Documenting and Registering Names for the SCA

Everyone in the SCA needs a name to use, preferably based in historic naming practices. In order to register the name with the College of Heralds, it needs to be supported with evidence, and adhere to some SCA specific conventions. When picking a name, I recommend starting with one of the name articles available on…

Tetralogical Illumination in Medieval Russia

I taught a class at An Tir Collegium 2018 on my favorite Russian illumination style, the tetralogical, or knotwork style. That handout is expanded from previous versions, and available here: Tetralogical Ilumination in Medieval Russia

Two more Russian banners

Here are two more pre 1600 banners, and a link to the museum holding the standard of Yermak Timofeevich, from the previous post. Thanks to Kseniia for the links! Again, these banners have images of saints, with inscriptions. One is painted and gilded, while the other is embroidered. The gonfalon “Fatherland” with the Mother of…

Two inscribed tally sticks from Novgorod.

Tally sticks are notched and split sticks that record an amount paid, owed, done or collected, and are known from many finds in Russia as well as in western Europe. Some tally sticks are inscribed with the name of the debtor or the owner. Both of these finds from Novgorod have inscriptions. The top tally…

Two troves of Slavonic Manuscripts.

I’ve just found two new to me places to find digitized Russian/Old Church Slavonic manuscripts. Both of these have many many options to look through. The Vatican Library’s Slavonic manuscripts. Click on the book to access individual manuscripts. Vatican Slavonic Manuscripts Gospels. MSS Vat Slav 4 The library of the Trinity Sergius Monastery. Many many…

Ways to Wear Temple Rings

When temple rings are found in burials, they are generally found near the temples or on the side of the skull, though the specific attachments do not always survive. Over time, various types have been referred to both as earrings and temple rings, depending on the source. Many wearing options are now attested, including in…

14th- 15th c Manuscript Production in Novgorod.

Many medieval Russian manuscripts were produced by and for clergy, though lay production is known. Novgorod was a center of production, centering around the archbishopric, and then expanding in the 15th century to the monasteries. Types of manuscripts made included Gospels, Psalters, Lectionaries, Bibles, books of sermons, commentaries, chronicles, and miscellanies. (Popova 1984, Smirnova) Manuscript…

Characteristics of Tetralogical Style Manuscript Illumination

14th and 15th century Novgorod saw the flowering of a striking and idiosyncratic style of manuscript illumination which incorporated high contrast zoomorphic knot work formed into a variety of shapes. Gospels, psalters, books of canons and more were decorated in this manner. This distinctive style was based in Novgorod starting in the 13th c. and…

Food, livestock, and game in the Novgorod birchbark documents

Many birchbark documents from Novgorod discuss trade, tribute or debt. Food appears frequently as a medium of exchange, as tribute, or simply in a shopping list. Various cereals are mentioned often including rye, barley, wheat and oats. Other items such as peas, hops, cheese, beer, wine, fish, game, livestock and flax appear as well. I…

More printed textile evidence. 

I found a tiny bit of possibly printed fabric from medieval Russia in an article in ATN 58, bringing the total of finds I have seen to 4.  This is blue green and yellow on a tan or other light colored wool tabby, and is described as painted, technique unknown. The various pieces are reconstructed…