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persona-msg - 8/15/08


Persona development. Ideas about personas.


NOTE: See also the files: personas-msg, persona-art, per-insanity-msg, per-lepers-msg, Barbrn-Persona-art, Persona-f-Beg-art, Som-Per-Ideas-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: Theron.Bretz at f555.n387.z1.fidonet.org (Theron Bretz)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Surprise! Surprise!

Date: Tue, 06 Jul 1993 20:39:00 -0500


From the pen(?) of Etienne de Montagu, good greetings:

Regarding awards that "don't fit the persona", I'd like to share a tale:  

        Many moons ago, there lived in my barony (Bjornsborg,

Ansteorra) a gentle called Leon Donne, a goodly fellow for yeoman

stock.  Leon's persona was (still is) an English bowman straight out of

Henry V.  When he got his AoA, his solution to the problem was to carry

it (the scroll) around in a leather case at his belt wherever he went,

so that he could prove his right to hunt the King's deer. One day,

some friends of his with more "noble" personas cornered him and

confronted him about "pretending to be a Lord". Leon presented the

scroll to the threesome and the exchange went something like this:

Godwyn (holding the scroll upside down):  Michael, you're a Norman, can

you read?

Michael:  I thought you could....

Martha (grabbing the scroll away) Here, I can read..... wait this isn't


Leon grabs his scroll and ducks out

Exeunt omnes

                                        I remain,

                                        Etienne de Montagu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)

Subject: Re: Persona Development

Organization: University of Toronto - EPAS

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1993 23:56:51 GMT


        For me, persona development is just plain fun.  It has caused

me to look into a variety of things I probably would not have looked

at had I remained your basic Medieval History PhD student, including

food, dress, housing, the literature Nicolaa would have read, town

stucture, the agricultural year, etc.  Sure, I might have read books

on these subjects, but as I spend most of my time looking at penetential

manuals, law texts, and charrs these days, I certainly would not

have paid much attention to issues of practical use....

        I really don't use my persona much at SCA events, beyond the

surface presentation.  Where I do use it is in smaller situations

(a roundtable of Anglo-Normans, for instance) and in school demos.

For the latter, a developed persona is a wonderful thing...I can tell

stories about my home, my family, what I do with the day, whether I can

read and write,  my brother the Franciscan and my other brother who

is anxious to go on crusade, the fact that I was one of seven children,

only three of whom made it to adulthood.......you get the idea.

        Persona development is a matter of personal taste....but I do

find that I tend to get on better with those who have put time into

their personas....always something to talk about when the fighting gets





sclark at epas.utoronto.ca



From: longo at eggo.usf.edu (Andrea Longo)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Persona Development

Date: 20 Jul 1993 17:21:51 GMT

Organization: University of South Florida, Department of Computer Science and Engineering


eric-smith at ksc.nasa.gov (Eric C. Smith) writes:

>As we interact and try to rec-reate (as opposed to re-create) the middle

>ages, we wondered 'Why persona development?'  What is the purpose behind

>personae development, do we really use it, does it really affect how we

>play the game, is it necessary, can it be beneficial to what we try to do,

>and do we really use the personas we develop as a means for interpreting

>and communicating what we have learned and are trying to teach others?


I try to give my persona as much detail as possible, doing so gives me a

context for her position in the Society.  I try to be in persona but it is

often hard to do consistantly.  Asleif, the 9th c Viking servant doesn't know

how to deal with running errands for officers, managing a mundane kitchen,

doing paperwork or any of the modern things that Andrea has to deal with at

events.  Asleif, however, *can* look after children, prepare food in camp,

fetch and carry, etc, without looking too out of place.  I try to at least

maintain the apperance when possible.  


Some time back, we sat around discussing just this thing and came to the

conclusion that, while we try to play our persona, we sometimes feel that we

were "too busy working" to do it well.  


When I was deciding on the details of Asleif's life, I took into account what

I tended to do most at events so I can incorporate that into my persona.  I

try to consider what Asleif might know when selecting garb and accessories,

but tempered by the reality of the Florida climate.  (For example, Asleif

"borrows" clothing and jewelry from the household when she is requested to

look presentable for court; those things are more appropriate for someone far

above her station.  Andrea knows better.)  


>rarely see others that expend the same effort as we. Are we wasting our

>time?  Should we continue or should we do the minimum and become that

>generic SCA 'being' that does 650 to 1650 all at the same time, with no

>particular country or time, and sit around discussing SCA history rather

>than medieval history.  Is this really what the Society is about or do we

>sell something to others that really doesn't exist?


We are certainly not wasting our time, although sometimes, in exasperation, it

feels like it.  I am very happy that I am part of a household with a

"persona," a cohesive common background makes it easier to add bits here and

there instead of trying to create the whole thing from scratch by myself.

True, I have been guilty of the "Generic SCA" thing but I try to at least

present a recognizable origin when I can; if it is not my actual persona, then

at least something specific within the SCA timeframe. (Much of my running

around, working garb is Norman-style, Viking is often too heavy.  It helps

that I am unmarried and can get away without a veil and lower-class and not

expected to be picture-perfect.)  


My friends and I often do speak about medieval history in the present tense

and it adds a lot of atmosphere to the encampment. I always want to learn

more, even if Asleif probably wouldn't have a clue about most of it, nor would

anyone feel it necessary to tell her.  (Telemark treats Asleif rather well for

her station...)  


I have wondered at times why I do all the work and research I do when many

people around me seem not to care.  Happily, I have found a group of people

who also care about historical accuracy and they encourage me even when I feel

like giving up.  I feel that if what I have done can encourage someone else to

do something, then it is time well spent.  I like to think of myself as

setting an example and try to live up to that and at least be a good example.


Andrea (and Asleif, too)

longo at eggo.csee.usf.edu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: moore at mari.acc.stolaf.edu (Michael Moore/Peregrine the Illuminator)

Subject: Re: Persona Development

Organization: Baronial Colleges of Nordleigh, SCA

Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1993 18:03:11 GMT


Unto the good gentles of the rialto doth Peregrine the Illuminator send his

greetings in friendly fashion.


Concerning the idea: "I would love to be in persona at events, but I'm too

busy doing paperwork/sweeping the floor/working to do it."


I have found this same problem: an illuminator probably isn't about to

spend the valuable daylight hours doing the work of lesser servants,

like cleaning the hall, setting up tables/chairs, and the other things

I love to do at events.  Thus, I find it is now time to change my persona

for events to "Peregrine the domestic seneschal", in charge of changing the

wash-water, emptying chamber-pots, replacing dirty floor-rushes, and clearing

the cobwebs from the corners.  Judging from past exploits, I expect the

Autocrats of various events would love having such a servant wandering around.


If you have something you do at events, have it as one of your persona's jobs.

I'm glad to hear others are doing the same.





From: DDF2 at cornell.edu (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: The E-Ground (was Re: NOW SEE HERE!

Date: 12 Oct 1993 22:07:37 GMT

Organization: Cornell Law School


Jennifer Ann Bray asks:

> Do people who go in for personas find that after a while they are not

> conscious of the act? Do they feel as if it is themselves or another

> character they have created taking part?


Yes it becomes automatic. I feel like some mix of David being Cariadoc and

Cariadoc--who is another person I am. Cariadoc has much of David's

personality but different opinions, knowledge, etc.


> How do they react to peers expecting them to give deference?


I don't have that problem.


> Do they break persona to pass on

> modern information or do they stubbornly stay in character?


