p-education-msg - 5/26/00
Comments and descriptions of period education.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 03:25:53 -0500
To: kmlott at prodigy.net, ansteorra at eden.com
From: gunnora at bga.com (Gunnora Hallakarva)
Subject: standards and requirements for T.I.
> I was wondering if anyone could private email me the standards and
> requirements for such a paper... on the topic of the evolution of children's
> literature in the middle ages. I know that there was not much until the
> late 16th century, but hopefully I'll be able to dig up enough information.
I think this is a topic that may be of interest to more than a few people on
the Ansteorra list, so I am addressing this both to you and back to the
list. The comments that follow are appropriate for any SCA research paper,
whether submitted to Tournaments Illuminated, the Compleat Anachronist, a
local group's newsletter, or as an Arts and Sciences entry.
<snip of comments on writing papers and articles for the above publications.>
OK, that covers the basics of what is required for a T.I. article submission.
As for your topic, don't forget that scholastic materials are "children's
literature." What is considered important for children to learn speaks much
about the culture and the role of children within it. I am sure that others
on the list will have suggestions for sources.
I have one suggestion: an example of an educational item might be Aelfric's
Colloquy, which is a student's excercise that was preserved in both Old
English and in Latin. Translations are available in English in a number of
collections of Anglo Saxon literature. The text in Old English with wave
files for pronunciation of the Colloquy can be found at
An example of some of the text:
Pupils: Oh master, we children beg that you will teach us to speak
correctly, because we are unlearned and speak badly.
Master: What do you want to talk about?
Pupils: We don't care what we talk about, as long as it is accurate and
useful conversation, not frivolous or filthy.
Master: Are you prepared to be beaten while learning?
Pupils: We would rather be beaten for the sake of learning than be
ignorant. But we know that you are kind and unwilling to inflict blows on us
unless we compel you to.
(from this point the dialog goes to each "student" in a number of
professions, asking what they do and how they do their jobs, finally
returning to the pupil/master dialog)
Master: Oh, boys, how do you like this speech?
Pupils: We like it well, but you talk very profoundly and use speech beyond
our ability; but talk to us according to our comprehension so that we can
understand the things you say.
Master: I ask you, why are you eager to learn?
Pupils: Because we don't want to be like stupid animals, who know nothing
but grass and water.
Master: And what do you want?
Pupils: We want to be clever.
Master: With what kind of cleverness? Do you want to be subtle or cunning
in deceit, crafty in speech, artful, wily, speaking good and thinking evil,
given to bland words, nourishing guile within, just like a sepulchre,
painted outside and full of a stink inside?
Pupils: We don't want to be clever like that, because he who deludes himself
with pretense is not clever.
Master: But how do you want to be?
Pupils: We want to be sincere, without hypocrisy, and wise, so that we turn
away from evil and do good. However, you are still questioning us more
deeply than our years can take; so speak to us in our own way, not so deeply.
Master: I will do just as you ask. You, boy, what did you do today?
Pupil: I did lots of things. Last night when I heard the ringing of the
bell I got up from my bed and went to church and sang matins with the
brethren, after which we sang of all the saints and the morning hymns; after
this the six o'clock service and the seven psalms with the litanies and the
chapter-Eucharist. Then we sang the midday service, and ate and drank and
slept. And we got up again and sang the three o'clock service; and now we
are here before you, ready to hear what you have to say to us!
Master: When are you going to sing evensong and compline?
Pupil: When it's time!
Master: Have you been beaten today?
Pupil: I haven't, because I behave myself carefully.
Master: And how about your friends?
Pupil: Why do you ask me about that? I dare not reveal our secrets to you.
Each one of us knows if he was beaten or not.
Master: What do you eat in the day?
Pupil: I still enjoy meat, because I am a child living under instruction.
Master: What else do you eat/
Pupil: I eat vegetables and eggs, fish and cheese, butter and beans and all
clean things, with much gratefulness.
Master: You are very greedy if you eat everything that is in front of you.
Pupil: I am not so great a glutton that I can eat all kinds of food at one meal.
Master: Then how so?
Pupil: Sometimes I partake of this food and sometimes that, in moderation as
befits a monk, not with greed, because I am no glutton.
Master: And what do you drink?
Pupil: Ale if I have it, water if I have no ale.
Master: Don't you drink wine?
Pupil: I'm not rich enough to buy myself wine; and wine isn't a drink for
the young and foolish, but for the old and wise.
Master: Where do you sleep?
Pupil: In the dormitory with the brothers.
Master: Who wakes you up for matins?
Pupil: Sometimes I hear the ringing of the bell and get up;sometimes my
teacher wakes me sternly with a cane.
Master: Well, you boys and charming scholars, your teacher reminds you to be
obedient to the commandments of God, and to behave yourselves properly
everywhere. When you hear the church bells, go in orderly fashion and go
into the church and bow humbly towards the holy altars, and stand up
properly, and sing in unison, and pray for your sins; and go out into the
cloisters or to study without playing the fool.