Herald's Point
The Occasional Journal for the College of Heralds of Atlantia

Volume 5, Issue 1 -- January/February 2008 (A.S. XLII)




Artwork credit: Maestra Julianna Fiorentini


Unto the members of the College of Heralds of Atlantia, does Triton send warm greetings this cold January day!


Here we are, in a new year and with one year behind us since I stepped up as Triton. It is a time of reflection for me, and also, of planning. I see many things we have accomplished in the past year, but I also see things that haven't quite followed my preferred timeline, and I see things I hadn't anticipated having to deal with when I undertook this job. On the whole, we have had a very successful year, but we still have a lot to accomplish and 2008 will be hectic, with a huge push for advanced training and working together to make our CoH the best in the Known World. 
While there is relief that Mistress Alisoun can stay on as Golden Dolphin for now, obviously this is not an indefinite solution and I really need for each of you to search your hearts and determine whether or not you think you might have the skills to take on this most important job. Do not let the idea of following Alisoun undermine your faith in yourself, as this is what all that training is for. Also, we may be able to find a way to work around the file cabinet storage, so don't let that be the sole determining factor in whether or not you aspire for that job. DO understand and assess honestly whether or not you have the organizational skills to do the job. Submissions is a position of strict monthly deadlines and keeping up is vital. This is one position where you can't "take a month off". You must be able to set yourself a schedule and keep to it. There are tools to assist you with various aspects of the job, however, the responsibility for meeting the deadlines will be yours alone. If you can't get your quarterly reports in on time, then this will not be the job for you. 
Another position that I'd like for people to start thinking about is that of Triton. Once again, being a good organizational paper-pusher is vital, as is being someone who can juggle many different aspects and deal with all the various personalities you will encounter. You have to be able to stand your ground and sometimes, disappoint or make decisions that upset those you care about. What is best for Atlantia and the Colleges of Heralds and Scribes must be your first priority. This job is not an automatic ride to peerage, so if that is your primary reason for seeking the job (or the Golden Dolphin job), please let me dissuade you. You have to take the job(s) because you love heraldry and want to make Atlantia great, which means sometimes NOT being the Royal Herald, but letting others shine instead. Sometimes the job is not glamorous. Sometimes it's not fun. But what you do in this job does matter and it can be rewarding.
While we're on the topic of jobs, our beloved and illustrious Web Minister has been doing her job for a VERY long time. In fact, she's probably been in place since I was Triton before. It's time to let her have a break. So, she and I will be taking applications from now until March 1st for those who wish to take on the CoH website. Now, here is where you might have qualms about shoes to fill, as Ealdthryth has been an exemplary webminister. She usually gets changes/additions to the website up within 48 hours. And we've all gotten a little spoiled by that. I could probably live with stuff getting put up and on within a week, but not longer, as many of the items we post (like this newsletter) are timely in nature. So, if you would like to see what skills are needed to handle our webpage, please contact Mistress Ealdthryth at ealdthryth@yahoo.com
The fourth quarter is now over and 4th quarter reports are due by January 31st. Don't be slack. Get your report on in. Let's start 2008 off right. Thanks!
Keep warm in these cold winter months and remember, heraldry serves everyone. Take pride in how you represent your fellow heralds.

-- Rhiannon


Mistress Rhiannon ui Neill

Triton Principal Herald

House Corvus, Atlantia



 A Word from the Newsletter Editor


Greetings unto all to whom these presents come from Lady Patricia of Trakai!


Welcome to a new annual volume of Herald's Point! This issue brings to you a reminder about the new e-mail addresses for sending your court reports, the minutes of the most recent Unevent heralds' meeting, and a new "Soundings" from our Conch Herald. Many thanks to Signora Cassandra, Lady Rosanella, and Baron Donal for their contributions. Remember, this is YOUR newsletter, so please keep those submissions rolling in!


I am in the process of stepping up as the baronial herald for Storvik, so I will be very much "in the trenches" with you all. See you at a consult table or a classroom! Also, don't forget about Mistress Rhiannon's heraldic garb competition at Kingdom Twelfth Night.


Lady Patricia, Editor

New "Places" to Send Your Court Reports!

Greetings, heralds!

In an attempt to ease court reporting, I have created two new email aliases. Rather than having to remember 5 or 6 email addresses to turn in your report, this should bring the number down to one or two.

Please send all royal court reports to: royalcourtreport AT atlantia.sca.org

This alias emails Their Majesties, Triton, the Clerk of Precedence, the Clerk Signet and the Backlog Deputy. One email address for all required recipients for the official report (the one including real names and scroll status information)!

