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What is a Courtier?

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  • Randy & Beth Berry
    Hi everyone, There was a class at Collegium Occidentalis which opened with this question. (Thank you Simon for the class.) I felt that it was a good subject
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 20, 2005
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      Hi everyone,
      There was a class at Collegium Occidentalis which opened with this
      question. (Thank you Simon' for the class.) I felt that it was a good
      subject for this group and I will also be bringing it up at the next
      Rapier Philosophy here in the North. Now, not to be confused with the
      new Company, the Royal Company of Courtiers, I bring up for discussion
      the following questions.

      1) What is your definition of a Courtier.

      2) What was a Courtier in the historical sense and where can we find
      documentation of this?

      3) How is the Courtier played in the SCA?

      4) And lastly, how can we tailor ourselves to bring a more historical
      feel to the Courtier within the SCA?

      I would be truly interested in your thoughts on these.
      Sincerely,
      Sorcha Careman
      LGM
    • Staffan Arffuidsson
      Greetings, I ll take a stab at these interesting questions. 1) What is your definition of a Courtier? Well, the Oxford English Dictionary definition is as
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 21, 2005
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        Greetings,

        I'll take a stab at these interesting questions.

        1) What is your definition of a Courtier?
        Well, the Oxford English Dictionary definition is as follows:
        n. A person who attends or frequents a sovereign's court. (Derived
        from Old French 'cortoyer': be present at court)

        My current definition of a Courtier is based off of the
        _Book_of_the_Courtier_ (1). For those who have not read it, there are
        many similarities between what constituted the epitome of being a
        courtier and the archetype of chivalry. In fact the author reflected
        upon previous authors for his material.

        In the mean time, I am looking through _A
        Description_of_the_Northern_Peoples_ (2) to find any variances that
        would be applicable to my persona.


        2) What was a Courtier in the historical sense and where can we find
        documentation of this?

        Once again, I would bring up the Book of the Courtier. While there
        were a plethora of period courtiers throughout time, there does not
        seem to be many that wrote upon the concept as a whole.

        If you wanted to, you could research several different documents (3)
        that are relevant to the time period of your persona and increase
        personal knowledge. What is interesting is looking at the
        similarities and differences of several time periods; for instance,
        the ideal Norse courtier and one from sixteenth century Italy. For
        research, I would suggest any poems and stories that your chosen
        culture has written down.

        A good example would be Crimthann Mac Giolla Phadraig. He is an
        eleventh century Irishman. The concepts and philosophy that he could
        give to us could help us understand what his persona might have had to
        deal with as well as the joys and honors that could be bestowed upon
        him. Now, obviously this is vastly different from Giuiliana da Lucca.
        If I remember correctly, she is from sixteenth century Lucca (for
        those who do not know, it is a city in Italy). What she feels is
        relevant to building a strong courtier will be vastly different. But,
        if we get the chance to interact with each and every one, we can
        understand more about different times and places within history.


        3) How is the Courtier played in the SCA?
        Once again, I feel people need to look into how their personas would
        have interacted with their nobility. As of right now I am still using
        Castiglione's work as a guide.

        Also, if you look at The Book of the Courtier, many of what the
        Society uses as guidelines for a Peerage (also known as "Peer Like
        Qualities") falls under Castiglione's "Ideal Courtier". So, following
        that thought pattern, if one looks in Corpora at the guidelines, as
        well as kingdom specific ideals, then proceeds to follow those, then
        they should be on the path to what the Society would consider is a
        good courtier.


        4) And lastly, how can we tailor ourselves to bring a more historical
        feel to the Courtier within the SCA?
        Persona based courtier. I can not say it enough. This will also add
        flavor to what we do, and possibly growth for everyone.

        If anyone would like to follow me into the greater depths, I will be
        happy to discus it further on this list, or in private.

        In Service,
        Staffan Arffuidsson
        Rapier Champion to the fair Princess Peza


        Foot Notes:
        (1) Castiglione, Baldesar. 1527. The Book of the Courtier.
        (2) Magnus, Olus. 1555. A description of the Northern Peoples.
        (3) When I say document, I am referring to any manuscript, treaties,
        scroll, and etcetera that have been found containing pertinent
        information to the discussion.
      • Else Hunrvogt
        I was hoping more people would reply to this question. I think its very interesting. I d love to know what everyone else thinks. ... A member of the nobility
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 26, 2005
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          I was hoping more people would reply to this question. I think its
          very interesting. I'd love to know what everyone else thinks.