Sometimes I find ways of passing on the relevant information in persona,

sometimes I break persona, sometimes I figure that passing on modern

information is not worth breaking persona for.


> If you

> stay in persona all the time how do you ever find out how much of what

> is happening is based on real history and how much is fantasy?


You are out of persona after the event is over, and can talk with people,

correspond by EMail, post on the Rialto, ...



DDF2 at Cornell.Edu



From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: The E-Ground

Date: 12 Oct 1993 19:09:13 GMT


Greetings, all, from Terry Nutter, who is (rather less often

than she'd like) also sometimes Angharad ver' Rhuawn.


Jennifer raises some questions about personas and re-creation.  I

think it's important to distinguish (at least) three different



(1) Performing historical interpretations for the public.

(2) Acting out a part as part of a play.

(3) Trying to live out a part, for your personal enjoyment and

    (dare I say it?) education.


The first, apparently, is what the group Jennifer belongs to mostly

does.  It has a number of built-in restrictions.  While those doing

it usually dress like someone from the time they are depicting, and

often do something such a person would do, their reason for being

there is to interact with modern members of the public who know little

or nothing about the time in question.  It is simply not possible to

do this in a way that satisfies both the actor and the members of

the public, without the actor acting primarily as a modern person in

costume, who is knowledgeable about the period of interest.


I think it's real neat that this stuff gets done.  I suspect that a

lot of people learn a lot, both from becoming competant to teach in

such a setting and from having their interest piqued by observing and

then going home and following up.  It's great stuff.  But it has

nothing to do with what I call being in persona.


Acting out a part as part of a play, whether on a formal stage or to

be showy, whether to a separate audience or to yourselves, is also

different from being in persona.  Jennifer describes quasi-scripted

encounters, with stereotypical (but not, from her descriptions,

particularly realistic or accurate) behaviors among the participants

based on a one- to two-word description of their roles. ("Peasant"

meets "noble", so of course, "noble", being "noble", is haughty and

obnoxious, while peasant behaves as if peasant had read Dickens and

is emulating Uriah Heep.)  The activity generally depends on a

concurrent awareness of the gap between then and now for its

enjoyability.  For precisely this reason, it far more often expresses

itself as parody or farce than as what one gets, e.g., from Brian

Blessed playing Henry V's uncle.


That also has little to do with what I think of as being in persona.


To me, being in persona involves trying, so far as possible, to adopt

the attitudes and behaviors of someone with my "essence", if you will,

but whose life experience and social setting have been different.  It's

sort of, who I might have been, had I been born and grown up elsewhere

and elsewhen.  This is _terribly_ complex, because it is impossible to

tell what parts of who and what I am derive from personal history.  But

the _attempt_ can start with things as simple as looking at what

Angharad's "job" was (administering a medieval household, and ensuring

the comfort of those who lived there), and then noticing how differently

I react to the world when that kind of concern sits at the front of my

mind instead of its back.  Going on from there, one discovers effects;

one becomes aware of kinds of socialization one didn't think of before;

and Angharad slowly diverges from Terry.  There are things she will do

that Terry generally won't; and _many_ vice-versa.


It isn't done to educate the general public.  It _also_ isn't done to

get quick giggles off the primitiveness of medieval culture from the

outside.  It's rather an attempt to push as far as one can toward

feeling what it was like to be in this situation from the inside.

I find it both fun and fascinating.


I can rarely do it without a lot of conscious effort.  The thing that

makes this hardest, is that the settings I usually try it in are so

utterly unlike anything Angharad ever would have experienced or dealt

with (SCA events in general do not evoke anything distantly like a

medieval atmosphere) that she could _not_ respond normally to any of

it, and Terry is forced to keep intruding, saying, "Ignore that,"

and "Never mind."  Since it's a whole lot easier to be Terry than to

be Angharad, most events destroy the effort at being in persona before

it can get off the ground, and getting less practice than I would like,

I'm not nearly so good at it as I wish I were.


Greg is so good at being Hossein that a huge proportion of Atlantia

seems to thing that _Greg_ is stuff.  (Wrong answer, dudes.  _Hossein_

is stuffy.  _Greg_ calls Hossein stuffy.)  But then, he's been doing

this twice as long as I have, and then some.


Hope this clarifies things a little, Jennifer!



-- Terry/Angharad



From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Things my persona would have known

Date: 1 Jan 1994 20:45:30 -0500

Organization: EPAS Computing Facility, University of Toronto



        Thought I'd offer my ideas on this topic.  Here goes:


What time I got up and what time I went to bed (and how I'd keep

track of time during the day)

Basic foods I'd eat during the day

What my house would look like;  furniture, etc.

A bit about my family:  My mother and father (their names and what they

do), my brothers and sisters (Nicolaa has six, only two of which survived

to adulthood)

The locale in which I live:  Is it a town?  How big? is there a market

there?  Who are the local lords/mayor..etec?

What I do with my day--do I practice a trade?  Oversee an estate? etc.

My means of transportation

Big towns I've been to and what I did there

Education: how'd I get it? languages I know?  Can I do arithmetic?

Religion:  What do I do in church?  How often do I go to Mass, go to

confession? (Nicolaa's Catholic) How do I celebrate holidays?

Am I married or not? (Nicolaa is).  If yes, what did my wedding look like?

What parts of basic law affect me directly?

Bits about national politics which would directly affect me (in other words,

Nicolaa knows about the upcoming Crusade because her brother and liege

lord will be going.  She probably doesn't know the intricacies of policy

debates, though she might hear rumours)...


        This gives you a good idea.  I can yack about myself and my family

for hours if I feel like it...this is truly "historical minutia", but

it's more fun for storytelling.  (Susan knows plenty about what was really

going on in 1239--probably more than Nicolaa does, especially on theological

and legal matters)

        I'd advise anyone who really wants to develop a good persona

to, once you've settled on a period and know its basic history, to start

with yourself and develop outward from there.  Think about what you do in

your daily life in the 20th century and then think about what your persona

would have done.  If you think thusly, you'll soon amass a knowledge

of little things which will make your persona more real. I personally

think it's more important for an English persona to knoa bit about

their own locale than to know about, say, the political situation and

its intracacies in Spain.

        It's also a lot of fun to try to find literature and stories your

persona would have known, read, heard, or sung.  It's sort of a final

refinement, and makes you very popular in the Enchanted Ground....




Canton of Eoforwic



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mchance at nyx10.cs.du.edu (Michael Chance)

Subject: Things Your Persona Would Have Known

Organization: Nyx, Public Access Unix at U. of Denver Math/CS dept.

Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 18:55:43 GMT


Leonora writes:

>Question for discussion:

>What would be a general list of "things your persona would've known" in

>his/her daily life? Obviously, it would vary dramatically according to

>time, location, and station, but I'd include local ruler(s), and current

>religious and political schisms. What else would you put in?


Currently popular liturature and music.


Current fashion trends (both local and neighboring - as in "Well, you

can tell he from Hellandgone - he's wearing an whatzit").


"Local rulers" should include religious (local priest, bishop,

archbishop, and pope [suitably modified for Orthodox Christianity,

Judaism, Islam, or whatever]) and secular (up to the

king/emperor/whatever).  "Schisms" should identify the local and major

players in the different factions.


Economic overview, including which guilds and/or trade organizations

have the most influence, which are considered disreputable, etc.


Areas most traded with/travelled to.




