Monday, August 24, 2009

Post-Pennsic Sloth

My apologies for taking so long to post the new-for-2009, improved handout from my Pennsic 38 survey course on medieval Lithuania. I will publicize the URL when it goes "live."

While you are waiting for the handout, please feel free to explore my online bookmarks at Try the keywords "lithuania," "baltic," or "sig" (for "Slavic Interest Group"). Not everything in my bookmark file is period or period-appropriate. I've got some modern-day cultural stuff in there, plus even a few Victorian-era depictions of medieval folks like Mindaugas -- depictions that are so obviously wrong. But I bookmark things there as soon as I find them, and I figure that eventually I'll study them further and figure out whether or not they are accurate and/or useful.

In the meantime, I'm trying to poke myself into doing some A&S projects. I had hoped to make a proper apgalvis or diadem for the Tempore Atlantia competition at Coronation, which is this coming Saturday. Tempore Atlantia is a rotating series of competitions for reconstructed items of material culture from a given time period. I could probably argue that different types of diadems were worn in the Baltic era on both sides of the A.D. 1000 dividing line, although I was thinking of making an early-period one. Oh, well, I can always wait until the next pre-1000 competition, which will probably be next April. Maybe I could actually get the thing DONE by then.

Also, at Pennsic 38 I took three classes in Old Norse poetry specifically because of the upcoming poetry challenge at Storvik's 30th Baronial Birthday. One cannot possibly write verse in "Eddic style" without knowing what Eddic style is (and is not). Our Poeta Atlantiae has provided additional resources. Now all I have to do is find some inspiration and apply pencil to paper. Inspiration? Ha ha ha.

Oh, and I'm knitting myself some not-very-period socks ... and trying to find time to practice my music ... and last week a friend tempted me with a brief lesson in tablet weaving ... aargh!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Report on Pennsic 38 ... and looking ahead to Pennsic 39 already

Overall, I believe that my survey class on medieval Lithuania went well ... even though I forgot to bring the tri-fold display board on which I was going to post photos, maps, etc. D'OH!!! Good thing I brought my stack of books along, even though I had to spend most of my time at War worrying whether they would get wet if it rained. I was able to pass around some of the books to illustrate my points.

Once again, the tent was full of students, and some of them asked really good questions. One person told me afterward that she learned more about her ancestry than she had ever known before. I'm always glad to help in that regard!

Next year I'm thinking of doing Pennsic University a little differently. In fact, I have thought of two separate classes to teach:

  • The 600th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald happens next year, just before Pennsic. Wouldn't an hour-long presentation about this battle and its historical context be just fabulous? Perhaps the subtitle of the class could be "Smackdown of the Teutonic Knights" or "Last Battle of the Crusades." Hee hee!
  • A survey of Lithuanian women's clothing through the ages. (Sorry, guys, I am less knowledgeable about what the menfolk wore, especially since I don't have to dress a guy for the SCA.)
As always, I welcome comments from my readers! I'm particularly interested in hearing whether a non-fighter like myself would be a credible lecturer on a subject like Grunwald.

Also, at the annual Slavic Interest Group (SIG) meeting at Pennsic, I tasted some incredible krupnikas from a New England brewer. That was seriously smooth and had great legs! Sorry, the brewer doesn't seem to have a Web site, but I have his business card, so he may be getting an order from me.