Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday and no Gilbert

Ok, not funny anymore. I dont have my Gilbert yet. Ill just have to post blind. I really liked the work Dale and I put into the "Sword Issue". Im not sure how much got edited out, but visiting the Oakeshott folks last Summer was some of the most fun Ive had in a while.

The things Im pretty sure didnt get into the magazine:

I got to see the eyes pop out of the head of the normally cool and collected Dale Ahlquist: Craig Johnson had us put on those now infamous white gloves and handle some of the old swords while he told us about the history of each one. Dale's son, Adrian was holding the sword at the far right of the table. Craig mentioned, "This weapon comes from probably the 9th century in Northern Europe. See the carved fingers raised in a benedictus gestures? This was probably owned by one of the first Christian Cheiftans of the era." Dale's response? "PUT DOWN THAT THOUSAND YEAR OLD ANTIQUE!" Lots of fun, learned so much at that place.

I doubt some of the deeper thoughts and writings from Ewart Oakeshott got into the magazine, but a couple things I found fascinating were some facts which fill in many gaps in understanding English literature.

Ex: Beowulf --Hrothgar is a "ring-giver." These are not LOTR finger rings, but a ring that went around the pommel of a Viking's sword to denote a type of captaincy or leadership.

Arthur -- The Lady in the Lake - In Northern Europe, the Vikings, Danes, etc. got to be very good at making swords, but not at preserving metals. During times of peace, it was fairly common practice to throw weapons into bogs, or buried in lake bottoms. The lack of oxygen preserved the metal, so that when a period of conflict came, the people would dredge the bog and pull out and clean off the still sharp swords. It was not uncommon to post a guard at the bog to prevent weapons from being stolen. This was exclusive to the north. Thus, the idea of a hero being given a sword from underneath a lake becomes much more understandable. Remember a couple years ago a mummified body was pulled out of one of these bogs? A couple months ago an old Psalter was found as well. Its like these bogs were the Walmarts of the migration era North.

Where is my magazine? Its like I need to rattle a saber or something..........
Have a great weekend everybody.


Nancy C. Brown said...

I'm waiting for mine, too.

While you're waiting, why don't you play the ACS blog game?

Nancy C. Brown said...

Monday and still no Gilbert....