--- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
, Tiffany Brown <teffania@...> wrote:
> Someone on my local list asked if there were better titles for our
> Arts & Sciences officer (called Arts & sciecnes minister in other
> parts I beleive). I think they were more worried about the feel of
> the word - the fantasy setting rather than the history, but I wondered
> what are the closest roles to this role that we know of historically?
Let me give you a bit of background first before answering your question. Mind you, I am generalising somewhat for brevity's sake.
The guild structure in medieval Tallinn was a complex due to the segregation of Germans and non-Germans, merchants, craftspeople, and between the upper town (Domberg) and lower town (Reval).
First of all, Tallinn was divided into two areas:
Domberg, where the fogt (representative of the royal power, enforcing the royal law), nobility and their servants lived, with the craftspeople supporting them in their own Dom-Gilde;
Reval, where the Hansa merchants, craftspeople and locals lived, ruled by a Bürgermeister (mayor) and Rat (council) according to Lübeck law.
Each area was surrounded by its own walls, separating Domberg and Reval into two different towns not only legally but also physically. In Reval each trade had it's own zunft (guild) that belonged to one of the following gilde (union) according to the segregation rules.
- Große Gilde. A union of the married bulk merchants. The council members and the mayor were elected only from the members of this guild. Also, some very high status members of the clergy, and some Hansa trade ship captains could belong to this guild.
- Tafelgilde. A guild for charitable work. Only members of Große Gilde could become members of this guild. Since the memberships are nearly identical, these two guilds are largely considered one guild.
- Schwarzhäupter. A union of unmarried bulk merchants. When a member married and/or became a citizen, he could apply for membership in the Große Gilde.
- Kanutus-Gilde or Kanuti-Gilde. Union of German craftspeople. This was a union of prestigious trade guilds, like goldsmiths, bakers, tailors, shoemakers, blacksmiths, etc. Also, retail merchants belonged here after being thrown out of Große Gilde in 1423.
- Olevi-Gilde. Union of non-German craftspeople. This was a union of non-prestigious trade guilds like carters, stonemasons, carpenters, butchers, hemp-spinners and rope-makers, tanners, etc.
Each gilde was led by an olderman, elected by the members for three years. Each olderman also had two aides, called bisitter, who assisted the olderman for two years. Gerdelude and schaffere took care of the day-to-day administrative tasks in addition to organising the two annual feasts (one per position). Vormunder was responsible for the guild hall and the financial issues.
Of the above positions, the olderman best matches the A&S minister duties and is also probably the easiest to transplant to SCA's English speaking culture.
And taste it, however it seems good to you, make it so. Sabina Welserin anno 1553