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Sean Belair
Industry Professional

Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject: What time period and why?         Reply with quote

After leaving class today I started thinking why Iím fascinated with cretin time in history, and I began to wonder what other people were interested and why.
Without a doubt my interest in gallowglass comes from the fact that my motherís side. Weíre an old gallowglass family, and the heritage is easy to see if you spend five minutes with my uncles.
My fatherís side is from Normandy and my motherís side served Norman lords, which may explains my morbid fixation with the Normans (reading Norman history is like watching the footage of the north Hollywood shoot out on loop). The gallowglass/Norman heritage cover Vikings as well.
The fact Iím American covers the American Revolution, WWI, and the Europian Theater in WWII. Oddly I donít pay much attention to the civil war or the War in the Pacific (go figure).
The stuff I canít explain, Germany in the high middle ages and early renaissance (probably what Iíll go to grad school for), Byzantine, and early Islamic history.

So how about you guys?
I know I donít have to say it but please no ďsamurais cus der da coolest!!!Ē
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Richard Fay

Location: Upstate New York
Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Reading list: 256 books

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Ultimately, you can blame J.R.R Tolkien for my fascination with medieval history in Western Europe. An aunt on my mother's side read a lot of fantasy literature, and got me the record with 12-page book of illustrations of the Rankin/Bass animated production of The Hobbit back when I was in elementary school. (The record is dated 1977; am I dating myself here?) Later, she gave me the book. I've been hooked on Tolkien ever since.

My interest in Tolkien led to an interest in Dungeons & Dragons when I was in high school in the 1980s. I was fascinated by the weapons and armour utilized by the characters. I almost always played a fighter or warrior; my wizards always died an early death. To learn more about the arms and armour used in the game, I began to read books about historical arms and armour. I've been hooked on the study of historical arms and armour ever since.

I was apparently a precocious storyteller, making up stories to entertain the nurses and receptionist at the dentist's office when I was a little kid. In ninth grade an English teacher gave me an A++ on the beginning of a science fiction story I was writing. She encouraged me to keep writing; she said I had the talent to write well. My interest in fantasy literature led to my development of a whole set of characters in a fantasy world (I quote my main character in my signature here on the forums). I eventually began writing an adventure story, based in part on some of my childhood play-acting. My first attempt was a bit of a joke, but I worked on it over the years. I wanted to make it something special, so I began to study medieval history, to try and give my story a realistic flavour. I began collecting books about medieval history, and I've been hooked ever since!

Once I was married and with a family of my own, my grandmother told me that her father's family had owned a village in Slovakia, and that the villagers payed the family rent to stay and work the land. It sounded almost feudal, and I believe that my great-grandfather's family were "lords of the manor", so to speak. This gave added impetus to my study of European knighthood; I could possibly be learning about my distant ancestors. However, my focus is not on Eastern Europe, but instead is firmly in Western Europe, with an emphasis on the British Isles. My wife says that I'm much more Celtic in mindset (I'm a bit Irish on my father's side) than Slovak, so maybe that's why I tend to focus on the Isles. Of course, it might have to do with the fact that there are more books about Britain and its neighbors than about eastern Europe!

(Or maybe I'm just a confused mongrel!)

I hope this didn't all sound insane. I took a long and winding road to reach my interest in medieval arms and armour!

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Barrett Hiebert

Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


It's good to hear why people come to want to learn about the history of themselves, and their roots.

For me, I am still quite unsure of what my ethnical roots date back to.