Mikjal Annarbjorn


Michael A. Chance          St. Louis, Missouri, USA   "At play in the fields

Work: mc307a at sw1sta.sbc.com                             of St. Vidicon"

Play: ab899 at freenet.hsc.colorado.edu

      mchance at nyx.cs.du.edu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Carolingian peasants

From: schuldy at zariski.harvard.edu (Mark Schuldenfrei)

Date: 17 Jan 94 09:41:23 EST


gunwaldt at astro.dasd.honeywell.com writes:

  Query:  Are the Carolingia peasants an enthusiastic group of rock grubbers?

  Do they help create a better ambiance? Or is this just a local joke?


At one time, it was very much a "peasants guild", with sincere attempts to

create an alternative to the chronic number of nobility. Currently, it is

more at the level of a tradition that we maintain, or perhaps a local joke.

This is not to say that at some point it won't become a going concern again.


There is one local gentle, Rufus the Beggar, who doesn't "play" a peasant:

he is one.  Torn clothes, dirty face, bashful demeanor. He does it so well

that he makes people slightly uncomfortable, sometimes. For example, when

he eats at feast, he pays the on-board price, but wanders from table to

table asking for a crust of bread, or something to eat. Very occasionally, I

would either give him "charity", or sometimes "cuff the churl", depending on

his mood, or mine, or whether I'm sure he's had enough to eat yet.


Rufus is an interesting case: he is certainly more authentic than many of

us, but at the same time he is so good at it, that people who don't know he

is playing, get a little concerned. I keep trying to spread the good words





Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at math.harvard.edu)



From: meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org (meg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Origin of term Rialto

Date: Tue, 05 Apr 94 11:07:38 EDT

Organization: Stonemarche Network Co-op


dnb105 at psu.edu (Ferret) writes:

> Susan Clark writes:

> >        The Rialto was recognized as a focal point in Venice long before

> >Shakespeare wrote about it.  While reading up on Italian Ren culture last

> >year in preparation for an event set in Venice, 1472 I saw several mentions

> >of the Rialto bridge as a gathering spot (as well as a place where the

> >ladies of easy virtue went to exhibit their wares....)


> Now there's something to recreate !


> -Ferret-


Actually, I know of at least 2  _ladies_ at Pennsic who do precisely

that. They dress authentically for _ladies_ of their calling, and are

reputed to give an authentically medieval version of what they sell. Not

having availed myself of their services, I wouldn't know if it's truly

authentic...having followed the thread on medieval sex and the lack of

response to the queries for documentation of such practices, I suspect

not. Perhaps they merely do it forsoothly. :-)




In 1994: Linda Anfuso

In the Current Middle Ages: Megan ni Laine de Belle Rive  

In the SCA, Inc: sustaining member # 33644


                                YYY     YYY

meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org      |  YYYYY  |




From: meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org (meg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Religious Personae and Sabbath at Events

Date: Sun, 01 May 94 08:53:38 EDT

Organization: Stonemarche Network Co-op


HAROLD.FELD at hq.doe.GOV writes:

>           Unto all who read these words, greetings from Yaakov:


>           I think there is plenty of room for Christian display,

>           although it raises an interesting question: Aside from

>           puting a cross on your arms, how do you display Christian

>           belief without being evengelical?  Everyone who camps with

>           me knows I'm Orthodox, since I get up every morning, put on

>           Teffilin, face east, and pray for about 20 minutes.  The

>           kipah (thingy on top of my head) is also a giveaway.  It

>           also becomes real obvious when I consistently decline

>           invites to share food or participate in certain prohibitted

>           activities on Shabbos.  How would a Christian overtly

>           display religion, besides wearing a Cross?


>           In Service and in curiousity,


>           Yaakov


Hi Yaakov, Megan here!

My persona is a late 15th century Catholic. In my house at Pennsic I have

several "giveaway" clues to her religious preference...an ornately carved

gilded cruxifix on a little shelf, a rosary hanging on a nail near her

bed, several small devotional dipychs of the Virgin on a bookshelf, a

copy of Thomas a' Kempis (ok, the actual volume dates 150 years after my

persona lived, but it "looks old enough"), a latin psalter, and of

course, illuminated manuscripts which she is working on, which are books

of hours, done on commission.  Most obvious is the large panel painting

of the Virgin and Child done in the manner of Durer which is handsomely

displayed front and center on the scriptorium.  Other not so obvious

clues are the latin mottoes written on the walls and ceiling, some are

scriptural quotes, and the panel painting above the bed which depicts

animals from Noah's ark.


Also, I try to pepper my speech with appropriate religious phrases, which

mention saints and the Diety in a variety of pious and sometimes impious

ways.  Cursing is a particular interest of mine...what did people in my

period say when vexed? Fortunately there are some good religious sermons

recorded in period which address this issue.  I strive to keep the fine

line between play acting and actually cursing clear. ("No, Lord, _that_

time I was only fooling...it wasn't a _real_ curse at all. I was just

keeping in persona, doncha know." Well, I trust Him to know the


I also have approriate flowers in my garden...roses and lilies. The

symbology of medieval Christianity is rich and varied.


It was actually unusual for non-clergy in my period to wear crosses or

cruxifixes as personal adornment. But these symbols could be sublimated

into decorative embroidery to good effect.


Oh, I also forgot, there are several relics of the third degree upon my

shelf...a scrap of St. Luke's clothing, a nail from the cruxifixion, a

small vial of Mary's Milk, a rock from the Holy Seplchure, a piece of the

Holy Shroud, a replica of Veronica's Veil, etc.


I don't go showing these item off, of course. The merely reside in my

house as silent testimony to the piety of my persona.


Also, since she paints religious pictures, it's good for business.:-)


Now, for us uneducated goyim, could you provide an English translation

and short explanation for all the interesting stuff you described? I'm

afraid my Hebrew's a bit rusty. (ok, make that non-existant)


Megan, written upon this First Day of May, the Feast of Our Lady.


In 1994: Linda Anfuso

In the Current Middle Ages: Megan ni Laine de Belle Rive  

In the SCA, Inc: sustaining member # 33644


                                YYY     YYY

meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org      |  YYYYY  |




From: gray at ibis.cs.umass.edu (Lyle Gray)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Begging in SCA

Date: 27 Sep 1994 14:51:29 GMT

Organization: Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Mass., Amherst, MA


At Pennsic XIII, I remember leaving the Great Court to go check on my tent (it

was raining heavily, nothing unusual).  There was drumming up on Tuchux hill,

the tents were partly obscured so you couldn't tell which were modern and

which weren't.  As I headed down the hill, I noticed that there was someone

sitting at the side of the road.  As I came up to him, there was a flash of

lightning, and I could see that he was holding up a wooden bowl, which

was now full of rainwater.  As he did so, he said, in a feeble voice, "Alms

for the poor?"


It completed the illusion for me, I'll tell you!  It was quite satisfying to

listen to the coins splash into his bowl...


-- Lyle FitzWilliam

------------------------------------------------------ NON ANIMAM CONTINE

Lyle H. Gray                       Internet (personal): gray at cs.umass.edu

Quodata Corporation            Phone: (203) 728-6777, FAX: (203) 247-0249



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Subject: Re: Thoughts on Authenticity Debates

Organization: University of Chicago

Date: Mon, 26 Dec 1994 17:10:52 GMT


One small point on the "should one's activities be limited to what

one's persona would have done" thread. Cariadoc is from the Maghreb,

but he currently lives in the Middle Kingdom, a predominantly

Frankish land of vague geographical location. So the relevant

question is not what Cariadoc would have done at home but what he

would have done as a long term visitor in a foreign land. To answer

that, one should look at accounts by such visitors--the travels of

Ibn Battuta, for example.


