Monday, December 23, 2013

Medieval Occupations -- Professionals

Alright, here's a much longer list than the previous two.

Artist -- a painter of portraits
Bowyer -- a person who makes or sells archer's bows
Brewer -- a maker of beer and ale
Bricklayer -- a laborer skilled in the building of walls and ducts
Candlemaker or Chandler
Carpenter -- an elite tradesman, skilled in math as well as woodworking
Cartwright -- a maker and repairer of carts and wagons
Clothier -- a garment maker
Cobbler or Shoemaker -- a maker and mender of shoes
Cooper -- a barrel maker
Dyer -- a maker of inks, paints, dyes, and stains
Furrier -- a person who prepares or deals in furs
Goldsmith or Silversmith
Innkeeper or Tavernkeeper

The difference between an Inn and a Tavern. Very useful tip...

Inns appeared in England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and were apparently fairly common, especially in towns, by the fifteenth century. The earliest buildings still standing today, such as New Inn, Gloucester, or King's Head, Aylesbury, date from this time. While inns provided lodgings for travelers, taverns were drinking houses seeking to cater for the more prosperous levels of society. The leading taverners in larger towns were themselves vintners or acted as agents for vintners. The Vintner's Company of London, for instance, secured an essential monopoly of the retail trade in the city in 1364. A tavern of the later Medieval period might be imagined as a fairly substantial building of several rooms and a generous cellar. Taverns had signs to advertise their presence to potential customers, and branches and leaves would be hung over the door to give notice that wine could be purchased. Some taverns sold wine as their only beverage, and a customer could also purchase food brought in from a convenient cook-shop. Taverns seldom offered lodgings or very elaborate feasting, such as would be expected at inns. [source]

Joiner -- a maker of furniture

I personally find leatherworking very fascinating. I love leather and leather objects (clothing, armor, accessories, etc.). There's something earthy and rugged about it that I find attractive. Yes, mostly in
medieval style, but also in some modern clothes, as well. Like leather jackets.

One thing I'd love to learn how to do someday is leatherworking. If I can manage to carve out some time, what with writing and reading and, you know, life, maybe I could give it a shot. Of course, it'd be nice to have someone who already knew leatherworking to be around to show me how it's done. I'm notoriously impatient when it comes to self teaching...

Shipwright -- a builder of ships
Tax Collector
Tinker -- a travelling craftsman who repairs tin pots and other small items, often also a peddler
Trader -- by land or by sea
Vintner -- a maker of wines

And there are the professionals. By the way, if there are any of these occupations you'd like to hear more about, leave a comment and I'll see what cursory information I can dig up.

Dia duit,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Penny For Your Thoughts

Christmas is coming, which means I'm flurrying about to, in this case, make Christmas presents for all my peoples.

So this is what I have been doing this evening.

These are DIY washer necklaces. They're not finished yet, just somewhat assembled so I can see if I like the designs I came up with. Still have to make a few more.... I have about a dozen to get done, all together, by the time I'm finished. These are just four of them.

And for the sake of fun, I'm not going to say, which goes to who. Mwuaha.

When I'm completely finished making them, I'll see about making a tutorial. Because if they work out (pleeeaaasseee God let them work out.... I have no plan B) they would make really fun LARP jewelry/objects.

Dia duit,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Medieval Occupations -- Lesser Nobility

Now on to Lesser Nobility.

Lesser Nobility
Adventurer -- A minor scion of a noble house who's chosen to wander the world

Not sure if that's an actual historical rank there, but it's cool anyway, and useful for IGs and LARPs.

Dilettante -- A minor scion of a noble house who dabbles in various interests

Now here's another interesting occupation. This is the dictionary definition:
n. (pl. dilettanti or dilettantes)
A person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
Archaic a person with an ameteur interest in the arts.

That sounds somewhat frivolous and unreliable, but perhaps consider that such a person could be very useful when speaking with others who are unfamiliar with a certain topic. Without being confined to learning one topic really well, dilletantes can know enough cursory facts on a given subject to be able to give simple explanations, then later introduce those more interested in a certain field to some of the masters for more in depth discourses. Handy, I think.

Diplomat -- A representative of his house in dealings with other noble houses
Knight -- A well trained warrior, skilled with sword or lance

A note on lances.

