Ages as Recreated in the Society for Creative Anachronism

by

Some Roarers, Rogerers, Gorgers and Pukers whom you Don't Know.

Copyright (C) 1990 Roarers, Rogerers, Gorgers and Pukers Ltd.
All Rights Reserved
Excerpts used by permission
    --------------------------------------------------------------

DISCLAIMER:  This is not an official publication of the SCA Inc. 
If it were, it would be so dreadfully dull that the ink would be
trying to escape from the paper.  In addition, it would not be even
mildly critical of the SCA.  In fact, it would likely consist only
of event announcements, lists of officers (it is so vital that
everyone in the kingdom be reminded every damn month just who the
seneschal of the Shire of Elephant's Bottom is), and a letter from
the king as follows:

     Now that the snows of Winter cover Our Land, and our
     Populace turns to peaceful Pursuits we remind all Gentles
     that it is Important to send in letters of Intent for
     those who would Fight in our Honourable Crown
     Tournament...

(This practice is based on the practice of English kings, beginning
with Hardecanute, of publishing a similar notice in The Leppards,
the kingdom newsletter of England).  Also, the SCA Inc. forbids its
newsletters to use the word "tits", or to depict them (even on
mermaids), or to use other nasty language.  The authors believe
that profane language is a prerequisite of artistic integrity, and
that's why the imprimatur of the SCA Inc. been eschewed.

INTRODUCTION:

Since the Society for Creative Anachronism is an organisation
dedicated to the re-creation of the Middle Ages, the Authors
reasoned that it ought to be possible to reconstruct what actually
happened in the Middle Ages by observing the SCA.  Since the
Authors are a bunch of old cranks who have been in the SCA long
enough to burn out, we figured that we'd done all the observing
anyone would want to do.  Anyone who's been around longer is too
bored and jaded to observe, and anyone who's been around less than
we have is a bloody newbie who doesn't know a Tuchuk from shinola. 
As such we decided to write this book.

Some would say that we set out to be accurate in our extrapolations
about the Middle Ages.  Others would say that we set out to piss
people off (especially the ayatollahs of SCA orthodoxy).  We leave
it to the reader to form his own conclusions, but it is no accident
that the Authors' names do not appear on this document.

            ...........................................

Arts were separate from sciences in the Middle Ages, but nobody was
     certain why.  A great deal of time was spent deciding which
     was which.  See Sciences.

Autocrats were the people who organised tournaments.  They didn't
     need to be polite or to wear garb.  An example was the Tsar,
     who was titled "Tsar and Autocrat of All the Russias," and who
     was rarely polite.  Russia was plagued with troubles and civil
     strife as a result, until it was revealed that the Tsar and
     the Czar were the same man.

            ...........................................

Bagpipes were played only in Scotland, and they were primarily a
     military instrument.  All those Breughel paintings of Flemish
     peasants dancing to bagpipe music are clever forgeries.  For
     the edification of the reader, it is pointed out that a
     bagpipe is made by killing a goat or sheep, cutting off the
     head and hindquarters, pulling the insides out, and turning
     the skin inside-out.  Then you sew up the hindquarters and
     stick tubes in where the front hooves and the neck used to be.

Bards were common in the Middle Ages.  Everyone who wasn't a knight
     or a maiden was a bard.  Bards either played the harp or
     wished they did.  Indeed, it is doubtful whether there were
     any musical instruments in the Middle Ages other than the
     harp, the guitar and the recorder (and in Scotland the
     Bagpipe).

Belly-dancing was common all over Europe in the Middle Ages.  See
     Obesity.

            ...........................................

Celts were fiercely independent persons from Scotland, Cumberland,
     Wales and Ireland.  They spoke Celtic and wore Celtic clothes. 
     They, like the Vikings, only existed in Early Period.  As a
     matter of honour, they always pronounced Celt with a hard C. 
     They were rarely Christians.  (The Celtic Church was a
     pernicious myth invented by mediaeval barbers in order to
     perpetuate an amusing sort of Mohawk called the Celtic
     Tonsure.)  Celtic women were equal to Celtic men because the
     Celts were so egalitarian, and they were allowed to wear
     pants.

            ...........................................

Chocolate is proof that some people just can't go one day without
     eating something non-period.

Chroniclers published newsletters.  Every shire, canton, barony and
     kingdom in the Middle Ages had to have a newsletter, and
     chroniclers were created by royal warrant.  Chroniclers never
     wrote chronicles.

            ...........................................

Clothes came in two sorts:  Field Garb and Court Garb.  Field garb
     (which was the sole sort of clothing in Early Period) was
     comfortable and often made of denim.  Court garb was
     uncomfortable and Late Period.  Peasants and beggars preferred
     earth tones and denim, and always tore holes in their clothes
     before putting them on.  Modern clothing was always worn under
     armour, since mediaeval clothing is unsafe.

            ...........................................

Cords were used as a sign of rank or affiliation.  Green and black
     cords were worn by Rangers.  Red and black cords were worn by
     Mongols.  Fencers hung their cords on their shoulders.

            ...........................................

