Chivalric Orders of the UK

This week, we present another guest post. This post is by Colin Farrell.

The United Kingdom has one of the most well developed Honours Systems in the world that is still in use. One of the key aspects of the Honours system are the Chivalric Orders, originating from the historical Orders of Chivalry which were formalised institutions of Knighthood. Whilst the method of appointment to these orders has changed over the years, and indeed the qualifying factors have also changed, the modern Chivalric Orders still hold their original names and hold to most of their ancient traditions. Unfortunately, clear explanations of the purpose of each Order, and details of membership are rare. I will attempt to provide those details here. For the purposes of determining seniority I am working from the positioning of the most senior grades of the different Orders in the order of precedence.

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Folia, Quires, Codices and Manuscripts – What Are They?

Codex Gigas facsimile

Facsimile of the Codex Gigas; image from Wikipedia.

The written word has always been a powerful and important medium through which educated individuals may record information for the benefit of others. For hundreds of years scribes wrote manuscripts, codices were bound together, and all sorts of information were recorded within. But precisely what WERE manuscripts? What made them different from codices? This short article will describe very briefly the meanings of – and differences between – various technical terms with regard to the history of the written word.

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Review: Broadsword Academy by Chris Thompson

Hey Encased in Steel readers,

This week it was my turn to write a review of the latest HEMA book I purchased. I went on a wee bit of a bender while in the US and purchased all of Chris Thompson’s books on the Scottish Martial Arts. I figured that since I am instructing in this field more and more often, I should develop a stronger understanding of what others were teaching. I thoroughly enjoyed his three smaller books published by Paladin Press but found that I could finish them in a single sitting. On a related note, I would certainly advise anyone interested in the subject to read “Scottish Martial Traditions” as it is brilliant and can be read in about two hours (I only wish Paladin had done a slightly better job at advertising it so I could have picked up a copy during the writing of my thesis, it would have been a huge help). Two days after making the purchase of these books, I signed on to Facebook and found that Chris had released his next book. I decided I had already come this far I might as well get it as well. So read on to see my thoughts on Chris’s new book: Broadsword Academy

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Review of SWASH 2012

This week’s article will be a review of the recent SWASH 2012 event held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds and organised by the British Federation for Historical Swordplay (BFHS). I would like to thank the organisers of the event for an enjoyable weekend, and I would like to thank my friends and fellow combatants who travelled down from Glasgow in an undersized minibus for the value that they added to the event!

Some AHA people ready for the tournament.

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