The weapons used during the Middle Ages include the Lance - A long, strong, spear-like weapon, designed for use on horseback. The description of the Lance which provides basic facts and
information about the weapon is as follows:
  • Lance - History saw the spear develop into the Medieval Lance used during warfare during the Middle Ages and was also a popular weapon used during jousting tournaments
  • The lance was made of wood, usually ash, with a metal tip made of iron or steel similar to a spear head
  • Knights would paint their lance to match the colors of their livery or coats of arms
  • The weapon measured from 9 to 14 feet in length
  • A lance-rest was developed in the form of a projection on the side of a suit of armor where the lance was supported to help the Knight in combat
  • Later a piece of armor called a vamplate which was a round of iron on the shaft of the weapon which was designed to protect the hand and arm
  • During jousts at Tournaments the head of the weapon was fitted with a Coronal instead of the sharp point used for war
  • A blow could apply tremendous force and could apply significant injury to a knight in armor
  • The Medieval horse, called a Destrier was the favored horses of knights in the Middle Ages
  • Knights who used lances were also armed with a dagger and a sword to enable them to battle enemies who had been unhorsed. This lengthy weapon was far too unwieldy to use in close combat
  • Type or group of weapons - Polearm - A group of pole-mounted weapons. Were all variations of poles measuring between 4 and 14 feet long with different 'heads' - spikes, hammers, spears, axe etc. []
Minister -- A political figure appointed by the ruler to govern a specific area or to oversee a domain; also lesser but important officials, such as reeve or judge
Page -- A very young noble beginning his training to be a knight
Squire -- A young noble progressing on the path to knighthood, perhaps himself a capable warrior

So there you have it. Tune in next time for Professionals!

Dia duit,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Medieval Occupations -- Learned

Guilt and discovery play a role in this latest post. My life is such that I don't spend as much time on the computer as I used to, and thus my blog isn't as frequented. That's the guilt part. The other part is Pinterest -- a wonderful invention -- that led me to discover a list of 100 Medieval Occupations. Being the fantasy writer I am, I was elated, and thought I'd share that list with you in my own words (and pictures, of course).

Academic -- scholar or sage -- astrologer, cartographer, historian, philosopher, etc.

Reading up on astrologers, it appears they were much more mainstream than I previously thought. Not that I gave it much thought, really, but one site says: Hilary M. Carey notes: “It permeated most aspects of mediaeval intellectual, cultural and political life, and it is not possible to enter sympathetically into mediaeval society without understanding it”. We might consider as analogous modern day germ theory; while the non-medical professional doesn’t necessarily understand the science of microbes, this theory is still one epistemological model through which we understand our world. []

Ideas of astrology in medieval Europe were a long way from today's star sign horoscopes. Although some medieval astrologers were thought to be magicians, many were highly respected scholars. Astrologers believed that the movements of the stars influenced numerous things on earth, from the weather and the growth of crops to the personalities of new born babies and the inner workings of the human body. [source]

Interesting to consider when it comes to worldbuilding.

Cartography, for those who don't know, is map making. I've always thought that kind of thing was very neat, for those who have the mind for it. Which I don't. My spacial perception is awful. But I have always liked old maps.

So, Academic. An Academic is anyone who studies (and practices) a certain refined science.

Architect -- Master builder
Ascetic -- A hermit or wandering monk

Friar Tuck-ish? And look at what all the barbers did.

Barber -- doctor, surgeon, bloodletter, dentist, and haircutter.

Looks like they got a little carried away with their razors, hm?

"They often performed procedures ranging from leeching and dentistry right up to surgical procedures such as amputations, hernia repairs and gallstone operations. Surgery was a nightmarish affair because up until the discovery of anesthetic, operations were performed on conscious patients. Procedures needed to be performed as quickly as possible so that patients did not die from blood loss or pain.
In order to show that he had set up shop, a barber would place a red and white stripedA US barber pole in front of a barber shop pole out in front of their shop. This tradition carries through today although in the USA, the pole has red and blue stripes. The pole actually refers to the barber’s dual roles of medicine and hair care. The red strip refers to the surgery aspect of the trade and the white refers to the process of caring for someone’s hair.
If you look at an original barber pole, you will see that there is a wash basin at the top. This was usually made of brass and represented a container where leeches would be kept. There is also a second basin at the bottom of the pole which represents the container which would catch any blood that was produced during treatment."

Barrister -- a lawyer
Bureaucrat -- a local functionary, servant to some more powerful political figure
Engineer -- builder of roads, bridges, castles, fortifications, and siege engines
Herald -- an announcer and deliverer of news on behalf of a lord
Monk/Nun -- a lay cleric devoted to prayer and spirituality
Scribe -- skilled in taking dictation or copying documents

There's the first batch. Next we'll look at Lesser Nobility.

Dia duit,