I think we may have a tendency to overestimate the rigidity of people

in the past. Someone from a culture where X was not done, or where he

would not do X, who has moved to a society where people like him

routinely do do X, might well modify his behavior accordingly. He

might still regard X as a somewhat odd thing for respectable people

like him to be doing.


Example 1: There is a period anecdote about a crusader discovering,

and imitating, the middle-eastern practice of shaving off the pubic



Example 2: Usamah ibn Munqidh comments that the first generation

Franks in Outremer, the one who had come from Frangistan, were

uncivilized barbarians, but their children were a great improvement.

In that case, of course, it took a generation to adapt--but then,

they were Franks.


Note also that a traveler, unless he has a large entourage, is likely

to do things for himself that he would have had done for him back






From: salley at niktow.canisius.edu (David Salley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Transvestite Personas

Date: 7 Feb 95 23:51:13 GMT

Organization: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. 14208


Steffan ap Cennydd (Steven H Mesnick) writes:

> There are also, in the East, Mistress Giceline de Molay, who used to do a

> great Templar as Gicelin (no "e"). There is also Lord Uilliam Twit of

> Witlow, who is a woman whose persona is that of a male fool who dresses in

> drag (parse *that* one!).


At the Rhydderich Hael's most recent Masked Ball this past December 3rd, the

theme was "Kings and Queens"  The prize for Best Female Garb was won by

_Lord_ Kent Weed as Queen Anne.  The garb and persona were so perfect,

that our local stud-muffin tried to pick him up and has been trying to live

it down ever since. ;-)  I was herald for court and was under orders to call

him up for his award as Queen Anne.  Their excellencies spoke to 'her' as

'my lady'.   When I read the scroll and read his name, he took off his tiara

and wig and you could hear jaws dropping all over the hall!


                                                       - Dagonell


SCA Persona : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr

Habitat           : East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony

Internet    : salley at cs.canisius.edu  (Please use this, reply may not work.)

USnail-net  : David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029



From: afn03234 at freenet.ufl.edu (Ronald L. Charlotte)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Persona development (long)

Date: 1 Jul 1995 17:25:12 GMT


I've seen a number of requests from people new to the Society concerning

personas, and how to go about figuring one out.

Developing an in-depth persona is not a requirement of the SCA.

In fact, there are any number of Society members who dislike the

practice of "creating a persona".  I rather like the idea, as it gives

me a "hook" and a focus upon which to concentrate, and keep myself from

wandering too far afield when I'm trying to research specific things.

Researching all the aspects of a persona can lead you to the information

you need to outfit your persona; such as garb, jewelry (or lack of it),

hats, shoes, etc.  Each fact you uncover will help lead you into a

better understanding of the era you've chosen to concentrate on.

The list of questions that follows was originally given to me by

Baroness Natalija Stoianova (it may have even originated on the Rialto).  

I've since tweaked it and added and removed questions with the help of a

few other friends.  I know darned few people, myself included, that can

go through this thing 100%, but I'm having fun trying.

Don't be intimidated by the question list (when it was given to me, I'd

been in for over a decade, and the depth and width of the gaps in my

knowlege startled me).  Just run through the easy ones first...


"Can you answer questions that the village idiot would know the answers

to?"  The more you know about the day to day details of your life, the

easier staying in persona becomes.  Think of it as a challange to learn

everything about your alter-ego.

   1.  What is your name?

       How did you get your name?

       Is there an English translation or equivalent?

   2.  When are you from?

       What year is it?

       When where you born?

       How do you tell time?

       When does the day start (dawn, midnight, etc.)?

   3.  What are your parents' names?

       Are your parents alive?

       Do you have any brothers and sisters?

       How many brothers and sisters died in infancy?

       Into what social class were you born?

       What is the structure of the family/clan/tribe?

       Are the children raised at home or fostered elsewhere?

   4.  With whom do you live?

       Are you married?

       What are the marriage customs of your people?

       Are there people in your household who are not related to you?

   5.  Where do you live?

       Name the country or province you live in.

       Are you from a city, a village, a manor, a farm, etc.?

       What kind of building do you live in?

       How far is it to the capitol city? (in miles or units of measure

        your persona would have used)  Have you ever been there?

   6.  What is your station in life?

       Are you a noble, a peasant, or other?

       Are you wealthy or poor?

       Is your station in life likely to change?

   7.  How do you support your lifestyle?

       If a member of the gentry - where does your money come from?

       Monopolies on certain trade?  Which ones, and how did your family

        obtain them?

       Do you have an occupation?  Do you work a trade?

       Do you belong to a Guild?

       What is your Guild rank? (and does your work merit this rank)

       Would you have been required to be a guild member to practice

        your trade?

       What are your daily responsibilities?

       How do you get paid?

   8.  What is the basic unit of money?

       How much does a loaf of bread cost?

       If you own one, how much is a riding horse?

       How much did your home cost?

   9.  Do you have servants?

       How much do they get paid? (and if not money, what do they get)

       What are their jobs?

       What are their living arrangements? (do they live in, are they

        serfs, etc.)

   10. How do you keep clean?

       How often do you bathe?

       What preparations must be made for your bath?

   11. What do you wear?

       How do you obtain or make your clothing?

       Is what you have on your everyday garb?

       How does it differ from your other garb?

       Do you wear underwear?  What kind?

       How do you care for your clothes?

       Do you have many clothes?

       Are there laws regarding what you wear?  What are they?  Were

        they commonly followed?  How would you have gotten around the


   12. What do you eat?

       What is your typical daily menu?

       Does your menu change during the year?

       How and where do you get what you eat?

       How is your food cooked and preserved?

       How is it served (table manners and dining customs)?

       Are there religious restrictions on your diet?

       What spices do you use (consistant with your means)?  Are they


       What is your favorite drink?  Is it imported?  Can your persona

        afford it in the quantities you drink at an event? How much

        does the drink cost versus your income?

   13. What would you be doing on an average day?  Assume that your

        country is at peace and you are at home.  If you are a military

        man, describe what you would be doing at your garrison or

        military "base".

   14. What do you do for fun?

       What entertainment is available to you?

       Do you provide entertainment for others?  How?

   15. Are you literate?

       How were you educated? (taught at home, church, school, etc.)

       What language(s) do you speak?

       Did you go to school?  What subjects did you study?

       How did you learn to do your work?

       Who taught you?

   16. What is your religion?

       Who is the current pope? (non-Christians would also know this)

       If you are Christian, and there is more than one Pope, which one

        do you support?

       Do your people believe in magic?  What kind?  Is it lawful?

       What kinds of things are lucky or unlucky?

   17. Who is your overlord?  (His title, name of the estate/castle, and

        your duties to him)

       Who is your ultimate ruler?  Is he/she popular with the class

        that you are a member of?

       Who rules the neighboring peoples?

       Who are the enemies/rivals of your people?

   18. What wars have there been in your lifetime where you have lived?

       How did they affect you? (lost your land, starved for a while,


       Did your country win or lose?  How did this affect your family?

       Do you personally fight?  Under what circumstances?

       What armor is worn and what weapons are used in your time and

        place? (answer this even if you do not fight)

       How do people of your time and place get weapons and armor?

   19. What kind of medical care is available to you?

       Who provides your medical care?

       Do you provide medical care for others?

       What kind of diseases have you had?  What was the method of


   20. What kind of legal system do you have?

       Who makes the laws?