          --- In RoyalGuildofDefense@yahoogroups.com, Randy & Beth Berry
          <AKFencer@n...> wrote:

          >
          > 1) What is your definition of a Courtier.

          A member of the nobility accepted and acceptable in the Royal
          presence.


          > 2) What was a Courtier in the historical sense and where can we
          find
          > documentation of this?

          OK Me specifc - German, Female, Court of Maximillian. There are
          actually several treatises written and directed at behavior of upper
          class/noble women. Some of these have even been translated.

          At this time, the German States had a growing "middle class". At
          least some of the city-states had elected officials. It was not
          unheard of for a wealthy merchants daughter to snag a member of the
          minor nobility for marriage. It was important for these ladies to
          know how to behave.

          One of the best general studies of behavior during this time that I
          have read was "The Burgermaister's Daughter - Scandal in a Sixteenth-
          Century German Town" by Steven Ozment. It is an academic study of
          period activities from period accounts, told through the actions and
          consequences to a wild young women. Since it is about trial/scandal
          it makes a more interesting read than many of the "do this" sorts of
          period. At the same time it makes a great "what not to do" guide.

          It also serves as an important reminder of that modern underlying
          force in scandal, "Follow the money".

          In terms of virtues, PLQs, whatever, I tend to work from the
          knightly virtues rather than Castigallione. See below.


          > 3) How is the Courtier played in the SCA?

          Well, this is where being German shows through. It's all about the
          clothes. OK, maybe there is a bit more to it than that.

          It's about being a lady and a fighter at the same time. Basically,
          being tough enough to kill some guy and then let him carry my three
          pound chair while I walk around in 20 pounds of dress (see I made it
          about the clothes).

          Back to the virtues, working from the knightly virtues is certainly
          not 16th century, German female of me, but they are the ones that the
          rest of the household uses, so I have more people to talk to.
          Doesn't hurt that the Knightly virtues fit in well with my religous
          value system. Ergo Else and Nancy don't respond very differently to
          any given situation. The tough part is that Nancy lives in mostly
          Democracy and Else lives in a Monarchy with term limits. Responding
          to the King's Word as Law is very important. Especially when you
          disagree.

          As a general rule, I find infusing a little from the SCA value system
          makes it easy to slip my fencer self into a Generic 14th Century
          world. Much is made of Eastern personas remembering that it is a
          European Court. I think it helps to remember sometimes that it is
          rarely a Rennisance Court, regardless of the clothing the King and
          Queen wear. Be this I mean that the SCA government is largely based
          on the feudal system. This government does not actually fit the
          personas of a lot of the SCA.



          > 4) And lastly, how can we tailor ourselves to bring a more
          historical
          > feel to the Courtier within the SCA?

          This was the part I was hoping everyone else would answer as I am not
          sure myself.

          There are occassions where the more period (for me) choice in
          behavior is not necessarily the one that is period for the rest of
          the group. At this point I remain OK with that compromise. Part of
          the reason I play in the SCA is that I really appreciate the feudal
          overlay.


          Sorcha - Could you post a summary of your Oerthan discussions and any
          private thoughts sent to you on this one?


          Else
        • Randy & Beth Berry
          We are meeting this coming Monday night for our Rapier Philosophy night. I will try to post from this discussion shortly after that as well as my own thoughts.
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 26, 2005
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            We are meeting this coming Monday night for our Rapier Philosophy night.
            I will try to post from this discussion shortly after that as well as
            my own thoughts. Until then, are there any other thoughts?

            Sorcha

            >
            >
            > Sorcha - Could you post a summary of your Oerthan discussions and any
            > private thoughts sent to you on this one?
            >
            >
            > Else
            >
          • Simon el Martillo de Cordoba
            ... I concur Else s answer of; A member of the nobility accepted and acceptable in the Royal presence. Adding to that concise defintion, I would add that as
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 28, 2005
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              --- In RoyalGuildofDefense@yahoogroups.com, Randy & Beth Berry
              <AKFencer@n...> wrote:

              >
              > 1) What is your definition of a Courtier.

