De Ceremoniis

So, I sucked it up and decided that I could be poor a couple of weeks.  And so I purchased Byzantina Australiensia’s new translation of De Ceremoniis so I could start building Byzantine ceremonies and researching things from the primary (or close to it) source document.  For those not in the know, De Ceremoniis is the book of protocol for the Byzantine court, going into excruciating detail.

I have to tell you that it is a doorstop of a book, but it is so jam-packed with interesting tidbits of Romano-Hellenistic traditions (one of the little things is lining a progress path from the palace to Hagia Sophia with ivy, myrtle, and rosemary – the scent had to be amazing).  There are maps of the City.  A glossary of terms and titles.  It may be a doorstop of a book, but it’s a tremendous resource to those doing any form of work regarding the Empire.

So, now I have homework.  I’ve always wanted to write peerage ceremonies for Byzantine personae, and now I have the source to glean information from.  I’m in the process of going through details, digesting, and am working on ways to take a very religious society and making the ceremonies, well, not.  (Don’t get me wrong – my persona and I are Christians, but I like that the SCA is a secular organization and I’d like to keep it that way.)

This, in addition to my pile of unfinished projects, which I need to do an update on.

Still on the list:

  1. Lined Skjoldehamn hood (will definitely have to redo the centre panel.  Alas.)
  2. Cutting out several Byzantine bone box blanks in preparation for turning into Byzantine box icons.
  3. Sewing up Byzantine boy garb (PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS!)
  4. Thaddeus’ Achievement of Arms
  5. Making more casual Byzantine clothing (PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS!)
  6. Heraldic banner for my significant other.
  7. Painting Aed’s shield. (almost done!)
  8. Secret project scroll #1
  9. Secret project scroll #2
  10. Secret project for Valor
  11. Creating handouts for Valor’s classes
  12. Creating four Byzantine peerage ceremonies

This is what I have to get done.  Really, the big burning things are the secret projects and the shield, which is so very close to being done (painting counter-ermine, though, is time-consuming).

However, I am very excited to do some deep dives into the cultural aspects of my persona.  Even though De Ceremoniis is 10th century and my persona is 6th, there’s a lot to build off of, especially since a few of the ceremonies in De Ceremoniis do date from the 5th c.

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