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Jestrs-Mumrs-lnks - 2/8/06


A set of web links to information on medieval Jesters and Mummers by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: jesters-msg, P-Polit-Songs-art, poetry-msg, juggling-msg, bardic-msg, Goliard-Poets-bib, music-lnks, masks-mumming-lnks, Entrtng-n-SCA-art.





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.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: aoife at scatoday.net

Subject: [Aoife-Links] Foolish Mortals! Medieval Jesters and Mummers

Date: February 8, 2006 9:06:27 PM CST

To: aoife-links at scatoday.net


Greetings my Faithful Readers!


This week it's all about being foolish. Unfortunately not a lot of information exists on the web about Jesters or Fools. However, we have gleaned what we could, and present the following links for your entertainment. You'll find medieval illustrations of fools and jesters, as well as articles on their historical importance and context. Make no mistake, Fools are fun, but studying fools is serious scholarship!


This week's list topic come to us courtesy of Juliann (and her husband). Thanks for the suggestion!






Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon

m/k/a Lisbeth Herr Gelatt


Endless Hills




Foolish Clothing: Depictions of Jesters and Fools in Medieval and Renaissance Art by Karen Larsdatter


(Site Excerpt) So, what did jesters wear in the Middle Ages and Renaissance? This set of links concentrates on pictures of those who were professionally employed as jesters or entertainers. In some cases, these individuals have had physical handicaps or mental problems. (Those who are referred to as "fools" but were not employed as such are not listed here, as they are more likely to be depicted as insane beggars in period paintings.)


Medieval European Jesters and Fools--University of North Texas


(Site Excerpt) The character of the jester or fool can be found throughout Medieval European history, folklore, and legend. They are one of the most common and widely recognized character types found in culture and mythology throughout the history of the world.


Coxcomb Academy of the Performing Arts--Articles and Lecture Notes


Three Articles on the subject and related issues


The Virtual Fooles Troupe


See espescially the section on "What Every Well Educated Foole Should Know".


Stefan's Florilegium- jesters-msg


(Site Excerpt from ONE message of many) Someone was asking about jesters. Here's a book:

"Willeford, William The Fool and his Scepter; a study of clowns and jesters and their audience.

GV1828 .W5 Northwestern University Press, 1969."

"I looked thru this briefly about a year ago.  Jesters seemed to be of 2

types, the "natural" fools, which in our more enlightened time we would call

mentally handicapped, and the others which were more like entertainers.  The

natural' fools were kept about because they were amusing in themselves, and

in some cases their lords realized these special people needed a place to



History of the Fool


(Site Excerpt) "Fools" emerged in medieval England in the13thC. The rigid social hierarchies of medieval society relied on these reality maintenance constructs which were closely related to traditional inversionary re-enactments of mis-rule to create a sense of release for and in the population.


Foolery Page


(Site Excerpt) An ongoing site with articles and links on

Jesters, Fools, Clowns, Harlequins, Tricksters, Punsters and Buffoons

as they apply to the Middle Ages and the SCA.

(with a few modern references)


Mumming Shows


(Site Excerpt) Mumming shows are a simple structure that can be used to readily develop a wide variety of entertainment. They are medieval in origin based on the archetypes of clown, hero, heroine, villain, doctor (& perhaps doctor's assistant). Each of these characters can readily be translated into a modern day character (drunk, racing driver hero, racing driver villain, feminist girl friend, mechanic respectively). They can also be transformed beyond recognition. In 1995 one mumming group became a trio of nuns who titled themselves 'The Brides of Brock'. They performed in pubs, at the race ball, in the pits at the race and in the streets, and have promoted issues ranging from enjoy drink in moderation to safe sex.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org