              I concur Else' s answer of;
              "A member of the nobility accepted and acceptable in the Royal
              presence."
              Adding to that concise defintion, I would add that as with
              Castiglione's and Machiavelli's inteneded themes, they are to remind
              the royalty on the qualities of the royalty's greatness of state.
              that means it is the task of the Courtier to help/guide the
              Prince/king to remember that he is not "just a man" and should be the
              power that should rule the kingdom in it's best and just form.


              > 2) What was a Courtier in the historical sense and where can we
              find documentation of this?

              although the BOOK OF THE COURTIER has been dissected by historians
              as not completely factual, it was a VERY influental treatise in
              various countries and had been translated into various languages for
              it's use soon after its final publishing.

              Again, to mimic Else'; The spanish world in MY time period;

              THE COURTIER AND THE KING: Ruy Gómez de Silva, Philip II, and the
              Court of Spain. Boyden, James M., Berkeley: University of
              California Press, c1995. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft5489p002/


              from the book:

              "...Ruy Gómez de Silva rose to great influence at the court of Spain
              in the era when that court became the center of power in Europe. His
              gifts were those of the politician and the courtier. Unlike his great
              rival, (the Duke of) Alba, he was not born to power and authority,
              but instead owed his position entirely to the favor of the king he
              served. Ambition, favored by fortune and furthered by courtly talent,
              was the motor of Ruy Gómez's rise. This ambition did not abate when
              he had become the king's favorite and a major force in the management
              of government and of the royal household. Rather, it was transformed
              into a concern that his name and his power should not die with him.
              In the final decade of his life he set out to convert the ephemeral
              status conferred by fortune and favor into the unquestionable,
              permanent prestige of a birthright. In this too he succeeded..."

              Excellent book, My interest was from the perspective of HOW the force
              of one influential courtier shaped government and the interaction of
              various social statuses.


              > 3) How is the Courtier played in the SCA?

              As I put it in my class at collegium, I also base the ideal of the
              True Courtier" Within an adjustment of the four agreements. (If you
              wish to know what they are, write me and I'll explain them fully) In
              my opinion, Courtiership is not really played much in this kingdom
              due to the Inexperience of the rapier community as a whole. The
              people who do practice it are few and far between. don't get me
              wrong, It is not necessary to actually be on a court to be a courtier
              in the SCA, but it is necessary to be ready to do the task of a
              courtier when you are called upon to do it. Much the same as a knight
              will not always be privy to the royals, but when your Crown calls for
              your help, you are obligated to give it. I see the
              Courtier/Guildmaster as the same in that capacity whether it is in
              Rapier fighting or the arts or sciences or service. The coutier in
              the SCA strives to be above the Crowd in their expression of that
              Ideal.

              On a side note in my opinion, although the Courtier/Guildmaster is
              not required to swear fealty, I personally would ask the crown for
              the chance to do so. I see it as fitting as they would at some time
              ask me as a courtier for comment on Being a courtier and all "things
              Rapier"



              > 4) And lastly, how can we tailor ourselves to bring a more
              historical feel to the Courtier within the SCA?

              Not to sound vain, but really, it starts with the attitude of what I
              call "the true Courtier". We as a Historic-oriented club Ideally WANT
              to see the archetype for the Courtier. I know I will probably raise
              the ire of my brother Crimthann, and I am far from being correct in
              my clothing to represent a 1590's spanish Courtier, but it also
              involves the clothing for the period. This is part of how I perceive
              it in MY expression. The next part is the research of the culture
              surrounding the Rennasiance man. The politics of the day, religion,
              social customs, even the language and it's coloquialisms. Not to
              sound full of my self, But this is one of my reasons for learning
              Distreza. It is a part of trying to be the "rennaisance" man or
              the "True courtier".