       What happens to those who break them?

       How does this affect you?

       What is the status of women among your people?  Can they own land

        or property?  What trades can they enter?

   21. What are the most distant lands you know of?

       Have you traveled?  Where?

       What were the circumstances of your travel? (merchant, soldier

        pilgrim, nomad, sailor, explorer, etc.)

   22. Who are the heros (contemporary, historical, or legendary) of

        your people?

       What stories do your people tell?

       What "Mythical" creatures do you believe in?

   23. How many generations of your family would your persona really

        have been aware of? (most 20th century people cannot bet back

        farther than 3 generations)

   24. Have any events had a profound effect on your life? (This is your

        chance to dazzle 'em with dates)


Have fun...


        al Thaalibi -- An Crosaire, Trimaris

        Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL

        afn03234 at freenet.ufl.edu



From: Chris Zakes / Tivar Moondragon <102435.2644 at CompuServe.COM>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: developing a persona things to look for

Date: 1 Jul 1995 02:31:38 GMT


On developing a persona:

        First, know your local politics--who is your local lord,

what is the state of feudalism at this time, and how political

life is organised. For instance, in 1342 England, feudalism is

well advanced, and my local lord, if in a town, would be the

mayor or the baron of the area. I serve my lord husband, and he,

depending on his profession, serves the baron.


        Second, what is your position in this time period? Are

you the wife of a minor noble (you run his household), or are you

a merchant of good standing (your opinions in the town council

are fairly respected), or are you a minor journeyman (most people

treat you as less than their equal).


        Third, what do you eat, what do you use for money, what

do you wear, what does your local area produce, etc.? Cookbooks

are great for the first of these, and historical letters are good

for the rest. England is a great sheep/wool producer. You would

likely be involved in some aspect of sheeps and wool if you are

in the least agricultural.


        Fourth, it would be a good idea to know your ultimate

ruler (King of England, Holy Roman Emperor, or what?). How he ran

his court and entourage is a good model for how you would behave.

Also, what clothes you wear dictate how you curtsey/bow. A

corseted woman CANNOT bend at the waist--her upper body must

remain upright. A man in chain wouldn't bend over too much for

fear of overbalancing!  


--Aethelyan of Moondragon 102435,2644



From: brettwi at ix.netcom.com (Brett Williams )

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Being in Persona

Date: 28 Aug 1995 21:33:45 GMT


"Brett W. McCoy" <p01335 at psilink.com> writes:

>>FROM:   Barbara H. Webb <bhw at aisb.ed.ac.uk>


>>While on the topic I was interested by Cariadoc's post suggesting that

>>being non-modern though non-historic in persona (like the Tuchux) may be

>>preferrable to doing something historic, such as wearing 16th century garb,

>>while behaving as your modern self. I'm not sure I agree, but I would be

>>very interested to hear what others think on this point.


>I myself would rather see people being more in persona than just

>wearing the garb.  The garb, of course, does lend itself to the Magic

>of an event, but this can quickly be shattered by someone walking in

>the middle of a conversation with "Yo, Jim!  Did you see the bug list

>for the new Linux Shell I stuck in such-and-such archive?"


Yes, indeed, most jarring to hear such a thing.  I also find jarring

the phrase:  "My persona is a 16th Century Scotswoman..."


A personal pet peeve, perhaps.  Would it not be better said: "I am a

Scotswoman, and the monarch of Scotland is wrongfully imprisoned by

That Woman who rules the realm south of these lands.  I have fled to

the land of Caid as the nobles ruling our land in the name of her son

have named my family and clan anaethema to their interests..."


I'm using myself as an example.


>But complaining about it isn't going to fix things, certainly.  We

>should respond to such things with appropriate courtesy and provide an

>example of being 'in period' persona-wise: "Forsooth, good sir, your

>language is strange to me and I know not of what you speak.  Pray,

>come join us for a bit of drink and good company...." and so on.


>I have started doing monthly Period Nights in my shire, where we get

>together for a small private revel, with a potluck feast and a Bardic

>circle.  Appropriate garb is required, and the 20th century is left

>behind, not unlike the Enchanted Ground at Pennsic. This gives people


>the opportunity to practice at being in persona without being

>embarassed or self-conscious.  It is also a good introduction to

>newcomers as to How We Play.


>Istvan Dragosani  

>bmccoy at capaccess.org    


Oh, hear, hear!  One of the most vivid memories of my early years of

the Society was attending a Kingdom-level event in Caid where his

Grace, Duke Cariadoc, was present as he lived in Caid at that time.  I

play a fretted dulcimer, and when his Grace asked me what my instrument

was, I was dumbfounded as to what to say to The Real Thing, an Arab

noble. I stammered something to the effect that my instrument was a

modern form of a period instrument, and didn't fail to note the

fleeting expression of disappointment that flashed across his face as I

'lost character' and spoiled the encounter for him.


We do not have customary behaviors firmly in place that enable us to

'step in' to our medieval selves and leave mundanity behind.


My encounter with Duke Cariadoc was more than ten years ago and I

remember it vividly since it made such an impact on my thought

concerning my own participation in the Society.  Your Grace, if you

read this message, the answer to your question should have been:  "The

local artisan who made my instrument modeled it after Phythagoras'

monochord, but chose to shape the soundbox after his own fashioning."


ciorstan macAmhlaidh, CHA, AoA



From: IVANOR at delphi.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: De-saturation (was Being in Persona)

Date: 4 Sep 1995 01:04:02 GMT


Quoting afn03234 from a message in rec.org.sca

   >My Lady and friends swear that once I'm dressed, I even walk

   >differently.  All I know is that after spending a Friday evening


I know how that is.  I have two personas, and a friend who swears that they

are not only dissimilar in general appearance, they aren't even the same

size!  (Ivanor is much daintier of build than Sesi.)


I have another friend whose persona doesn't like the same kinds of music he



Maybe this really is a form of group, guided, multiple personality disorder?


Carolyn Boselli, Host of Custom Forum 35, SCAdians on Delphi



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ederd at bcstec.ca.boeing.com (Dani Eder)

Subject: Re: help with persona development

Organization: The Boeing Company

Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 19:33:52 GMT


mharri6736 at aol.com (MHarri6736) writes:

>some kind gentleman several months ago gave me a great list of things to

>consider in deeloping a persona. i have misplaced this. several people

>have asked me for advise on books and things to consider for persona

>development. i wonder if someone out there could give me advise to pass

>along to some of the other students who don't have a computer access


A number of years ago I was introduced to an SCA persona game called

"The Inquisition".  The point of the game was both to be fun and to

stimulate thought and research on a persona.  This is from memory,

perhaps others can suggest additional questions:


The rules:


The game is played by a number of players and a set of 'Inquisitors'.

In a small group the Inquisitors may simply be the other players.

The players are asked a series of questions by the inquisitors, which

they must answer correctly for their persona.  This means in some

cases not knowing the answer.  Questions are graded on a point

scale according to difficulty.  If a player answers correctly, they

get the number of points associated with the question.  If they

answer incorrectly they get 'tortured', which involves rolling a

six-sided die.  On the first torture they must roll more than a one,

on the second torture they must roll greater than a two, etc.  If

they succeed, they have survived the torture and can continue to

play.  If they fail, they have 'died' from the torture, and are

out of the game.  The last player alive, or the one who dies with

the most points wins.  The inquisitors decide the correctness of the

answers by consensus.  Bluffing is allowed (i.e. faking an answer

and hoping the inquisitors don't know the correct answer). Players

are asked questions in rotation, and they start a turn by deciding

what difficulty question they will attempt next.  For fun, you can

make a list of tortures and play-act being tortured.


