Once upon a time in a land far and far away, as far as the region of Wetterau, there was a small re-enactment fair. It was not a big one, but with a pedigree of quality, and it was beautifully situated in an ancient castle. The people who made it had fun organizing it, it was a meeting point of many different friendly people, and brought money to the commune of Münzenberg, and many a visitor. The pubs and restaurants prospered, and all would be good.
But there was a directive of fire prevention lurking in the darkness, and whetted its fangs. And there was a clerk doing its bide. So the fair was first subject to many very absurd trials and stipulations, and then, it suddenly became questionable if it could take place at all.
But this was not taking into account interhuman solidarity in the re-enactment community. They just rolled up their sleeves and organized the fair on private ground. Triple the size every year.
No fee for the community, but an event that draws ever more attention, and a clerk who is laughed and mocked at.
www.medievalhandmade.com. We had a chat and some nice blacksmith´s tech talk. Adam is the one making that high-quality plate armour. He cold-forges the armour from spring steel and tempers the steel to about 38 - 45 HRC, making for a good compromise between flexibility and resistance to chipping. Durable plate armour is a matter of survival in full-contact blade sports. You would not want your armour to break in the fights!
It was very atmospheric to have the opportunity to watch the preparations, and while this might look as if there are some bullies on a rampage, it is actually a sport. I am fascinated, of course, but not necessarily by the violence. It is way easier to teach a child to solve quarrels and arguments by talking if you can show her or him what the alternative is. It is somewhat funny that reenactor´s kids tend to be quite calm and able to take responsibility and to solve problems non-violently, while many so-called "normal" visitor´s kids are more of a catastrophe to say the least. We encountered one hysterically squeaking and thrashing around wildly just because of excitement. No reenactor´s kid we met did that. It´s not a theory, but an observation.
Buchlein von der Fialen Gerechtigkeit" (Matthias Roritzer, Trier 1486).
Peter Johnsson´s theory of the application of geometry in sword construction, and while he was not agreed, he begged to differ with actual arguments, not polemics. This is definitely enough stuff for many different posts and discussions, suffice to say for now that to say I was inspired would not do the discussion any justice. He illustrated that medieval society was everything but primitive.