Courts were a mediaeval form of sedation and birth control.  Not
     only were courts long and dull (thus putting the courtiers to
     sleep while keeping them out of bed), but they also called for
     complicated clothing.  Courts were usually held after dinner
     (except at coronations).  The primary business of courts was
     the distribution of awards.  Courts were generally held with
     the presiding nobles facing their subjects (with a seneschal
     standing just behind and between).  The subjects sat quietly
     and snoozed in neat rows.

Demigods were worshipped in the hope of future protection,
     patronage or advancement.  Often they wore white belts or
     medallions with leaves and bleeding birds.

            ...........................................

Early Period was when everyone lived in the Celtic countries or in
     Scandinavia.  Some people were Goths then.  People in Early
     Period all dressed the same, in t-tunics and pants.  Women
     often went in brief, sleeveless dresses which they got from
     Greece.  Women could do anything they liked in Early Period.

            ...........................................

Fat Broads is an abusive and sexist term which we will not deign to
     define here.  However, there must have been a bloody lot of
     them in the Middle Ages.

            ...........................................

Florentines, like all Italians, existed only in the Renaissance. 
     They were especially known for fighting with two broadswords
     at once.  This style was especially favoured by Kings.

France was almost completely unpopulated during Early Period 
     (Especially after most Frenchmen moved to England and became
     Normans in 1066).  In Late Period  it had a small population
     of noblewomen who sang and wrote poetry as well as a few
     noblemen.  Every male in France was a knight, except for
     troubadors.  And they all had long hair.  This is not a real
     identifying characteristic because everybody in the Middle
     Ages had long hair.  And glasses.

Geeks (including persons lacking in social skills) were everywhere
     in the Middle Ages.  Bards were especially likely to be
     geeks.

            ...........................................

Hats were worn occasionally.  They generally consisted of a piece
     of cloth and a circlet.  Broad-brimmed straw and felt hats
     were seen occasionally.  Other hats were also worn, but only
     with court garb , and only occasionally.  Gypsies wore
     headscarves, Scots wore Tam-o'-shanters, and Vikings generally
     wore helmets.  Samurai never wore hats.

Heralds were primarily occupied with paperwork.  Their job was to
     ascertain that no two people in Europe had similar names and
     coats of arms.  They were especially concerned with "Points of
     Difference", and wars were fought over how many cherubim
     proper could dance on a point of difference.

            ...........................................

Inquisition (Spanish):  Unexpected.

Ireland was one of the most populous nations in the Middle Ages,
     especially in Early Period.  The population was fiercely
     independent, and often wore tartan trousers in earth tones. 
     The population there primarily consisted of bards.  Irishmen
     were especially pagan, even after the conversion by St.
     Patrick, because they were so fierce and so clever.

Italy did not exist until the Renaissance.  Italians loved to dance
     and hated to fight.  They often wore short tunics.  The
     Renaissance was invented in Italy.  It began when Petrarch
     wrote in his diary, "Everyone in Florence has begun wearing
     short tunics and tights.  It must be the Renaissance."

            ...........................................

Japan was a feudal state in the Pacific which carried on thriving
     trade, communications and exchanges of population with Europe
     (especially England and Scotland) during the Middle Ages.

Kings were absolute monarchs in the Middle Ages, except that they
     were under the complete control of their Seneschals (like the
     King of Sweden).  Everyone (except Vikings) bowed to them all
     the time and called them "Your Majesty".

Knights (an exalted subclassification of fighters) were very
     powerful and could wear whatever they wanted.  They dated (and
     sometimes married) women young enough to be their daughters.

Late Period (including the Renaissance) was when everyone lived in
     England, with some living in France and Italy.  This was when
     Court Garb was invented.  Also see Renaissance.

            ...........................................

McDonald's did not exist in the Middle Ages.  If they had had it,
     however, they would have eaten there.  A lot.  There was not
     an ancient tradition that the name "McDonalds" should never be
     said, and that it was just called "The Scottish Restaurant".

Mongols were fiercely independent and always wore black.  Mongol
     women could do whatever they wanted.  Mongol headgear
     consisted of a piece of black cloth held on the head by a
     black band.

Muslims were rare in the Middle Ages.  All muslim women belly-
     danced.  Muslim men were short and spoke in a loud, nasal
     voice.  There is a widespread theory that Muslims were
     generally closet Jews with surnames like Friedman.

Names were never duplicated.  No two people in Europe had the same
     name, nor even the same coat of arms.  If a parent wanted to
     baptise his child John of Kent, and the local herald found an
     Earl of Kent who was called John, why they just sent the
     parents home from church, closed up the font and made an
     appointment for next week.  People generally had several first
     names, like "John Patrick Stephen Douglas of Skye", and when
     they joined households they added their household's names on. 
     When people got married, the woman would take the part of her
     husband's name she liked the best, and add it on to all of her
     names.  As a result, people in the Middle Ages often had names
     like "Alicia Morgana du Val MacTaggard of House Flamingnose,
     the Wild Woods and the Smoky Rocks", don't ya know.

            ...........................................

