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

Volume 6, Issue 1 -- January/February 2009 (A.S. XLIII)




Artwork credit: Maestra Julianna Fiorentini


Another year, another...

Oh, wait. Wrong quote. Except, we have come to another year, and Mistress Alisoun and I are starting another year in the positions we hold. However, make no mistake, there will not be a continuation at the end of this one, regardless. So, prepare yourselves for a whirlwind of education and training, because we HAVE to get new Triton and Golden Dolphin candidates identified and in the works. I know I've said this so often that you have probably tuned me out by now. Nevertheless, I want each and every Pursuivant and Herald to search his or her heart and think seriously about whether or not this is a path you would be able to take, a path in which you could excel. If you see within yourself, the love of heraldry and Atlantia's College of Heralds, and the skills to keep up with deadlines, work with different personalities and make things interesting for the other heralds, then please. Contact me. I know you're out there. I look at you every day and I see what you have to offer. I see your strengths, I see your weaknesses, I see your potential! There are some stars twinkling out there. I just think maybe you don't know it yourselves yet.

I hope everyone has been paying attention to the online heraldry lessons we've started. I plan to have more and more as time goes on. I know it's hard sometimes, to know where to look for the clues you need. Hopefully, this will provide you with a few of them.

I want to take a moment to really thank Lady Gisella for her efforts on reminding people of quarterly reports, and setting up a commenting list to help train people how to comment. Thanks, Gise!

Speaking of, 4th quarter (Oct 1-Dec 31) reports are now due! Hop online and send one in! Our reporting percentage last quarter took a serious dive and I had to nag. Don't make me do that again. Nobody likes a cranky Rhiannon.

I look forward to the coming spring and more time outside, but while you're languishing by the fire, why not read a heraldry book and improve your knowledge and skills? Or sign up for the ILOI distribution and learn to comment? And don't forget, we have an exciting array of classes at the upcoming February University!!! Get that class credit in early!

Study, learn, improve! Make "being a better herald" a New Year's Resolution you keep! Hey, it's easier than dieting! ;-)

-- 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!

Did you know (or do your SCA friends know) that you may be able to use an alternate title in the language of your persona? For example, if your SCA name is French and you have an AoA, you can call yourself Seigneur or Madame, depending on your gender (a Mistress would be "Matresse"). When our past Clerk of Precedence stepped down on Twelfth Night and was elevated to the Order of the Pelican, she became Maestra Cassandra Arabella Giordani.
However, not all languages and cultures of the Known World used royal and noble titles in a way that translates easily to the SCA award structure. In this issue of Herald's Point, our Black Raven Herald, Folnagy Janos (or Lord Janos), presents his investigation into appropriate early-period Hungarian titles. He is continuing to research the matter, especially for Barons and Baronesses.
Also, check out my "Point of Fact" about roundels -- does anyone know of a poem or other mnemonic device to help heralds remember all those special terms? Write one and I'll print it with proper credit!

Stay warm this winter!

Lady Patricia, Editor


Early Hungarian Titles


By Sovány Barcsi János

Black Raven Herald

I have been disappointed for a number of years with the current Laurel list of approved titles. While it is generally suitable for later period Hungarians, it is unsuitable for Hungarians prior to the coronation of King Stephen I in 1000 AD. At that point in history, the influence of western European titles became predominant in Hungarian along with the arrival of German knights and bishops from all across Europe and Hungarian society changed from a tribal one to one based on a Western aristocracy model.


I am likewise disappointed with the first list of alternative titles for Hungarians, which I prepared nearly thirty years ago. Since that time, I have made two trips to Hungary and obtained better references than were available at the time (I once joked that it cost me 60 cents to enter the Hungarian National Museum and 60 dollars to get out).


In addition, the lists of alternative titles in the SCA are largely based on a medieval model. I am attempting here to produce an early medieval (a.k.a. "dark ages") list for those of us with earlier period personas. I hope also to open the eyes of good SCA folk who would like to learn something new.


A good guide to pronouncing these words can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_alphabet. A good basic guide to writing them can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Hungarian_script.



Kende, Künde, Kündü


Asszoncs, Asszony


Gyula, Fejedelem

Crown Prince

















Explanation of terms



A note on titles for women.  It is painfully obvious that the list is lacking female equivalents to many of the titles. This is due to the structure of the society at the time which allowed woman titles only based on their relationship to men. In other words, the wife of a duke would have been called "wife of a duke" (Úrno), not duchess as a title in her own right.

A note on kende, gyula, and horka.  At some point in their history, the Hungarians settled on a tri-partite leadership scheme for their nation. The leader was the kende, who was assisted by the gyula, usually a relative who on at least some occasions later became kende himself. After The Settlement, the gyula ruled in Transylvania and conducted foreign affairs with the Emperor in Constantinople. The junior-most of the three was the horka, who commanded the army in the field. It was the horka, Búlcsú, who commanded the Hungarian army in its greatest defeat at Lechfeld in 955 AD, while the fejedelem (which title had replaced kende c. 890 AD) and gyula remained in Hungary. None of them could order a major action (such as a war or large raid) without approval of all three.




I strove to avoid dictionaries when I crafted this list, focusing instead on primary sources (translated, since I don't read Hungarian) and secondary sources from reliable authors. The first two sources were excellent in providing the structure and terms used in Hungary between The Settlement (c. 896 AD) and the reign of King Stephen (1000 AD).



*Sadly, I am unable to find a term that satisfies any of the SCA definitions of "baron.  I will continue to search.

** Saxons, Franconians, Lothringians, Swabians, and Bavarians.


  Point of Fact

If a submission includes a roundel, you can shorten the blazon a bit by using one of the special roundel names instead of "a roundel (tincture)." These special names are plate (roundel argent); hurt (roundel azure); torteau (roundel gules); bezant (roundel or); golpe (roundel purpure); pellet, gunstone or ogress (roundel sable); pomme (roundel vert); and fountain (roundel barry-wavy azure and argent). The generic fountain is not to be confused with Atlantia's Award of the Fountain.


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.