Understanding the past takes more forms than historiography. Since 2005, professional and amateur scholars have come together at the annual International Medieval Congress in Western Michigan University to discuss the role re-construction, re-enactment, and re-creation can play in breathing life into these dry bones to deepen our knowledge of the past. Under the sponsorship of the Higgins Armory Museum and the Oakeshott Institute, presenters have looked at subjects ranging from ore smelting to equitation to the use of recreation and reenactment in the classroom.
This volume brings together seven papers examining the depth and breadth in which experimental archaeology and textual analysis can come together to reveal the past. From glass beads to iron smelting, the profession of arms to the chivalric virtues of franchise and doing what one said they would do, this collection provides a unique insight into both the daily and intellectual life of medieval man. It will be of interest not only to professional historians, musicologists, literary scholars, and art historians, but also to the vast army of impassioned and enthusiastic practitioners who endeavor, as a labor of love, to make the past come to life.
Introduction – Michael A. Cramer
There is No One True Art of the Sword – Russell Mitchell
Forward Into The Past: Re-enactors and the Quest for Authenticity – Lisa Evans
Glass on Fire: Temperatures in Reconstructed Viking-era Bead Furnaces – Neil Peterson with Sarah Backa, Jean Ross, and Robert Schweitzer
An Iron Smelt in Vinland: An Experimental Investigation – Darrell Markewitz
The Chivalric Warrior as Man of His Word- Steven Muhlberger
Seeking That Which Cannot Be Found: The use of Lancelot through Precursor Texts as Contemporary Social Commentary in The Once and Future King -Emerson Storm Fillman Richards
Franchise and Chivalric Identity – Michael A. Cramer