Obesity was common in the Middle Ages, especially among persons of
     rank and kingdom officers.  This was because they were all
     filling up on bread at feasts.  That and chocolate chip
     cookies.  Obese people, like Muslims, often belly-danced.

Officers were important people in the Middle Ages who wore
     baldricks of office, medallions of office and smug
     expressions.  The seneschal of a Mediaeval kingdom was roughly
     analogous to the prime minister of modern Sweden:  more
     powerful than the King and occasionally apt to be assassinated
     on the way home at night.

            ...........................................

Paganism was the dominant organised religion in the Middle Ages. 
     Pagans worshipped a goddess instead of God and were very
     egalitarian and close to nature.  Christianity stole most of
     its creed and worship from the Pagans who had it all first. 
     Everybody was really a pagan, except for Torquemada.  But
     everyone else.  Even Henry II.

            ...........................................

Populace was what the collective nobles of a mediaeval kingdom were
     called.  They loved being called "The Populace", and they
     bowed all the time.

            ...........................................

Renaissance (a division of Late Period) was when everyone began
     wearing tights (men) and fancy dresses with hoops and corsets
     (women).  There was no Field Garb during the Renaissance. 
     People just wore early-period garb when it was hot or when
     they did something gross.  Women often dressed in men's
     clothing in hot weather.

            ...........................................

Samurai were fierce and independent people from Japan who never put
     their swords down.  Like Vikings, Samurai never dance. 
     Samurai wished that James Clavell had been born in the Middle
     Ages.  The fiercest and most independent Samurai are called
     Ronin, and they were deuced proud of it.

Saxons were fierce and independent Englishmen who spoke English and
     hated Normans.  They were essentially indistinguishable from
     Irishmen, except that they existed up until the Renaissance,
     whereas Irishmen stopped at the end of Early Period.

Sciences were distinguished from arts by mediaeval scholars as
     follows:  If you can kill someone with it, it is a science. 
     This was always followed by a hearty laugh.  This is an
     unsuitable defnition, since it is easy to strangle someone
     with embroidery floss, or to beat someone to death with a
     mandolin.  On the other hand, building a mandolin is a
     science.  Are mandolins period?

Scotland, especially the Highlands, was heavily populated
     throughout the Middle Ages, especially with people with thick
     Clydeside accents and belted plaids (which they called kilts)
     and kilts (which they also called kilts).  Everyone there (and
     nowhere else) loved bagpipe music.  Scots danced Highland
     Dances a lot.  Scots were fiercely independent, loyal to the
     King of Scots, and always had surnames beginning with `Mac' as
     well as several first names.

Shoes were long and pointed, and so nobody actually wore them. 
     They wore black cloth slippers which they imported from China. 
     Or running shoes.  When they fought they sometimes wore
     engineer boots or combat boots, but more generally wore
     sneakers.

Songs were sung by Bards.  Songs did not change between 1200 and
     1914, so any pre-WWI song is period.

            ...........................................

Tournaments were run according to elimination trees.  They lasted
     a few hours and were followed by Feasts.  They were
     occsionally followed by Dessert Revels instead, which forced
     everyone to eat out.  Tournaments were always on Saturdays
     which was why Orthodox Jews were never knights.

            ...........................................

Underwear was just like modern underwear, except for two
     exceptions.  Women who really needed to wear a brassiere never
     did, and Scotsmen never wore underwear at all (this was called
     being "regimental", from the Latin regima, which means "no
     shorts").  Even in the dead of winter.

Unicorns were worshipped by everyone throughout the Middle Ages. 
     The best analogy is the single, good-looking woman (or man)
     with intelligence and no history of mental disorder:  a
     mythical creature often sought but rarely found.  Not in the
     SCA anyway.

            ...........................................

Vikings were Norsemen and all Norsemen were Vikings.  The term
     comes from the Swedish word "vik", which means "fierce and
     independent".  All of them wore fur and never danced.  They
     had a special fondness for earth tones, and hated bright
     colours and ornaments.  Vikings only existed in Early Period,
     after which Scandinavia was completely depopulated.  Vikings
     never bow to kings.  They occasionally give the Roman Salute
     (see Roman).  Vikings were all pagan.

Wales was heavily populated in Early Period by fiercely independent
     bards called "Cymru", which means "fierce and independent". 
     In Wales nobody was anybody's master (It is not clear whether
     they were anarchists like the Vikings or utopian socialists
     like the Irish).  An exception was the English, and everyone
     hated them.  Welsh people tended to have several hard-to-
     pronounce names.

            ...........................................

PROVISO:

An important caveat to keep in mind while dealing with any of the
above definitions is that any modern person is ten times better
than any mediaeval person.  This means that any modern illuminator
can paint better than the Limbourg brothers, any modern bagpiper
can pipe like a MacCrimmon, that any modern poet can write better
than any poxy mediaeval writer of chansons de geste.

For information about purchasing the complete SCAtanic Verses, please contact FOLUMP PUBLISHING. It's worth it! NOTE: This is a gratitious commercial mention, and should not imply that the Dark Horde endorses this publication, nor, indeed, that the Dark Horde has any sense of humor at all.
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