Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Michaelmas

Michaelmas, September, 29th, the Feast of St, Michael, was an important day in the Medieval calendar. It marked a close to the harvest season. With the end of autumn farm work, it was a time of feasting and going to market. Like other early Christian holidays, it masked a Pagan celebration of the same time—the autumnal equinox.

Appropriately to this feasting holiday, I received two books in the mail today—Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink, by Ann Hagen and Food in Roman Britain, by Joan P. Alcock. I'll review these fully after I read them. I haven't seen any online reviews of Food in Roman Britain, so I'll be especially sure to discuss that book. I quick skim shows that book to be a very accessible to the general audience. There is an extensive bibliography, but chapters are lacking citations. Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink is much more voluminous and scholarly, but just as readable. It's assertions are well cited with footnotes on every page.

(Did Medieval people wish each other, "Happy Michaelmas"? Probably not, but it makes for a nice blog post title.)

For more on Michaelmas and the Medieval farming seasons see:
Life in a Medieval Village, by Frances and Joseph Gies. This is book is an enjoyable read. My local library had a copy, and on amazon.com it is available used for less than $2.00! 

2 comments:

Brigadier Graemon said...

Hey, Andrew!I just found yer blog recently as I am getting back to my mini-wargame figures. Mostly Airfix and Esci stuff, but my metal figs are all D&D stuff, so that might not fit it altogether well on yer board about the Ferrous Lands. But it "might!"
I've noticed it's been a while since you last posted and I hope you are still playing the wargames and still have an interest in sharing news and ideas about yer figs and gaming. I did see that you are still running your other blog about the Port Battalions--very cool! WW 2 is one of my interests as well and, believe it or not, logistics has a special place to me, also; maybe not because of relatives in the war, like your case, but logistics as it applies to wargaming. Most games only deal with armies "in place," and have little or nothing to do with supplying war, as it pertains to campaigns for wargames!
I always wondered the "how" of supplying warfare, as in how did the generals get their troops, equipment, and supplies from one place to the place where the fighting took place? No easy task, that part! You just can't "pick up" an army and transport it 10,000 and start fighting--it's way more difficult than that!
Hope to see more articles from you in the future--you have a very good start from what I've seen so far!
Best wishes to you!

Andrew said...

Hi Graemon, It hasn't been too long since I last posted. I'm working on some WWII guys at them moment. Maybe I'll post in-progress shots to fill the gap between posts.