Please send all baronial court reports to: courtreport AT atlantia.sca.org

This alias includes Triton, the Clerk of Precedence, the Clerk Signet and the Backlog Deputy. You will still need to add the email addresses of the presiding Coronets, since those are barony-dependent.

Hopefully this will cut down on the number of reports missing one or more of the required recipients. The main OP web page as well as the court report page have been updated with the new aliases.

Questions, issues, concerns? Please let me know!

In service,

Signora Cassandra Arabella Giordani, Sea Stag Pursuivant
Clerk of Precedence, Kingdom of Atlantia

Unevent Minutes - December 1, 2007

East Randolph High School

Ramseur, NC


The meeting was called to order by Lady Rhiannon, Triton Principal Herald of Atlantia. Triton introduced Allisoun, Golden Dolphin Herald, and Cassandra, Atlantian Clerk of Precedence, and all in attendance were welcomed.


Triton advised that there was not much new information to pass on because information is regularly disseminated to heralds via the Atlantian Heralds yahoo group. The group can be joined by going to www.yahoogroups.com and entering atlantianheralds. Triton advised that she can be reached most easily by email but heralds are also welcome to call her in the event of a heraldic emergency. The Kingdom’s Heralds webpage is at www.herald.atlantia.sca.org. This is a very helpful page with access to the proper submission forms, rosters of warranted heralds and many other resources that include links to web pages full of articles to improve one’s knowledge of heraldry. Triton encouraged all in attendance to share any “really groovy” heraldry articles with her and she will review them and add them to the web page. 


The Golden Dolphin Herald advised of some concerning trends in submissions. She stated that she is seeing where many local heralds will consult with clients and then give them the forms for completion. Many of the submissions she receives from them are on the wrong size forms or the person is reducing the drawings. The Laurel office will not accept submissions which are more than ¼ inch off. A second concern is that some submissions are coming in without fees. The GD also reminded heralds that they have two weeks to send in submissions from the date that they accept the fees from the client. Heralds were advised not to accept cash and then turn around and write a personal check because under Kingdom Exchequer laws that is considered “commingling of funds” and is not legal practice. You can accept a check from the client payable to the College of Heralds OR you can take the cash to your exchequer who can then write a check from your local group. 


Triton discussed concerns about queries she is receiving regarding status of submissions. She advised that clients should receive something from GD within about 2 months of submission. If not, they should send their query through the local herald to the GD not Triton. Heralds were made aware that the Laurel Office is running a backlog of about 4 months. There is a new online submission system and the intent was to speed up the process. However, this has not happened yet. The College of Arms has 3 months to comment after a submission is posted. There are often two different groups dealing with the names and the devices and their comments have to be coordinated. Triton reminded heralds to use the article “A Guide to Successful Submissions” which is in the resources on the web page and was authored by GD. This article gives all the information needed to assure a better chance of success. It is downloadable and can be saved to your laptop and taken to consult tables. There was much discussion about the use of OSCAR for tracking submissions. OSCAR was not intended for public use and requires authorization to access. Apparently, there was an error and some commentary was saved for public view. Heralds were advised not to advise clients to try to access OSCAR to prevent miscommunication and hurt feelings. OSCAR went live before it was ready and is still in the testing phase. Heralds were encouraged to use the LOAR on the Atlantian Herald’s webpage instead.


Triton advised that all heralds are welcome to comment on submissions. The GD assembles all submissions for each month into a Letter of Intent. This is emailed to all commenting heralds on the list. If you are interested in participating, you can email the GD. Heralds were encouraged to comment and not be intimidated. It is a great learning process. Heralds do not need to comment on every submission and can comment only on those for which they feel qualified.  Heralds were reminded not to take comments personally. Both GD and Triton have significant experience with the College of Heralds and they are very knowledgeable about what the College will accept. 


Triton discussed information that went out from Kingdom recently about all submitters being notified by email. The Kingdom reported that all kingdoms were in agreement with this new practice and were subsequently decreasing submission fees. Triton clarified that Atlantia DID NOT agree to this practice. The GD has always notified submitters with typed letters on nice parchment paper. This practice gives them a nice record of their submission which can be used in the event of a move to another Kingdom and is a nice thing to have. It is also better for tracking purposes because the letters are returned if the address is no longer valid. This does not always happen when email addresses change or are closed. Atlantia also did not agree to a reduction in fees as we are going to continue to send letters.  Instead of reducing the submission fee, Atlantia will utilize that amount to restock the GD heraldic library and purchase new file cabinets that are desperately needed. This is due to the fact that currently many of the books used by the GD are her personal books. When she someday steps down, Atlantia needs to have its own resources for the new GD to have in place. Atlantia currently has an extremely high acceptance rate and we want to be able to continue that. The GD would like to see us purchase “consult table packs” so that we are not relying on the possessions of individuals when consult tables are held at events. We also need to replace some of the current Kingdom books that are as old as 25 years old and in poor condition. Some good resources include www.amazon.com and www.heraldrytoday.com. 


