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Proceedings for the

Known World Heraldic & Scribal Symposium

June 13 – 15, 2014 – Barony of Starkhafn, Caid

Las Vegas, Nevada


From Paul fitz Denis, 2014 Proceedings Coordinator:

Greetings from the Crescent Kingdom of Caid!

Building on the success of last year’s trial run, this year we are again presenting the proceedings in a completely online format. The advantages of this method include reduced cost, easy accessibility for non-attendees, continued availability over the years, the ability to include very large articles, and the opportunity for authors to keep their articles up to date as their research continues. We appreciate all the help we have received from Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada, 2013 Proceedings Coordinator, for her assistance in helping us learn from and build upon last year’s successes.

This year’s proceedings include a special scribal arts section focusing on the knotwork found in Coptic sources of the first millennium. Thanks are due to Éowyn Amberdrake, who originally intended these to appear in the 2005 Proceedings, and only unearthed them while she was in the process of preparing the article she had actually planned to submit for these Proceedings.

It is our hope that you will enjoy these proceedings and KWHSS 2014 as much as we have enjoyed bringing them to you.
My deepest thanks go out to all of the authors below for their generous contributions and for their patience with me as I learned how to bring these proceedings together.

Table of Contents



Names from Classical History and Mythology (PDF)


by Alys Mackyntoich (Alissa Pyrich)

The Family Search Historical Records have been a boon to name researchers, frequently providing documentation for names previously thought to be unregisterable in the SCA. This article will focus specifically on given names of figures from classical (Greek and Roman) history and mythology that were revived as given names in the 16th and early 17th centuries, with evidence of such names taken from the reliable batches of the Family Search Historical Records.

Mistress Alys Mackyntoich, Ogress Herald, currently serves as submissions herald for the East Kingdom. Her primary heraldic
interests are naming and vocal heraldry. Alissa Pyrich is an attorney in New Jersey and the author of numerous legal books and articles.

On the Evolution of Jewish Names (PDF)


by Eleazar_ha-Levi (Lew Wolkoff)

In England, medieval occupational bynames covered a wide range from general references to very specific descriptions.
They also included a significant number of terms that are not common today.
This article sorts occupational bynames according to categories designed to allow heralds
to easily find bynames appropriate to SCA activities as well as medieval professions.

Eleazar ha-Levi was born in Toledo in the Year of the World 4908; that’s Toledo, Spain and 4908 on the Jewish calendar (1248 as the Christians recon time). After a lifetime of study and travel, including time spent I both England and Italy, he is a scholar in the court of His Majesty, Alfonso VIII Sánchez, “the Noble” of Castile. Lew Wolkoff is a retired employee of the PA State Department of Health. He studies Jewish culture in the Middle Ages, including heraldry and onomastics. He has been the herald of the East Kingdom Shire-March of Blak Rose for many, many years, and is the author of Compleat Anachronist 110, “How to Have a Jewish Persona.”

Names from 15th and 16th Century Pisa (PDF)


by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith)

The Department of History at the University of Pisa has been involved in a study of baptisms in Pisa between 1457 and 1557. This article analyzes the distribution of given names of the baptized children in that study, as well as the family names, and the occupations of parents.

Juliana de Luna is currently Siren Herald, having stepped down as Pelican Queen of Arms earlier this year. She lives in Wealdsmere, in the kingdom of An Tir. She’s done research on a variety of personal and non-personal names, which can be found at her website.

Southern Italian Names of Greek Origin


by Maridonna Benvenuti (Andrea Hicks)

Southern Italy, known as Megale Hellas, and Sicily were colonized by the ancient Greeks . In Medieval through modern times the greatest concentration of Greek and Greek–derived names are from Reggio-Calabria and in Apulia (Puglia). The dates of these 200 plus names range from the
8th to 17th Centuries; many are from the 11th through the 13th centuries.

Lady Maridonna Benvenuti has been a local group herald, field herald, and a member of the Academy of Saint Gabriel. Andrea Hicks loves researching Italian names, specifically southern Italian names.

Scribal Arts


Romanesque Knotwork Panels from the St. Albans Psalter


by Éowyn Amberdrake (Melinda Sherbring)

The St. Albans Psalter, an English Romanesque manuscript, had three different artists who used knotwork occasionally in the illustrations. It was not quite the same as that done in the great Hiberno-Saxon Insular manuscripts of the 6th to 9th centuries. It appears that the artists of the St. Albans manuscript were trained in that method, but then started using shortcuts, thus creating their own style.

Baroness Éowyn Amberdrake, OL, OP, has been Scribe Armarius of Caid (1978 – 85), Clarion Queen of Arms during Baldwin’s tenure as Laurel, Drop Dead Deputy for Bruce’s Laurel tenure, Golden Rose (keeper of Caidan OP), Coral (Baronial herald), and was granted a personal heraldic title in 2006 (but has not yet found a title that will pass the College). She’s written several Compleat Anachronists on scribal and heraldic topics, and contributed to others. Lately, she has been concentrating on embroidery.

Scribal Arts – Special Section: Coptic Knotwork


A Brief History of the Coptic Church and its Books


by Éowyn Amberdrake (Melinda Sherbring)

A brief summary of what is, for most people, a less familiar area of history: that of the Coptic Christian Church. It provides a context of history as background for the discussion of Coptic knotwork that follows in separate articles.

Coptic Knotwork: An Overview


by Éowyn Amberdrake (Melinda Sherbring)

To many people, the word “knotwork” is always preceded by the word “Celtic.” That is not true. There are several styles of interlacing designs, and many cultures used them. Panels of knotwork decorated early Coptic manuscripts and textiles from as early as the 4th century, which is about 300 years before it became a part of the Insular design vocabulary. Art historians specializing in Insular design often cite the knotwork in Coptic Bibles as a likely inspiration for the Insular knotwork of the 7th century and later. This paper examines examples of Coptic knotwork in various media: ostraca, textiles, and manuscripts, emphasizing examples from the first millennium, and explains the “dots method” of creating panels of knot work.

Coptic Knotwork in Manuscripts


by Éowyn Amberdrake (Melinda Sherbring)

A deeper look at specific examples of knotwork panels in Coptic manuscripts.

Coptic Knotwork on Ostraca


by Éowyn Amberdrake (Melinda Sherbring)

Examples of Coptic knotwork, or at least the knotwork doodles, survive to this day on the “scratch paper” of ancient Egypt: potshards and flat pebbles that archaeologists call ostraca.

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