Lion of Ansteorra

dennis grace amazing at
Tue Jul 1 07:01:33 PDT 1997

Aquilanne here.

Clalre wrote:
>  It doesn't have to be proven whether or not it is
>fair, it is tradition. 

This is an attitude that, frankly, scares me. Ownership of women and
children has been (and, unfortunately in some places, still is) "tradition;"
slavery has had it's time as "tradition;" virgin sacrifice and crucifixion
have had their marquis time as "tradition." Although, I am well aware, these
are some extreme examples, I wouldn't consider any of them fair, either, and
at one time, folk would say to someone who questioned these practices that
"well, its the way we've always done it" or "well, it's tradition."

If I am naive and alone in believing that fairness is more important than
tradition, so be it. My original concern was based in the question of which
was more important, the Ideal which inspires such recognitions as the Lion
of Ansteorra, or the Tradition, which came after. I truly believe that if
Tradition takes precedence over Ideal, then something has been lost.

Clare also asks,
>        I am curious since the concept of the Lion originated for us from
>Atenveldt how it is handled to our neighbors to the West?  Does the award
>get handed out automatically or do they skip reigns.  Did Artemsia and the
>Outlands continue the tradition and how have they handled when and how they
>give it out. 

The Lion of Atenveldt is held in the same high regard, and handled similarly
to, the Lion of Ansteorra. However, we know of at least one instance where
the intended recipient was, for whatever reason, unable to make it to the
event where the crown intended to give it (with all due respect, Hossein,
crowns do not bestow omniscience), so the crown announced the Lion, informed
the populace that it would be passed to the incoming crown to present for
them at a later date, and bade the populace to "not tell" the intended
recipient. How well the populace "kept the secret" is not important; what
*was* important was the tears on folks faces who _knew_ this to be a just
and worthy recognition, and that _the recognition was made_. For Atenveldt,
the Lion is a recognition based very much in ideal, and the ideal takes
precedence over tradition.

Quite frankly, it sounds as though some crowns here in Ansteorra feel the
same way, hence the breaking with tradition in order to bestow the Lion to
worthy recipients at events other than Coronation. It would seem that change
does occur, and perhaps I'm not, after all, the only person naive enough to
be concerned with fairness.

Yours in naive service,
Dennis Grace
University of Texas at Austin
English Department
Recovering Medievalist
amazing at

The banana is great, but the skin of the banana is greater still.
                                                        -George Orwell

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