I was born in Bucharest, Romania on October 09, 1989. I was adopted at 16 months and taken to Canada. Same as with Richard Fay, my interest of historical arms and armour developed through reading all of the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. At first without asking questions and learning about my heritage, I was most interested in European, western weapons, "the knight". After reading other such books as R.A Salvatore, "Drizzt series", my interest began to shift away and lean towards, such middle-eastern weapons as the scimitar, shamshir, kilij. Then after studying Japanese history, I was interested in japanese weaponry and started taking Shinkage Ryu Kenjutsu, after reading "Miyamoto Musashi" by Eji Yoshikawa. I've literally come back in a circle and am trying to distinguish my ethnicity by my physical appearance, which is quite hard, since I can't tell for sure, and my friends of SCA-Romania think that I either have Magyar, or Turkish blood in me. I have left a picture of me (the only one, and if anyone would be able to give me their input, that would be great!) I'm leaning toward Middle-Eastern arms and armour, but still am in love with the double-edged straight sword. I really am interested in mail-and-plate armour, such as the jawshan, yushman, kolontar, and bachteretz, and this type of sword is my favourite sword to date right now! Though I do like curved swords, the only reason I don't prefer them is that I can find no historical training manual, which is a hard thing, because I think the blades are absolutely beautiful. My interests have gone through a lot of change and revision and I think that it will still go through a little bit more in finding out where I originated from! Does anyone know how much a DNA test would cost!?

Thankyou very much, and that's my story!

Barrett Michael Hiebert

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Daniel J. Willis

Location: Hampshire, England
Joined: 23 Oct 2006

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I, alas, am almost certainly descended from humble peasant farm workers (though i can only prove this for the past century)!

Ever since i can remember i've been fascinated by any and all pre-20th century British history though my main area of interest has been the 19th century, an interest more than slightly influenced by the novels of Bernard Cornwell and the fact that i was born in the historic naval town of Portsmouth. More recently, no doubt due to Bernard's novels drifting further back in time, i have returned to the Anglo-Saxon and Norman periods that i have fond memories of studying in primary school.

My current historical interest (and principal arms and armour interest) is in the mid-late 13th century stretching slightly into the early 14th. Single-handed swords, shields, barrel-shaped helms and chainmail have always had far more appeal to me than full-plate harness and 2-handers. Wanting to keep true to my ancestry, and having something of a rebellious political spirit, i prefer to look at things from a lower perspective than the usual "knights and lords" scenario, how would the other 70% of the population have felt during this golden age of knighthood? [I have a particular obsession with the idea "what-if" good sense had prevailed the oppressive feudal system had been overturned by the masses, mercantalism, colonialism and capitalism possibly never occuring?! (Rebellions did of course occur under great social pressures a century later, though why Watt Tyler decided to exclude the King from "equality among all men" can probably only be understood by those who lived at the time.)] I've recently begun devoting time to I.33 and swords and bucklers in general.

I also have an interest in the "Three Kingdoms" period in Chinese history (roughly around 210-260AD) which i was drawn to initially by the "Dynasty Warriors" series of computer games, then more so through reading the Chinese classic "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (upon which the games are based), and then even further by a (now ex-) girlfriend. The novel (for those who aren't familiar) weaves history and historical personality with folk tales and popular stories - all whilst illustrating the principles and fundamental ideas contained in Sun Tzu's treatise on the Art of War.
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Nick Trueman

Joined: 27 Mar 2006

Posts: 246

PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 1:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahh Yes

Tolkien probably got me into military model making more than anything else, and drawing. I cant really tell you what attracted me to medieval arms and armour but it has plagued me since childhood. When most kids were dreaming of cars I was looking at armour books in the library, I thank god for this!
Im Polish/Lithuanian background on my greatgrandmothers side and Russian on my great granfathers side, I still mainly speak polish at home.
When I was about 21 a friend got me into reenactment, wich I have now participated in for over 11 yrs. My main interests are europe during the viking age, hongfalas period or magyar conquest period and of coarse the khazar kaganate. I love the practicallity of viking/western european equipment and I also love the lavish equipment worn by the khazars and the magyars.
The study of early steppe sabers and viking swords is never ending but lots of fun!
I have also just started doing some studies on 16-17th c hussars, my next kit.



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Nick Trueman

Joined: 27 Mar 2006

Posts: 246

PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 1:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahhhh that last pic is a bit blurry did not realise!
Heres a better one, though I look like a garden gnome.


