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The-Eric-art - 12/10/13


"The Eric" by Lady Wystl de Tretower.


NOTE: See also the files: West-hist-msg, SCA-hist1-msg, An-SCA-History-art, Aten-hist-art, child-stories-msg, SCA-stories1-msg, you-know-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



"The Eric"

by Lady Wystl de Tretower


The Eric refers to the rope, or other markers that designate the boundary of a tournament list field (sometimes called the Eric Rope).  By extension, the list field itself is also referred to as The Eric.  But…. WHY?


Newcomers to the SCA are often confused by the flood of new terms that comes with playing Middle Ages. Personally, I had anticipated being faced with words I'd never heard before – that was expected.  (You don't know how much time I spent trying to research costuming for horses on the internet – before someone finally clued me in that it was called 'barding'!)  What I hadn't expected, was how many terms are familiar, in their modern use, but actually have quite a different meaning in their period context.  And what I find particularly funny, is discovering all these terms that I've become accustomed to in the past 2 years, only to find out that they are not period at all but are purely SCA-isms.  These guys worm their way into the collective vocabulary and it's amusing to find that it is not just the newcomers who unquestioningly adopt a term, but the veterans, too, may have been using it for years equally uninitiated as to its origin.


Early in the days of the SCA (May 1969 ish) a tournament was held in the West Kingdom.  The seamstress who had sewn the Royal Pavilion, had excess material left over, and so sewed these strips together to form the list field boundary.  This strap she died red.  In a segue that remains somewhat unexplained, the red boundary reminded folks of the famous viking, Eric the Red.  And thus, the boundary rope was thereafter referred to as 'Eric'


The term obviously caught on, and is still used regionally – apparently most common in the West, and decreasing usage the further away one travels.  One player from Calontir told me that they did not encounter the term until moving to the Outlands.




1) From: An Unofficial Glossary of Terms As Used in the SCA



Eric, The -- The markers around the List field, hence often used by extension for the area within the markers. Camping "on the Eric" is not "balanced upon the markers", but is phrased in the sense of a "cabin on the lake" (i.e., at the shore). Historical Note: The following quote is from Sir Robert of Dunharrow: "Marynel [of Darkhaven] did indeed make the fabric portion of the first Royal Pavilion and all of us who gave $4 or $5 toward the materials got to put our devices on one of the dags. She cut & sewed the leftover scraps into long strips and dyed them red for a field marker to replace the clumsy stakes & ropes I used to haul around. Master Beverly [of Hodghead], who also invented portable holes for banner poles, devised the little wires with loops on top that went thru sewn pockets in the red cloth strips and were pushed into the ground to hold up what came to be called 'Eric' since it was RED!" (As in "Eric the Red" of Viking fame ...) This dates to approximately May of AS IV (1969). The use of the term "The Eric" is mostly found in the West Kingdom.


2) A related page, An Unofficial Glossary of Combat Terms As Used in the SCA


Has the above definition, but adds:

In Caid the "Peril" is often referred to in reference to the yellow version of "Eric the Red" which came later, called "The Yellow Peril". This name didn't stick in The West, but appears to have, at least for some time in Caid.


3) Barony of Atenvelt's Newcomer page



The Eric got its name in the early days of the SCA. The Kingdom of the West (San Francisco area) originally marked off its field with a strip of red cloth. Because it was red, and because the SCA is full of punsters, the barrier quickly became known as the Eric, after Eric the Red, a famous Viking.


4) From Cunnan



Eric rope

The Eric rope is an inauthentic, but traditional SCA term, referring to the rope that surrounds a list field. It originated at events in the early days of the West Kingdom. Because the rope used was red, it was referred to as Eric the Red, and the term just stuck. In fact, some people have taken it so far to refer to the list field as 'The Eric'.


The regional use of this term is subject to InterKingdom Anthropology:

(meaning that its use varies widely by kingdom/region)


Copyright 2010 by Monica Signer. <monica.signer at gmail.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<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