Recognizing Skill and Good Works

Aodhan Ite an Fhithich aodhan at
Mon Oct 21 22:52:42 PDT 1996

Dia duit!

dennis guy grace  wrote in a message to All:

 dgg> I'm no archer, but I think His Excelency's comments unfairly Straw
 dgg> Dog the matter of recognition.

I'm not at all sure what your are implying by this phrase.  Are you perhaps
mixing "strawman" with "dog in a manger"?

 dgg> True, we don't recognize
 dgg> individual areas within the arts and sciences,

Actually, we do.  The Award of the Sable Thistle is given for skill in a
specific art or craft and the field in designated on the scroll and in the roll
of precedence. A person can receive multiple Thistles, each for a separate
field.  The Thistle carries an Award of Arms, if the recipient does not already
have such.  We just don't have a separate award for each field.

 dgg> but we do recognize
 dgg> fighting skills (an art and a science)

Not armigerously below the Grant level, however (White Scarf and Centurions).

 dgg> and we do recognize service
 dgg> (an art and a science).

AoA: Sable Crane, Sable Comet, King's Glove, Queen's Gauntlet.
GoA: Star of Merit, Court Barony.
Plus all the Baronial Service awards (which carry AoAs).

 dgg> The problem with archery and--sorry to
 dgg> stir these coals--rapier fencing is simply that we never know
 dgg> where to classify either skill.  Rapier skill is an art, a
 dgg> fighting skill, and (through teaching and demonstration) a service
 dgg> related activity.  Archery is further complicated by the
 dgg> differentiation of combat archery from target archery.  Since the
 dgg> areas are so complex, I think we demonstrate both greater
 dgg> consistency and a level of concern for those involved if we treat
 dgg> them with unique solutions.

In what ways is archery more complex than say, period encampments, (any period)
costuming, or weaving, to name just a few crafts of the top of my head? I have
some experience in each of these and each is every bit as complex as (if not
actually more complex than) archery.  Should we not then have separate awards
for each of these crafts?  Are any of the others I listed really any less
complex or less deserving of individual recognition?

 dgg> Awards?  Hell, I'd like to see an
 dgg> archer's equivalent of the White Scarf (which, yes, I think should
 dgg> be a peerage--there, that oughta get me in trouble).

Frankly, I wish we could do away with our peerages - the only one with any real
medieval precedent is Knighthood and we have it on the wrong end of the
spectrum.  And the Grant level is a complete fabrication.

It was rare in the Middle Ages for one to receive recognition (by way of titles
or land) from the Crown; it was *extremely* rare to recieve such recognition
more than once in a lifetime.  Yet, we have a system in which people actually
expect to get such recognition several times over the course of a few years.
>From the records of the last few reigns during which I served as Zodiacus
Herald, the Crowns of Ansteorra have been giving out, on average, over 500
armigerous awards per year.  That's about 10% of the Kingdom being called up
and formally recognized in Court.  Did 10% of England or France ever see their
King in person, much less receive recognition in His Court?

We have too many awards and they are given out too freely.  What we have
resembles, more than anything, the Boy Scout merit badge system. Is it really
necessary to have awards and titles in order to recognize those who have done
well?  Is not public acclaim from the Crown enough?

Baron Aodhan Ite an Fhithich, ML
Dobharchu Herald

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