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Martin Wilkinson

Joined: 05 Mar 2006

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Being of pretty much pure english blood, as far as a know.

i got into the English Civil War through re-enactment, family got invited along years ago, and we haven't stopped going since.

The Napoleonic Wars interest me, pretty much only because of Bernard Cornwell.

Like most people, Tolkein helped nuture my interest in weapons.... He's good like that.

This year i've developed an interest in the Jacobite risings (yes, all of them)(thanks to a sadly cancelled event), the viking era, and the hundred years war (Once again the work of Bernard Cornwell is to blame).

Also this year, the Thirty Years War has started to appeall to me, although that is probably due to it's ties to the ECW.

"A bullet you see may go anywhere, but steel's, almost bound to go somewhere."

Schola Gladiatoria
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Allen G.

Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote


I didn't really like any fantasy literature until somebody told me to try the first and the best author of modern 'sword and sorcerery' - Robert E Howard, now i have all of his stories in leather backed editions. His mixture of fictional/factual migrations made me initially interested in the migration period.

After that I expanded into other periods both earlier and later,

Both parents are part french.. One side part Scottish (actually my last name is supposed to be that of norse settlers in scotland but i still consider it scottish; Galloway same as the place name, I don't think its linked to gallowglasses but that would be cool if it was)

so I like that regions history, especially the joint military attempts between France and Scotland against england. The Archibalds 'grim' and 'tyneman' around the years of the BAttle of Otterburn 1388 for example. Thats also my favourite period as far as sword trends.

On my other side my family are Maronite catholics of Lebanon, likely remnants of Eastern Rome/Phoenicia christian population who were invaded by the in the various arab, ottoman etc muslim conquests, they were then liberated by the Crusaders and it became also a French line within the holy land region, up until the end of the more modern french occupation. This is really an isolated community within the country so our family history was passed on efficiently.

Because of that im really interested in the crusades even though I follow neither religion involved. I'm really lucky to have ancestors who were interested in their own ancestors and a well documented family tree to use as a launchpad for my own research.

The 2nd punic war also.. alliance between celtiberians/gauls and phoenician carthaginians interests me for obvious reasons.

To preserve western history we must ensure a future for western blood and culture.
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Chari Vilan

Joined: 24 Sep 2006

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi people!!
My interest for medieval times is in general, no special period, but I love to study the history of costumes, specially in the medieval period. Celts, vikings, european people in general.... I think all of this is fascinating...
Part of my job is making historical costumes, that,s what I chose, and what I like to do... I hope it goes on for a long, long time, hi hi... Laughing Out Loud

For the king, for the land, for the mountains,
for the green valleys where dragon flies,
for the glory, the power to win the Black Lord,
I will search for the Emerald sword.

You can see my historical costume works here:
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William Knight

Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 6:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do 15th century (WotR) because it's a really interesting point in history--the very end of the middle ages, the beginnings of the renaisance (whatever that is) in northern europe. Full plate armour in that gorgeous English style, brigandines, sallets, longbows and poleaxes. Great civilian fashions--kind of an interesting transition between medieval and renaisance men's clothing. Bit more familiar social system with the end of serfdom in England. And interesting personalities, too.
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Dan Howard

Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,279

PostPosted: Mon 13 Nov, 2006 3:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bronze Age.

Only wimps wear iron. Wink
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Steve L.

Joined: 22 Jul 2006

Posts: 65

PostPosted: Mon 13 Nov, 2006 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote


Because i like it to work with the paleolithic used materials and because iīll show the people that our ancestors wasnīt primitive, but smart! And it looks cool! Big Grin

Bronze age (urnfield culture):

I see it like Dan! Laughing Out Loud
Iron is so common in the living history worldwide, but the bronze is used only of a few "exotic freaks"! And: There are no romans in the BA! I donīt like the roman empire!

Early iron age (hallstatt culture):

Thatīs an makeshift between paleolithic and bronze age events. Razz (Iīll sell my iron hallstatt sword reco, because i get a bronze Mindelheim-sword, then i have only an iron utility knife in my equipment.)
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