The questions (point value)


What is your name? (1)

What was your father's name (2)

What was your mother's name (2)

What does your name mean (3)

How many brothers and sisters do you have (3)

What are their names (4)


What kingdom do you live in (or equivalent) (1)

What city or town do you live in/near (2)

Who is the king/head of state (2)

Who is your immediate liege lord (4)

If in a city/town, what street do you live on (4)


What do you do? (1)

Where is your usual place of work (2)

How old were you when you started to work (3)


What year is it (1)

What calendar date is it (3)

How long has the king been on the throne (4)

How old are you (1)

On what day were you born? (3)

What time is it (4)


What is your principal grain (3)

What is your principal meat (2)

What is your principal drink (1)


How many sets of clothes do you own (2)

How often do you get new clothes (3)


Where do you sleep (2)

With whom do you sleep (3)

On/in what do you sleep (furnishings) (3)

What do you wear when you sleep (4)


How do you relieve yourself (3)

How do you bathe (4)

How often do you bathe (3)


What language do you speak (1)

What other languages do you speak (2)

Can you read (2)

In what language do you read (3)

How many books do you own (4)

Name your favorite book (4)

Name another book you have read (5)



If you think about it, anyone should be able to answer most of

these questions about themselves quite easily.  If the other good

gentles on the Rialto would like to contribute questions, I will

collate them and repost.  If you think my point values are off,

let me know (the scale is supposed to be 1=very easy to 5=very hard).


Daniel of Raven's Nest



From: fghtrchick at aol.com (Fghtrchick)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Chronologically Challenged Couples

Date: 21 Jan 1996 12:48:02 -0500



     My persona was made with one thought in mind---I never wanted to be

"with" anyone permanently in the SCA (my mundane marriage, at the time,

didn't incline me to ever want to experience ANY permanence again).

Consequently, I had her set up to be the widowed, childless, penniless,

pretty-much forgotten younger sister of a French-Norman knight in the

Scottish Lowlands. (and thereby, completely unmarriageable, but not

necessarily, virginal)  Wel-l-l-l, the best-laid plans...


     I will be married to an extremely early period Celt twice--once in

May at our clan's Beltain celebration, and once, legally, in church(?), at

the end of September.  So, how does a nice 12th Century girl explain that

strangely-dressed 6th Century man hanging about?  I have to say, I pretty

much don't worry about it, but I guess I could say he's my eccentric

huntsman.  And if (when) he becomes king, I'll just time travel back and

be 6th Century for a while, after all, if he worked that hard and actually

became king, it would be unfair to make him change periods.  This may not

be exactly what you wanted, but it is how we deal with our

"chronilogically-challenged" relationship.


     Lady Alys de Clermont

     Ancient Ring Tribe and Alliance

     College of Dragon's Crossing



From: jkrissw at aol.com (JkrissW)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Chronologically Challenged Couples

Date: 22 Jan 1996 06:08:06 -0500


The answer is simple:  Although you are both from a particular time and

place of your own choosing, you met and married in one of the Laurel

Kingdoms.  How people from what seems to you like a completely different

land and era than your own came to be here at the same time as you is a

mystery beyond your understanding.


Kriss White


(Daveed of Granada ended up in Caid after the Mother of All Sandstorms hit

his Sahara caravan, and has been living in the wonderously tolerant land

of the Laurel Kingdoms ever since, where nobody expects one to dress in

the local fashion because everybody came from somewhere else and brought

their clothing styles with them.)



From: brianw at gate.net (Brian Wilkins)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Chronologically Challenged Couples

Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 10:51:32 GMT

Organization: CyberGate, Inc.


>So what do you do persona-wise if your partner is a couple of hundred years

>away from you? Disown them? Provide some sort of explanation as to why

>you're hanging around with someone even though they don't belong in your

>timeframe? What?


        What do do?   Nothing. Ignore the whole deal.


        In a club where 6th century Celts share the battlefield with Italian

Condotierre, or where a 14th century Scot can debat the writings of

Aquinas and Bede with a 17th century French cavalier the time period of

our personnas has no binding meaning that we do not individually wish to

impose on ourselves.


        If you and you're husband are having fun by trying to reconcile your

differences then go ahead, but there is nothing in the nature of the SCA

that forces changes on you.


        A worse problem would be to construct what my friends and I smilingly

      call "iceberg personnas". They sound something like this:

        My father was frozen in an iceberg and floated to Japan, which

        explains my martial arts training, then I escaped to the mainland

        by signing on a merchant ship to China, which explains my knowledge of

        sailing, and after wandering for a few years I got a job as a cook in

        the kitchens of the Emporer, which explains my knowledge of Gourmet

        Cooking. Then I met Marco Polo, and he hired me as a guard, and one of

        the other guards taught me archery, and I eventually returned to Italy

        with him where I worked was a guard to a physician, which explains my

        medical (EMT) training. Then, the physician got me a job with an

        armorer, which expalins my armoring skill. Eventually I made enough

        money to form my own condotierri company, and was engaged to the

        daughter of the Duke of Milan, which explains my court barony......

               ad nauseum.


        This is obviously an artificial construct which exaggerates to make a

point (or rather it SHOULD be, I've heard worse than this from people

who meant it, but that's another story) but the you get the idea.


        You have very little to gain by making artificial constructs to justify

discrepancies between your person and your personna. Your personna is not

yourself, and your personna story is not a resume of the things you have

done, nor is it a portrait of the relationships you have with other

people in the SCA.


        If you are looking for ways to counter the "accusations" that are being

humorously (I assume it was humorous, your post makes it seem so)

directed towards your personna there are better ways than to compromise

the historical integrity of "her" story.


        All of our personnas are both a tool for historical research, an a story

that we share with others, and both of these endeavors are given short

shrift when we devise artificial constructs to suit other, less

appropriate, ends.


        Brian Wilkins

        SCA: Braian MacNaughton



From: mellitus7 at aol.com (Mellitus7)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Religous Personas (was: I thought the SCA ...)

Date: 7 Jun 1996 18:28:02 -0400


Personally, I have no qualms about an individual assuming a religous

persona, provided that a couple of criteria are met. These being (and

fairly common sensical) that the individual in question make no

pretentions that he or she really is something that he or she is not <like

a Priest-persona taking confessions> or that the individual in question

soes not violate Corpora and Govening Policy with the actions of the



I think most people's initial response is negative because they a) believe

that the individual with the religous persona is really what the garb

proclaims that one to be or b) believe that the imitation tarnishes the

reputation of hte original and/or the SCA.  However, the persona is tool

by which we research our periods and interests, and if a person's

period/interests lie in the clerical aspect of the period, then a religous

persona makes sense.


In the two cases of religous persona research I am aware of, both made

some people (myself included) uncomfortable at first. Then as I came to

know these gentles, I understand that they were just SCA folk with

different garb.  Neither made any pretentions of really "being" a nun.  

Another tack would be to adopt a persona of noble birth affiliated (but

not avowed) to a religous order.  There were many lay bretheren and

sisters who lived and worked alongside the professed religous.  They wore

virtually the same clothing and did the same the things as those under






From: zarlor at acm.org (Lenny Zimmermann)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Fun vs Authenticity/My hubby's OOP for me!!

Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 21:35:28 GMT


kimiv at ix.netcom.com(Kimberly A. Ingram) wrote:

>    In this thread there has been debate as to which is the greater

>sin, a completely OOP object or one that is within the Society's scope,

>but out OOP for an individuals persona.  I have a dilema that runs

>along these lines.


> We are a

>couple in reality, but in persona I'm dust long before his time.

>Should we not act like a married couple when in persona?  Would it

>adversely effect peoples ability to suspend reality should we ever sit

>a throne togeather?  Should we each have an alternate persona to match

>that of our mate and take turns?

>    What are others experiences in coping with this phenomenon?  Up to

>this point I've preety much just ignored this wrinkle and I'm

>interested in other solutions and/or rationalization.


My wife and I have a similar situation, but less extreme. My persona

is 1530's Northern Italian, while her's is 1590's Elizabethan English.

I had long considered that my persona was in the "Knowne World" and

somehow no longer in the lands that he once knew in Europe, but Don

Giovanni (aka "Dr. Bill") from the East (I believe) Kingdom helped to

clarify my initial impressions better.


He mentioned a book written by one of my persona's contemporaries..

"Orlando Furioso" by Ludovico Ariosto. This is a period form of story

called a "travelers's tale", effectively similar to what we would call

a novel in the style of the "fantasy" genre. How else would a person

from the 16th century be meeting those "barbarian" vikings and ancient

romans long dead, unless s/he were at a costume party or no longer in

the world s/he once knew.


I explain it as leaving Italy, for reasons not relevant to this

thread, and heading off for the New World, only to be caught in a

storm and end-up in the Knowne World. I met my wife here, not in

Europe. Many things are strange to my persona, but at least they are

explainable this way. And I use the motivations of wanting to surround

"myself" with things from my time and place that would help my persona

to feel more comfortable to give me more reason to keep authentic to

the time I am studying instead of trying to mish-mash other times and

places into the scenario directly surrounding Lionardo.


This helps me to feel more in character without having to resort to

some other fantasy that I would personally find more difficult to

accept. Such as "killing" someone on the list field, instead of

looking at it as a tournament with bated blades where we fall down and

"die" for showmanship and the edification of the nobles present. That

way I can "kill" my friends and still have those friends later. ;-)


I could say more on how other such situations fit into this mindset

but I think you can get the idea. This is a method I find I can use to

help make things more understandable in the context of what my persona

might see. Perhaps that could work for you as well, especially if you

can find any stories in your persona's time period that would help

substantiate your viewpoint.


I wish you the best of luck in deciding how you wish to reconcile

these differences for your persona!


Honos Servio,

Lionardo Acquistapace, Barony of Bjornsborg, Ansteorra

(mka Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio, TX)

zarlor at acm.org



From: Chris Zakes <dontivar at gmail.com>

Date: September 26, 2006 8:41:21 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Odd question reguarding persona development


At 07:09 PM 9/26/2006, you wrote:

> On Sep 26, 2006, at 4:25 PM, Susan wrote:


>> I was pondering persona earlier and wondering just how close one's

>> persona is to be to historic people?  In that manner that we are

>> presumed to be of the gentry (I can't remember the exact on this), this

>> was a limited population in period-some times and places more so that

>> others..  Where is the line on presumptions of our relationships of the

>> actual people who lived in period?  This has always confused me, it is

>> one of those paradoxes that I have never really been able to work

>> out to a degree I am comfortable with.


>> Susan the Curious


> You cannot claim to be someone who actually lived in period. You

> can't be Charlemagne or Joan of Arc or King Henry, but you can be one

> of Charlemangne's gardeners or King Henry's mistress.


> The assumption is that everyone is of gentle birth, however, that

> doesn't mean you can't play a serf, a peasant, a merchant or a

> tradesman if you wish. If you choose a lower class as that of your

> persona, it can set up some conflicts you have to work around. For

> instance, as a non-gentle, how do you handle getting an Award of

> Arms?


I recall a lady from Meridies, who was present at the Anvil War,

getting her Award of Arms. She, too, was a peasant, and when she

realized why they'd called her into Court, she ran off and hid in the

bathroom. His Majesty (Sir Francois, if I remember correctly)

promptly got up from his throne, strode to the back of the hall, held

open the bathroom door and had his herald read her scroll anyway.


          -Tivar Moondragon



From: "willowdewisp at juno.com" <willowdewisp at juno.com>

Date: June 16, 2007 11:30:00 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] "direputable"


<<< Two things to remember, 1)It IS called "Persona PLAY"

2) If you insist on playing an unpopular Persona,

expect to be treated "in character" as the Persona

would have been treated.

  Then, remembering those two points, have fun playing

the game.

  If, on the other hand, you cannot stand being

treated like a criminal, during the event where you

are a pirate persona, I strongly advise you to choose

another persona.


         Ld Adm Robert Haddock:; Ansteorran Royal Navy, Ret. >>>


This is very important wisdom. Please remember a real ninja, pirate, highwayman, member of Robin Hoods band and anyone else who is doing something that is not approved by regular society would not go into a tavern an announce, "I am a Ninja,etc"  No real pirate would publicly claim he was a pirate.


I remember at the first war with the Middle aka 'Willow's War". A young Caldal Lady was approach by a gentleman and look at her and said he was a Ninja. The young Lady replied in persona that she would never have anything to do with an assassin. I don't approve of pirate in persona, but I didn't look askance at my sons going a Viking. Also I don't ask questions when people come into my port with strange objects.


If a person is doing something illegal it is normal for him/her to not put it out in the open. This can also be if you are running with people who normally wouldn't travel with you. For example, you are a Finn traveling with a bunch of Norsemen. I have a lot of respect for personas who quietly show what they are without announcing it.





From: Susan McMahill <sueorintx at hotmail.com>

Date: January 26, 2008 7:02:10 PM CST

To: "ansteorra at ansteorra.org" <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Ansteorra] Personna play


Much has been said lately about high persona play. Sir JP has expressed feelings that are much like my own, from what I can tell. I have always loved history. Have studied it closely ever since I was a tot. I have also spent most of my life being incredibly shy. I know that there are many who would have a hard time believing this now, but it is still true. I cannot do a cold sales call for love nor money and I hate making phone calls in many cases, especially to people I don't know.


The idea of playing high persona is agonizing. I love the study, the learning, etc. but if I wanted to play high persona, I would join the cast of the local Ren Faire or community theater.


Practicing high persona, in my opinion, is anachronistic to the maximum. If I were to play high persona, I would not speak to half of my friends in the SCA. A late 12th century Norman/English woman would hardly socialize with Vikings (I married one), Welsh or Irish, and certainly would have little contact with Moors, Saracens, Scots, etc.


Instead, I am an Ansteorran woman who has developed a basic persona because it is expected, and late 12th century England is where my interest lies. I will follow the customs of my land which has people of varied interests and cultures, and I will comport myself as a woman of Ansteorra. We have adopted many customs of earlier times, but speak the same language and accept people of other times and places as our own. While I have studied of Henry II, Richard, John, and Queen Eleanor of blessed memory, MY king and queen are Aaron and Vanessa. The persona I will play is that which I live.


Vivat Anstorra! My homeland, My dream!


Lyneya de Grey



From: Rose & Chad <love at roseandchad.net>

Date: January 26, 2008 7:24:48 PM CST

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Personna play


<<< Susan McMahill <sueorintx at hotmail.com> wrote:

  I am an Ansteorran woman who has developed a basic persona because it is expected, and late 12th century England is where my interest lies. I will follow the customs of my land which has people of varied interests and cultures, and I will comport myself as a woman of Ansteorra. We have adopted many customs of earlier times, but speak the same language and accept people of other times and places as our own. While I have studied of Henry II, Richard, John, and Queen Eleanor of blessed memory, MY king and queen are Aaron and Vanessa. The persona I will play is that which I live.


