Podcast 45: Chivalry In An American Castle

When finished in 2030, the Ozark Medieval Fortress will look like this – an authentically built replica of a 13th century knight’s castle.

Scott takes a visit to the Ozark Medieval Fortress, an authentic replica of a 13th century French castle, being built in northern Arkansas for a tour with volunteer coordinator Bryan Douglas to see how this 20-year project is keeping the ideals of chivalry alive.

Plus: An interview with Kyle Van Dolah, who served as the Lady Of Honor (the ultimate judge of chivalry) at the 2010 Tournament Of The Phoenix; and more of your “lines of chivalry” in our Listener Challenge.

Quicklinks — Learn more about the events and programs featured in this podcast with the following links:

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Segment 1: Chivalry In An American Castle — A Trip To The Ozark Medieval Fortress

One of the ground-floor doorways in progress shows the level of detail and care being put into the authentic construction of the Ozark Medieval Fortress.

The Ozark Medieval Fortress is an authentic replica of a 13th century medieval castle from the age of Louis IX being built in northern Arkansas in the town of Lead Hill. In our first segment, Scott Farrell takes a visit to the fortress for a tour of the site with Bryan Douglas, volunteer coordinator and expert on medieval military technology, to talk about the construction and the ideals of knighthood and chivalry represented by the image of a castle.

  • Read the article Building A Medieval Castle In Arkansas from NPR;
  • Visit the Ozark Medieval Fortress website (Link no longer available) to learn about visiting and volunteering at the castle, and to enjoy an interactive display of the castle in various stages of completion;
  • Want to check on the castle progress? Keep tabs on how they’re doing with the castle blog (Link no longer available);
  • Visit the website of Guedelon castle, the Ozark Fortress’s sister site in Burgundy, to witness the construction there, including several excellent video presentations.

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Segment 2: Interview with Kyle Van Dolah, 2010’s Tournament Of The Phoenix’s Lady Of Honor

Kyle Van Dolah, dressed in traditional 15th century garb, keeps a close eye on the competition as the Lady Of Honor. (Photo copyright 2010 Julia Buchta-Davis.)

Kyle Van Dolah served as the Lady Of Honor at the 2010 Tournament Of The Phoenix, a real, competitive jousting match held annually in San Diego, California. Kyle had the difficult job of observing the seven competitors and, at the event’s conclusion, choosing one to be awarded the coveted Chivalry Prize. She shares her thoughts after spending a whole weekend judging chivalry, and provides some interesting insights on chivalry’s place in today’s society. (Kyle’s photo appears courtesy of Julia Butcha-Davies Photography.)

The award for chivalry was given to German competitor Andreas Wenzel at the conclusion of the weekend’s competition. (Photo of Andreas receiving his prize courtesy of Julia Butcha-Davies Photography.)

  • Read a preview piece on the World Joust Tournament Of The Phoenix competition in the Poway Patch, (Link no longer available) a local news service, as well as the final report on all the weekend’s events and competitions (Link no longer available).

Jousting maybe the highlight of the weekend at the Tournament Of The Phoenix, but there’s much more to the event than that. The Festival Of History gives attendees a chance to interact with historical interpreters from every era – from Rome to the Renaissance – for a hands-on opportunity to explore history (without all the play-acting of a History Faire). Below: Check out a video of the Wolfs Ov Odin, an interpretive group focusing on Viking culture, giving a demonstration of the war tactic known as the shield wall.

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Segment 3: Angels And Demons Of Chivalry – Lines from the Listener Challenge

This month’s Listener Challenge winner will receive a copy of the book Swords: An Artists Devotion, by Ben Boos, for suggesting a “line of chivalry” from the television series Angel.

Next month you can enter our listener challenge for a chance to win one of the new Chivalry Today logo T-shirts. Find out more on our Listener Challenge contest page.
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Next month: Scott is joined by Prof. Damon Young, senior editor of the book Martial Arts And Philosophy (which includes the chapter “Sir Aristotle and the Code of Chivalry”) to talk about virtue, chivalry and the fine art of philosophical fighting.
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