There was some discussion about court reports and Triton reminded everyone that these are due within two weeks of the event. The Order of Precedence web page has information on everything that should be included in a court report. The question was asked, “If you have a full court and then later that day a court is held to award only one or two persons, can you include all of that into one court report?” Triton advised that you can include all the information in one report, but you need to note that there were two courts held. 


Triton discussed the rules regarding consult tables at events. There can be a consult table at any event without Kingdom sanction, but there must be at least one warranted herald staffing it and the autocrat must be contacted ahead of time for permission. This is because a consult table requires space and resources. It should be noted that a herald cannot accept cash at a non-Kingdom sanctioned consult table. This is due to concerns about commingling of funds and is for the protection of the heralds.  


Finally, it was stated that over the entire kingdom there has been a drop in the number of volunteers to be heralds (as well as other offices). Lord Fritz advised of a situation where someone had been interested in heraldry, but was put off by the “air of superiority” of the herald in attendance at the consult table. Triton reminded everyone that her primary goal is customer service and we should all strive to be helpful and gracious.


Respectfully submitted,


Lady Rosanella Vespucci, Cornet Herald-at-Large

Canton of Buckston on Eno

Barony of Windmasters’ Hill

Kingdom of Atlantia


Soundings of the Conch: VIVAT!

By Baron Donal Mac Ruiseart, Conch Herald



Anyone who has been to any sort of court in Atlantia has almost surely heard the traditional cheer: VIVAT (or VIVANT) thrice repeated.


But what does it mean, and how does one use it properly?


It’s the third person singular or plural of the Latin verb VIVERE, “to live.”


Used as a cheer, VIVAT (the singular) is generally understood to mean “May s/he live long.”


And VIVANT (the plural) is generally understood to mean “May they live long.”


So if it’s an individual you’re cheering for, you should shout VIVAT; and if it’s more than one, or a group such as an order or a branch, it should be VIVANT.


There is no S on the end of either of them. I never really noticed until a recent online discussion brought my attention to the fact that often one seems to hear an S sound.  It may just be the way people pronounce final Ts. English people seem particularly inclined to make it sound like there is an S after every final T.


And one calling for cheers ought not to call for “Vivats,” but simply for cheers. The use of “VIVAT” is a custom, not a law . . . and it could change.


Why the Latin?


It’s a reflection of the fact that almost all Mediaeval Europeans would have had some exposure to Latin, because it was used in church liturgies. And educated people would have been taught Latin as part of their education. It was an almost universal part of most curricula in Europe, Britain, and the Americas until fairly recently; and is still taught. Not bad for a so-called “dead” language. Many could hold conversations in Latin. I don’t know if William Wallace actually spoke Latin, but the scene in Braveheart where the knight tried to fool him by speaking to the Princess in Latin is the sort of thing that might have happened.


And as we Scadians are all supposed to be of noble blood, we would all be expected to know a little Latin at least. Even if it is so little that it only one or two words.


Atlantia uses VIVAT/ANT as a cheer because the East Kingdom did at the time Atlantia became a Principality. Many Atlantian laws and customs come from our “mother kingdom.” It was chosen by the East because it is a period form of cheer. Earlier on, they used “Hip, Hip, Hurrah,” but there was a persistent belief that it was in some way disrespectful, and so was abandoned in favour of the current form.





Point of Fact

The College of Arms of the United Kingdom publishes its own online newsletter, too. Go to http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk if you want to check out the latest in British heraldry.


Heraldry is an art as old as Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and as young as the newest submission. I welcome you to join in exploring it with your colleagues, the heralds of Atlantia -- this is your journal. If you have always wanted to write an article that would be read by every Atlantian herald, or if you have a question you would like to ask of all the heralds of Atlantia, send me a message at Patoodle AT aol DOT com! I prefer that any articles or other messages come as plain text (ASCII), as opposed to HTML or some other format. Thank you!



In Service, 

Patricia of Trakai


Herald's Point is the newsletter for the members of the College of Heralds of Atlantia. Herald's Point is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA) and does not delineate SCA policies. Herald's Point does delineate policies specific to the College of Heralds of the Kingdom of Atlantia. Copies of this newsletter are available from: Patricia of Trakai (Patty Daukantas), 7740 Lakecrest Drive, Greenbelt, MD 20770.