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Like most re-enactment groups (e.g., Rev-War, Civil War, etc.), the American Medievalist's Association has a fairly specific time frame within which everyone acts. In our case it is the Thirteenth Century (in Europe), approximately 1250 A.D., because that time was felt by the Founders to be the best point of the High Middle Ages.

To refresh your memory, the 13th Century was just before the Renaissance 'started'. Europe is witnessing the rise of towns and cities; the feudal/agrarian economy is starting to convert to a money economy; universities are expanding; the Black Plague has not struck yet; the conversion of feudal society to 'modem' centralist nations will not be well established for at least another century; the great cathedrals of Europe are nearing their completion, etc. Aside from linguistic differences in the vernacular, all of Europe and much of Asia is surprisingly homogeneous in its cultural elements. We could wax enthusiastically for many pages, so lets just leave it at this: “We, the members of the American Medievalists Association, liked the 13th Century best, so that was the one we decided to re-enact.”

By limiting ourselves to a certain range of time, we felt everyone would be more consistent with each other and it would be easier for members to get a better appreciation of what it was like in the 13th Century, which is the main purpose of our re-enactment group.

            There is no definite place that we are re-enacting in a geographical sense. Rather, think of it as a locality that abuts some of the major cultures of 13th Cent. Europe, sort of like the Rhine Valley, between France and Germany, only more so in that Austria, Spain, Italy, Denmark, etc., all are immediate neighbors.

            Because our area is a border area, the intermixing of "foreigners" is not unusual, although it “IS” limited to actual, historical cultures of 13th Cent. Europe. Thus, there are no Amerindians or elves in attendance. By the same token, China and Japan are semi-mythical places and it would be extremely unlikely for any of their residents to make their way into Western Europe. Our intention is to stick to the actual and probable, and not let something improbable become an exercise in highly imaginative "could-ofs". Many of the major topographical features around us have names, as do the territories that various members dwell in. Strictly speaking, a member does not control any territory. Instead, the "characters" of the members are said to dwell in a territory.

            The locality where the re-enactment takes place is a rural section of a small Kingdom (like Monaco or Montenegro) that is currently under the control of King Reynard the Magnificent. (Hey, we can't help what he calls himself) All nobles would naturally owe some of their feudal service to him, in return for their lands. All communication with His Highness is usually via Royal Officer or Royal Messenger. Reynard the Magnificent was involved in foreign wars until very recently, so now we might expect to see more of him as he re-establishes the administration of his domain.

 

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Last modified: April 01, 2002