              I have met people in my SCA lifetime who play characters to the
              hilt. An example is a woman who played a Mogol was always moody,
              reserved and only played well with her "tribe/Clan". I was put off
              by this until a found out she was a wealth of knowledge about the
              Mongol culture. That's a forgiving perspective but really, History
              HAS to be balanced with the fantastical game we play in the SCA. In
              reality of course, as a Spaniard of my time, I would never associate
              with any one who was not Catholic, unless it was a business
              transaction. (and if you were a Jew... forget it, it would sometimes
              be dangerous for me to personally associate with you.) So, as an SCA
              historian, we incorporate what we can within the confines of the
              modern world and the SCA's guidelines. We are NOT a true specific re-
              enactor society. because we, in reality, associate with people
              interested in differing cultures and time periods..We find it fun. As
              long as we know history, play with the ideals of chivalry, and look
              to expand our perspectives of other people reasearching cultures we
              can make the dichotomy work well. I feel this is an important
              perspective to remember.

              Ximón
            • Else Hunrvogt
              Thanks Ximon, This is some great stuff. Just a couple of follow up questions/statements... ... all things ... I think acting as if you are in fealty is a
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 29, 2005
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                Thanks Ximon,

                This is some great stuff. Just a couple of follow up
                questions/statements...

                --- In RoyalGuildofDefense@yahoogroups.com, "Simon el Martillo de
                Cordoba" <xochimil@y...> wrote:

                >
                > On a side note in my opinion, although the Courtier/Guildmaster is
                > not required to swear fealty, I personally would ask the crown for
                > the chance to do so. I see it as fitting as they would at some time
                > ask me as a courtier for comment on Being a courtier and
                all "things
                > Rapier"

                I think acting as if you are in fealty is a great idea. Personally,
                I am too lazy to track down each and every King and Queen and swear
                personal fealty to them. IMHO if you act the role of a Courtier to
                the hilt (npi) and do all the other things you are suppossed to do,
                one of the Orders that has Fealty as a privilege/responsibility will
                recognize you and you will get that public/group opportunity at every
                Coronation.


                > > 4) And lastly, how can we tailor ourselves to bring a more
                > historical feel to the Courtier within the SCA?
                >
                > Not to sound vain, but really, it starts with the attitude of what
                I
                > call "the true Courtier". We as a Historic-oriented club Ideally
                WANT
                > to see the archetype for the Courtier. I know I will probably raise
                > the ire of my brother Crimthann, and I am far from being correct in
                > my clothing to represent a 1590's spanish Courtier, but it also
                > involves the clothing for the period.

                I'm going to go ahead and respond for Crimson on this one, because I
                believe that he and I are of an accord.

                First, Ximon do you mean that since the guild is based on the London
                Master's of Fence and since Ansteorra chose the title "Don", that the
                only way to be a true Courtier is to dress 16th cent
                Spanish/Elizabethan? Or do you mean that a true courtier dresses to
                the best of his/her ability out of respect for the royalty and in
                keeping with his/her persona?

                I know my and I suspect Crimson's beliefs track closer to the
                second. Personally, I would like to see well done "insert name of
                culture and time here" or at least a reasonable attempt at it with in
                the constraints of our rules.

                Thanks for your insights,

                Else
              • Staffan Arffuidsson
                Greetings, Else, you nailed my point better than I did. Thank you. What is correct for one s persona should be the goal. Staffan ...
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 29, 2005
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                  Greetings,

                  Else, you nailed my point better than I did. Thank you.

                  What is correct for one's persona should be the goal.

                  Staffan


                  --- In RoyalGuildofDefense@yahoogroups.com, "Else Hunrvogt"
                  <nancyreimers@j...> wrote:

                  I'm going to go ahead and respond for Crimson on this one, because I
                  believe that he and I are of an accord.

                  First, Ximon do you mean that since the guild is based on the London
                  Master's of Fence and since Ansteorra chose the title "Don", that the
                  only way to be a true Courtier is to dress 16th cent Spanish/
                  Elizabethan? Or do you mean that a true courtier dresses to the best
                  of his/her ability out of respect for the royalty and in keeping with
                  his/her persona?

                  I know my and I suspect Crimson's beliefs track closer to the second.
                  Personally, I would like to see well done "insert name of culture and
                  time here" or at least a reasonable attempt at it with in the
                  constraints of our rules.