Lyneya de Grey >>>


I have to agree with that. First, when I was about fourteen or fifteen, I made a personna of a girl from 13th century England. I researched like mad and loved every minute of it. At about seventeen, I spent alot of time researching the Byzantine for my new persona and loving every minute of it. About two years ago, I started research for my new(est) persona, a sailor from the 1500s. In the meantine, having no talent for sewing, my garb is pretty basic but not specific to this persona nor the one before that. (But could probably pass for the first persona I created.) I'm sure that in a few years, I will have exhausted my interest in a full-time study of this time and place, and will be on to the next stage in history.


  I've always felt really guilty that my interest in medieval history didn't stick to a specific time and place, but now I feel that I can spend a few years on one time, and the next on another, and that's okay. The beauty of medieval history is that there's so damn much of it and it's all so interesting that I joined a reenactment group where I play at history with dozens of other people who feel roughly the same way. :) Kind of like that last scene in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, when they're giving thier history report, only with more representatives from times and places...


  And in the end, as Lady de Grey has very eloquently stated, no matter what time and place my interest wanders to, I am in Ansteorra now. Vivat!


  R the O



From: "willowdewisp at juno.com" <willowdewisp at juno.com>

Date: January 27, 2008 5:26:46 PM CST

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] why Personna play


I want everyone to know that I think persona play has many levels and playing like you live in the Kingdom Ansteorra is perfectly valid.


Somehow  persona play got associated with things like Duke Caradoc does. Most Lions in Ansteorra play it a little different. We might float back and forth from being Ultra high, That is acting like you are really in the past in another country to just being what we are  in Ansteorra.


The medieval construct, Ansteorra allows to explore how it would feel to live in a medieval world.  But it is a social construct and takes everyone working together to make it live.


Many of the values that everyone cherish as part of the our combined viewpoints of the construct. We have created a community around the construct. That community has norms and values. The stronger the social reality of the community the stronger the norms and values. Therefore it is important that everyone to stay in character if we want the norms and values of our community to be taken seriously.


Our medieval construct has several pillars. The first one comes out of out fighting. Our fighting is based on studying and recreating the fighting style and fighting values of Chivalry of the middle ages. The Code of behavior of our Martial art , not sport is the code that was presented in the literature  We are looking for the "perfect fighter" who is the "good man" not the reality of the Middle age but what "they" thought it ought to be. The whole spirit of the SCA is bound up with our fighting and without the code we would lose much of "the Dream".


The Second Pillar of our community comes from "the code of courtesy". Unlike the "Code of Chivalry" which was written down by 19th century writers the "code of courtesy" has never been codified. It is the behavior expected between the fighter and non fighter. In historical term this usually meant the fighting man and woman and clerics . In the literature there were some reference to fighting woman and they were expected in the literature to behave toward non fighters the same way as fighting men. It is out of the expectation of courtesy that we get our norms and values concerning gentle men's behavior toward ladies in the SCA.

Many of out norms and values also stem from the Southern mind think. about the medieval world. Please remember it was Mark Twain that stated the Civil War was caused by the Southerners preoccupation with with Chivalry.


When I was a little girl these values were very much alive in the general populace but in the last 20 years the world have move away from these ideals. Many young people don't understand were we are coming from.


When I was young I had a strong understanding of medieval mind thinks and literature and I could start playing the SCA right from the start. I wonder if young people find what we are doing a little confusing. Could this confusion be one of the reasons for lower recruitment?





From: "willowdewisp at juno.com" <willowdewisp at juno.com>

Date: February 11, 2008 8:13:50 PM CST

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] persona play late period English


One of the ways to build persona is to look at highly respected people of the period and use them as a role model. If you were really living in the time you night do that.

For example William Mashall was considered The "perfect knight" so looking at him could tell you how to behave as a gentleman and knight in the Kingdom of Ansteorra.


I have a list of "worthies" that were put out in late 15th century. You might want to look into them.


I would be interested you your opinions about these individuals.


Nine Worthies of London is a book by Richard Johnson, the English romance novelist, written in 1592. Borrowing the theme from the Nine Worthies of Antiquity, the book, subtitled Explaining the Honourable Excise of Armes, the Vertues of the Valiant, and the Memorable Attempts of Magnanimous Minds; Pleasaunt for Gentlemen, not unseemly for Magistrates, and most profitable for Prentises, celebrated the rise of nine famous Londoners through society from the ranks of apprentices or ordinary citizens.


The nine were:


Sir William Walworth, who killed Wat Tyler, the leader of Peasants' Revolt of 1381. Sir William was originally a fishmonger, and later twice became Lord Mayor of London (in 1374 and 1380).


Sir Henry Pritchard, a vintner, who in 1356 provided a feast for Edward III and 5,000 men returning from France, including Edward the Black Prince; John, King of Austria; the King of Cyprus; and David, King of Scotland.


Sir William Sevenoke, who fought against the Dauphin in France, and later, having made money as a grocer, became a philanthropist and built twenty almshouses and a school. He was Lord Mayor in 1418 and in 1420 became a Member of Parliament.


Sir Thomas White, who, in 1554, helped keep the citizens loyal to Mary Tudor during Wyatt's rebellion. A merchant tailor and son of a poor clothier, he founded St John's College, Oxford. He became both Sheriff and later Lord Mayor of London.


Sir John Bonham, a mercer, who was entrusted with a valuable cargo bound for Denmark and found favour at the Danish court. While there he was made commander of the army raised to stop the progress of the "great Solyman". He made peace with the Turkish leader and returned to England a rich man.


Christopher Croker, originally a vintner, who with the Black Prince assisted Pedro of Castile in maintaining his claim to the throne of Castile.


Sir John Hawkwood, who served under Edward III in France and later became a mercenary commander in Italy, where he was known as Giovanni Acuto. He was the son of an Essex tanner or a London tailor.


Sir Hugh Calverley, a silk weaver, who was a renowned hunter and famed for killing a huge boar (or bear) for the Poles.


Sir Henry Maleverer, generally called Henry of Cornhill, a grocer who lived in the reign of Henry IV. He was a knight in the Crusades, and highly regarded by the King of Jerusalem. He eventually fell out of favour and became the guardian of Jacob's Well in the Holy Land.



From: DonPieter at aol.com

Date: July 16, 2008 5:55:40 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] persona execution


<<< Sounds  like a fun idea, actually. When the name I had been researching got

passed, I  put my old name 'In a box.' Linet gets out occasionally, usually

when there is  mischief about, but the idea of killing the old personna

off......hm sounds  interesting. If I ever decide to change my personna, I will

consider Lyneya's  demise.


Lyneya de Grey >>>


Well just let me know if I can help. Here is what I normally do.


I get a set of old garb that the old persona has worn in public.

Make an effigy

Execute the old persona at an event. (The site may not work with some  

methods i.e. burn ban no stake, open field with no trees no hanging)

I will announce after the effigy is dead "The persona is dead, long live the


Give a signed copy of the warrant of death to the new persona who was "there

as a witness" which they sign. This way anyone coming up to them using the

old name can be shown that, no in fact that person no longer exists and  that

they personally saw the execution. Clearing up any issues.


Fun and wake parties can be had by all.




<the end>

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