Reconstruction, not Anachronism

An Ásatrú Blog

A very good friend of mine is a Celtic Reconstructionist, focusing on Irish tradition and folklore. We recently had a long discussion about why he refuses to join any organizations around the Atlanta area. His objections boil down to the consistent mandate for “ritual garb” like long robes and how he simply finds these things to be impediments to his experiencing his faith on a deeper emotional level. Additionally, the style of dress isn’t historically accurate. Instead, it’s very Victorian in the depiction of “druids” and bears no semblance of reality to what the people actually wore. In short, his is a modern faith rooted in the past but it is not an anachronistic faith that is trying to look the part as someone else envisions it. We both concur on the idea that our ancestors didn’t play dress up and put on clothing that predated their time, only that…

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Whale of a Tale, or there’s something fishy about this place…

Gilt Pleasures

Did you hear the one about the sailors who landed on an island, built a campfire and then got blown sky-high by a geyser?  No?  How about the sailors who landed on an island, built a campfire and then the whole island did a deep-dive, taking them with it?

These are just a couple of tales that made the rounds in the middle ages and both are based on the misconception that whales like to float at the surface of the water and so accumulate sand on their backs; sailors in turn mistake the whales for islands and when they make camp, may either find themselves unceremoniously caught up in the whale’s blow-hole eruption or, more commonly, they make a campfire and when it gets too hot, it startles the whale into diving into the depths, taking the sailors with it to their deaths.

Another commonly-told story about the whale…

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Medieval Anachronisms, Part 3: Cranes Hoisting Armored Knights

Made of Ƿ

Visit the “Post Series” page for the full series.

In Sword of the Valiant, the knights of Camelot use a crane to hoist young Sir Gawain onto his horse before he rides off for adventure. In criticisms of the Middle Ages, one common comment of derision is that by the end of the period, armor had become so heavy and elaborate that cranes were needed to hoist knights onto their horses. This criticism usually implies that the nobility had nothing better to do than make their armor look fancy while the peasants died in droves while fighting their lords’ wars because they couldn’t afford armor (another misconception). It is also used to make fun of the stupid knights who wore such armor because if they landed facedown in a puddle, they would be unable to lift themselves and would drown (I always wonder why these people don’t…

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