                  Thanks for your insights,

                  Else
                • Simon el Martillo de Cordoba
                  ... ... Personally, ... will recognize you and you will get that public/group opportunity at every Coronation. ==== Well, the way I would do it is by
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 29, 2005
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                    --- In RoyalGuildofDefense@yahoogroups.com, "Else Hunrvogt"
                    <nancyreimers@j...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks Ximon,
                    >
                    > This is some great stuff. Just a couple of follow up
                    <snip>
                    > I think acting as if you are in fealty is a great idea.
                    Personally,
                    > I am too lazy to track down each and every King and Queen and swear
                    > personal fealty to them. IMHO if you act the role of a Courtier to
                    > the hilt (npi) and do all the other things you are suppossed to do,
                    > one of the Orders that has Fealty as a privilege/responsibility
                    will recognize you and you will get that public/group opportunity at
                    every Coronation.

                    ====

                    Well, the way I would do it is by first asking to swear fealty to the
                    Crown of the West......i think it would be good for every Crown of
                    the West. I, of course would seek out the particular royals who would
                    care to make me into a Courtier and ask them as the embodied
                    represntative of the crown. Then, when an opportunity is available to
                    the populace, go up with THEM when offered by any other royalty in
                    the future. That way I don't "P**s off" the Peers(tm)and I really do
                    not want to "start a trend". I always see myself as a loyal citizen
                    in service to the Crown and Kingdom. I know in my station that that
                    is ALWAYS expected of me.

                    ====

                    <snip>
                    > I'm going to go ahead and respond for Crimson on this one, because
                    I believe that he and I are of an accord.
                    >
                    > First, Ximon do you mean that since the guild is based on the
                    London Master's of Fence and since Ansteorra chose the title "Don",
                    that the only way to be a true Courtier is to dress 16th cent.
                    Spanish/Elizabethan? Or do you mean that a true courtier dresses to
                    the best of his/her ability out of respect for the royalty and in
                    keeping with his/her persona? <snip>

                    ====

                    I apologize for not being clear. I will try to do so.

                    You are correct, the Guild structure is loosely based on the LMoD. I
                    can only speculate as to why it started that way because it was in
                    place before my time playing rapier in the West. (that's another
                    interesting history discussion later). As for your wanting
                    clarification, I agree with how you've described it;

                    ====


                    <snip>"...Or do you mean that a true courtier dresses to the best of
                    his/her ability out of respect for the royalty and in keeping with
                    his/her persona? I know my and I suspect Crimson's beliefs track
                    closer to the second. Personally, I would like to see well
                    done "insert name of culture and time here" or at least a reasonable
                    attempt at it with in the constraints of our rules..." <snip>

                    =====

                    That is really is what I meant to express. Historically when we look
                    at the profession of a courtier within our intended time period of
                    the SCA, commonly they were not very "heroic". As I have come to see
                    it that was usually because they were from families of the leisure
                    class and/or those trying to muscle in on aquiring royal favor/
                    prestige. It really was a game for aquiring and keeping comfort,
                    power, and to literally survive above the unwashed masses.
                    There WERE exceptions to the norm. It is in those who I am sure have
                    existed that I am trying to emulate. When I mention the label, "the
                    True Courtier", I am at a loss as to give a complete description, it
                    is simmilar to trying to describe completely the meaning
                    of "Excellence". So I shamelessly use the writing of Castiglione as
                    my basis for the ideal. Not meaning to sound snobbish about this, but
                    I did mention that it was *my opinion* that clothes are a part of the
                    impression and to clarify, for me (and some others) the archetype
                    usually perceived is late period European. I previously wrote in my
                    statements before this section about balance of historical
                    correctness versus how we play in the SCA (how we as members get
                    along). We do have to make compromises. no griping about that at all
                    here. There is room for everyone. We all have differing perspectives,
                    but making them work together for an agreed common goal is something
                    we should always encourage and endeavor to accomplish.

                    So, if Crimthann wants to be early Irish or you, Else' want to be
                    German Landsknecht(sp?), You've always had my vote. What I hope that
                    the Crown would judge you two by are the Criteria of; Are you showing
                    peerlike qualities, have excellent rapier skills and an all around
                    complete person in the West kingdom? Then, by all means, you both
                    should be a Courtier, Because, in my opinion, you are acting like
                    a "True Courtier", an ideal represntative of the Crown of the West.

                    I hope this doesn't get too preachy (Heck, I don't know if I could
                    ever live up to the ideal...) and I hope I was more clear. Please let
                    me know if you still have issues with my perspective.


