: Important markets for the sale of goods, generally temporary gatherings of merchants, farmers and artificers, the most powerful of which were held in the boroughs
'Faites vos devoirs!'
cry for combatants to prepare themselves, to hold themselves ready, uttered three times in a judicial duel
: For anyone in the Middle Ages, faith was a cornerstone element of their lives, without which the struggle and privations. For a medieval person, life on earth was but a brief transition to the afterlife in heaven, hell or purgatory. A knight
was expected to have faith in his God, in his ability, his prowess
and in his renown
. For re-enactors, faith must be held not so much in religious conviction, though that is certainly helpful, but in the order of chivalry
as a while, in the value of knighthood
to striving towards being a better human being. Lastly, faith in the other combatants, in their chivalry
, in their sincerity.
: Officer who cared for the hawks used in falconry
. The French ‘great falconer’ was an officer of high estate with an annual salary of 4,000 florins, keeping 300 hawks for his own use. Edward III had 30 falconers with him upon his invasion of France.
: The art of hunting with birds of prey, hawks, falcons and sometimes eagles. It was considered a noble
pursuit, a sport, during the middle ages, the perquisite of the noble classes. There were sumptuary laws dictating which birds could be carried by nobles at various ranks; it was a matter of great prestige and expense.
Falkirk, Battle of
: 22 July 1298. Fought between Edward I and William Wallace, who arranged his dense formations of spearmen
into groups of three ranks facing the English with a solid wall of pikes
. After nearly an hour of attempts to break these shiltron formations, the English finally brought up archers
that broke up the dense formations and allowed the English to claim the field.
: At a tournament
, pas d’armes
, round table
, or in romantic tales
, ladies would bestow some token of their patronage upon a knight
to carry into battle
. According to the tenets of courtly love
, a major influence on the emerging concept of chivalry
. These seem to have taken the form of strips of cloth worn around the arm, embroidered sleeves, or some other token.
: Obligation of fidelity in a military, political and social sense on the part of a feudal
tenant or vassal
to his lord
. The contract is not to be confused with homage
, though both ceremonies were conducted at the same time. In the first part of the ceremony, where the liegeman
swore personal homage to the lord, they swore to ‘become his man’. The lord swore an oath
of his own where he pledged protection and defense for the tenant. During the second part of the ceremony, only the liegeman swore the oath, swearing to perform faithful service for the land so tendered. Called foi in French, Treue or Triuwe in German.
Feast of the Peacock
Feast of the Swan
: 22 May 1306. Event at which Edward I, king
of England, knighted
his son Edward II at Westminster Abbey. The prince
served his vigil
, was knighted in private by the king
, and then himself knighted the other 260 men who were accorded the accolade
at the same time. At the feast following, the king had two swans brought in, swearing ‘before God and the swans’ to ‘avenge the death John Comyn of Badenock and to fight the infidels in the Holy Land
. John was slain by Robert Bruce earlier in the year. The event inspired the Vow of the Heron
, at which Robert d’Artois and Edward III make their vows concerning the upcoming war with France. Such vows were common elements of chivalric
custom, a binding agent given a focal point for chivalric feats of arms
Feat of Arms
: A display of prowess
, usually with a variety of arms, often involving both combats on horseback and on foot. Sometimes held as a pas d’armes
or as an emprise
: A form granting conveying a fee. Generally the recipient of the fee received a branch or clod of dirt as a symbolic gesture.
: Steel gray color for a horse, frequently referring to a warhorse or a courser
: The army available to a lord
resulting from the obligations to field a number of knights
in exchange for the land and it’s income. This military service was the mainstay of medieval forces until the middle of the 14th century, consisting generally of 40 days military service in the field or as a castle
guard. The liegeman
would usually appear as required, with the type of warhorse, armament and attendants specified in the contract, or he could pay scutage
to avoid the service.
By the middle of the 14th century, fewer and fewer knights were appearing for their service, preferring to pay scutage instead, with which the lord could hire mercenary knights to serve. With the Hundred Years War
, the monarchs required longer campaigns, so they began to pay their troops with booty
and with paid service. Many unattached knights, who don’t own their own manor, would hire on in for a campaign in the hopes of receiving valuable horses, riches, ransoms
and other booty in exchange for their service. Gradually the feudal obligation fell on and professional armies were increased.
: A unit of land held by a vassal
from a lord
in return for military service. Fiefs were conferred in an original grant, a grant which stipulated the conditions under which it could be transferred by marriage, inheritance, or under what conditions it would fall into default.
: The amount of money
, annual taxes, due for a fief
to the liege
lord, generally either a percentage of the total production or a flat amount.
: The surface on a heraldic shield
, the base color
upon which the primary chief or division is placed upon.
Field of the Cloth of Gold
: A particular term for the conception of love held by the Provençal troubadors, often used interchangeably with courtly love
: See scutage
: The rights of tenants to take firewood from a lord’s demense
, often granted if the tenant’s land held no forest.
: The keeper of the grail
, the wounded king
who must be asked the critical question, ‘What ails thee, sire?’. When Percival fails to ask this question, the grail is initially denied to him and the quest for the grail must be undertaken.
: The end of a military line, a weak point on one side or the other. Traditionally, the attacker’s right flank is weaker than the left, because the shield
is generally wielded in the left hand. To gain an enemy’s flank is a common tactical objective, because the unit so engaged is then pressed on more than one front, and the resulting confusion can often destroy a unit or army’s cohesion.
: In terms of SCA
combat, fighting done with two broadswords
rather than a
sword and shield
. Also known as ‘two sword’, the combatant fights with a broadsword, generally matched, in each hand. There is debate in SCA circles concerning whether or not this style should be allowed in tournaments
, based on the very limited documentation as to its actual use. No known instances of such a style used in tournaments have yet been found, though there are scattered Icelandic and romantic
references to the use of two swords. The most famous example is not European; Miamoto Musashi, the famous oriental author of the Book of Five Rings, was known to fight with two wooden swords.
In terms of fighting technique, flourentine can either be very elegant or very choppy, depending upon the fighting style of the combatant. By giving up the shield and using the swords to block, a combatant wielding two swords gives up defensive capability in exchange for offensive power. Though important for any combatant, keeping the initiative is even more important for a two-swordsman. Because he does not have the defensive leisure or margin of error available to a sword and shieldman, he must seize the initiative and make the fight his own if he expects to succeed.
Originally, the word ‘flourentine’ meant one who came from the Italian city Florence. During the 16th century the word came to be applied to a rapier and main gauche style of combat popular in the city, hence the SCA reference.
Froissart, Chronicles de
: See Chronicles of Froissart