The Summer Of Chivalry Podcast concludes with Part 2, as host Scott Farrell speaks with Prof. Steven Muhlberger, author of Deeds Of Arms, about a historical battle known as the Combat Of The Thirty Against Thirty , and a re-enactment of that famously chivalric event that will be put on as part of the SCA’s Pennsic War XXXX in Pennsylvania. Plus: An interview with Dr. Elizabeth Morrison, acting senior curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, about the exhibition Fashion In The Middle Ages, and the hidden code of medieval knightly clothing.
Quicklinks — Use the links below to learn more about the events, publications, and activities featured in this podcast.
- Get more information about the Pennsic War XXXX (July 29 to Aug. 14), where the Combat Of The Thirty will take place on Sunday, August 7, at 6 pm on the main battlefield;
- Buy the book Deed Of Arms, an exploration of chivalry in Late Medieval battles and tournaments, by Prof. Steven Muhlberger;
- Visitor information for the J. Paul Getty Museum, in Los Angeles, Calif., where the exhibition Fashion In The Middle Ages will be on display through Aug. 14. – admission to the museum is free;
- Where are you going this summer? The beach, the amusement park, the campground? Wherever you’re vacationing, take along your Chivalry Today T-shirt, and post a picture of yourself in it at the Chivalry Today Facebook Page. (If you don’t have a T-shirt yet, you can get one by just making a $25 donation to the Chivalry Today Program using the button at the right. It will be shipped Priority Mail for free [in the U.S.] if you donate before Aug. 31.)
Segment 1: The Combat Of The Thirty — Recreating A Chivalric Deed Of Arms
Steven Muhlberger, History Professor at Nipissing University with a specialty in Ancient and medieval studies, is author of the book Deed Of Arms, and an authority on both medieval practices of chivalry, and practical interpretations of medieval military encounters (which is to say, he knows how to use a sword himself). Each year a reenactment of this medievally celebrated encounter is put on at The Pennsic War, a gathering of nearly 10,000 historical reenactors and enthusiasts in Slippery Rock, Penn., just north of Pittsburgh. There is a certain amount of prestige in being part of the Combat Of The Thirty reenactment: Only a select few (60 maximum!) participants are chosen, and each makes a commitment to appearing in the most authentic 14th century armor possible. Like show host Scott Farrell, Prof. Muhlberger has taken part in this event in years past, and he joins Scott to compare the reenacted Combat with its historical counterpart, and to discuss how the notion of chivalry works into both the medieval and the modern deed of arms.
(The photo at right, courtesy of the Anglesey Photo Gallery, shows some of the action from the 2010 Combat Of The Thirty reenactment battle. If you look closely [or click on the photo] you’ll notice our show host, Scott Farrell, at right, ready to jump into the fray.)
- Buy Deed Of Arms by Prof. Steven Muhlberger;
- Read Prof. Muhlberger’s blog, Muhlberger’s World History
- See more pictures of the Combat Of The Thirty at the Anglesey Photo Gallery.
From May 31 to August 14, 2011, visitors at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., can enjoy a special exhibition, Fashion In The Middle Ages. Featuring a selected display of medieval illustration and artwork, the exhibition seeks to highlight not just the colors and styles of medieval clothing, but also the economic, social, and even spiritual status of the subjects they depicted, and the patrons who commissioned their artwork. Thus, drawings of kings, knights, and ladies, in these medieval manuscripts may provide clues as to how these individuals viewed themselves with regards to the virtues of chivalry. Was fashionable dress, like chivalric principles, stylized and idealized beyond recognition, or can each provide a clue as to how medieval noblemen and women viewed themselves as part of their society?
Dr. Elizabeth Morrison is acting senior curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and one of the organizers of the exhibition. She joins Scott to talk about the “secret code” of medieval fashion, and to discuss the upcoming lecture The Medieval Clotheshorse, which will be conducted by Roger Wieck, curator of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum, on Aug. 4 at the Getty Center’s Museum Lecture Hall.
- Get a glimpse into the Getty Museum’s Fashion In The Middle Ages exhibition with this educational website resource which features several pieces of art displayed in the exhibit (such as the detail of Duke Charles the Bold in his robe of cloth-of-gold, at left) and audio commentary provided by the museum’s curatorial staff;
- Make arrangements to attend the lecture The Medieval Clotheshorse, held on Aug. 4 at 7 pm in the Getty Center Museum Lecture Hall;
- Can’t attend the exhibition? Purchase the books Fashion In The Middle Ages and Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms from the Getty Museum Bookstore.
- How does a manuscript curator become involved in … international intrigue? Read the amusing account of A Tale Of Two Beths to discover how Elizabeth Morrison ran across her doppelgangeron the pages of a novel (and other behind-the-scenes insights) in the blog The Iris: Views From The Getty.
On the next episode: The Chivalry Today Podcast begins its sixth season with more explorations of the history, literature and philosophy of the code of chivalry. We hope you’ll join us for another exciting year!
Don’t forget, we’ve always got some interesting articles, photos, and links to share on the Chivalry Today Facebook Page.