                    Con Respecto,
                    Ximón
                  • crimsonkyl
                    Hi all, I responded privately to Staffan, but would like to thank Else for representing my beliefs so accurately. For my culture, I need to be able to throw a
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 29, 2005
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                      Hi all,
                      I responded privately to Staffan, but would like to thank Else
                      for representing my beliefs so accurately. For my culture, I need
                      to be able to throw a spear, ride a horse, jump a fence, dance,
                      sing, recite poetry and make up poetry on the spot, among other
                      things. These are the requirements for my culture's concept of
                      knighthood or nobility. It is part of the reason I chose this
                      persona.

                      -Crimson

                      --- In RoyalGuildofDefense@yahoogroups.com, "Staffan Arffuidsson"
                      <arffuidson@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Greetings,
                      >
                      > Else, you nailed my point better than I did. Thank you.
                      >
                      > What is correct for one's persona should be the goal.
                      >
                      > Staffan
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In RoyalGuildofDefense@yahoogroups.com, "Else Hunrvogt"
                      > <nancyreimers@j...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I'm going to go ahead and respond for Crimson on this one, because
                      I
                      > believe that he and I are of an accord.
                      >
                      > First, Ximon do you mean that since the guild is based on the
                      London
                      > Master's of Fence and since Ansteorra chose the title "Don", that
                      the
                      > only way to be a true Courtier is to dress 16th cent Spanish/
                      > Elizabethan? Or do you mean that a true courtier dresses to the
                      best
                      > of his/her ability out of respect for the royalty and in keeping
                      with
                      > his/her persona?
                      >
                      > I know my and I suspect Crimson's beliefs track closer to the
                      second.
                      > Personally, I would like to see well done "insert name of culture
                      and
                      > time here" or at least a reasonable attempt at it with in the
                      > constraints of our rules.
                      >
                      > Thanks for your insights,
                      >
                      > Else
                      >
                    • Puck Curtis
                      1) What is your definition of a Courtier. A courtier is a person attached to the court of a noble and the courtier is defined by the court itself. I think the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 30, 2005
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                        1) What is your definition of a Courtier.

                        A courtier is a person attached to the court of a noble and the courtier is defined by the court itself.
                        I think the more important question might be **why** that person is part of the court.

                        For instance, Elizabeth I was able to speak several languages and would translate and then reverse translate texts as a hobby.  Her court reflected that intellectual ability.

                        Jeronimo Carranza was sponsored by the Duke of Midonia-Sidonia and Fiore di Liberi was sponsored by Prince Sir Nicolo Marquis of Este.

                        Why?  Because these courts were magnets for the best and brightest of the age.  Great courts brought great minds and this environment reflected on the Lord or Lady of the court.

                        If asked to be part of a court, the noble believes you can provide some virtue and you should strive to do so in a manner that reflects well on the patron.

                        2) What was a Courtier in the historical sense and where can we find
                        documentation of this?

                        Castiglione's Book of the Courtier is a one-stop shopping trip in this regard but I would temper it with other information.  We're not all Italian nobles.  (Vikings for instance should probably use a different standard.)

                        Another hint might be looking through the dedications of period texts.  You'll see the relationship between the author and the patron spelled out very clearly there.

                        For a third perspective read as much as you can about the court itself.  I recommend finding a biography of a monarch from your time period and try to find what virtues that monarch thought were most important.  Once you have that information, develop those virtues.

                        3) How is the Courtier played in the SCA?

                        That depends on where you live.  In Ansteorra the White Scarves recreate the Elizabeth Cult and look completely to the Queen for the relationship of the courtier.  A white scarf has to look and act like a courtier before he or she can be considered for elevation.  That makes most white scarves about 3 parts killer, 3 parts teacher, 1 part poet, and 3 parts "clothes horse".  (I tend to pack more changes of clothes for an event then my wife.)
                        ;)

                        4) And lastly, how can we tailor ourselves to bring a more historical
                        feel to the Courtier within the SCA?

                        My thought would be to dedicate a work to the patron and provide the same kind of dedication you might see in a text. 

                        If you swear an oath of service, research an appropriate oath rather than something standardized.  For bonus points, try it in the language of your country. 
                         
                        Pachomius Oneshoe
                        --
                        "Cada vno haze como quien es."
                        "Each one does as he is."
                        ~ Carranza
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