Monday, July 8, 2013

Magnús hvalmagi (Maunche)

Order of the Maunche
Northern Region War Camp
Awarded July 6, AS 48 (XLVIII)

Firstly, I not only recommended Magnus to Their Majesties that he be polled for this award but I also requested the scribal assignment. It's the first time I've felt so very strongly about someone else's work that I wanted to write them in. His research speaks to me on a very base level and makes me want to follow along even if I have no interest in the subject matter in general. It may be considered by some  as indelicate to mention the above, but I personally feel that's its important to promote and encourage this quality of research to those who may just be starting down their own paths.

I knew from the very beginning what I wanted to create for Magnus, an Icelandic style page that is as closely associated to period exemplars as possible. I also knew that I wanted to work with Master Fridrikr Tomasson (AEthelmearc), not only to write fitting words in Old Norse but also to bounce ideas around with. I've wanted this since attending his class on Icelandic manuscripts at Pennsic a couple of years ago. Magnus has worked with him closely with his own research.

Early Icelandic manuscripts lean heavily on written word rather than coloured decoration, it's only later that you start to see the more decorative elements common in Europe. Although I've used period Icelandic sources, many of my pigment choices are influenced by the Anglo-Saxon practices I've read about (Owen-Crocker) and information gleaned from an article on Raman microscopy for a 14th century Icelandic manuscript[1].

Using the manuscript GKS 2365 as a source it's easy to see just how common it was for the written word to take importance over decorative elements. The book seems to have been written in a proto-gothic hand with slightly larger (maybe two lines tall) initials, in the same black ink (possibly red also?). Periodically there are coloured initials that are closer to three lines tall to mark the beginning of that section of text. It seems that two colours are used consistently; green, presumably in the form of verdisgris and a red. Initially I would have hypothesized the red to have been minium (red lead), but having since read the raman microscopy article I'm not so sure. Another article which discusses pigments found on various Anglo-Saxon manuscripts[2] "...found that vermillion did not appear until c. 1000 [in Norman manuscripts], after which it gradually replaced minium. This agrees with the presence of minium and absence of vermillion in the BL manuscripts." We know that vermillion is being used in Europe in the 11th century, we also know that it was used in the 14th century Icelandic manuscript already mentioned. The coloured initials seem to be in fairly poor shape, almost like the binder has deteriorated causing the initials to, in some cases, almost completely disappear.

Duuuuude... (Photo: Baroness Cateline la Broderesse)
I've wanted to use this specific piece of parchment for a while. Not only is it a piece left over from the skin produced for eLeri Nefyn but it also has holes in it! I figured that Magnus would get a small kick out of that because, as he well knows, not everything is perfect.

Page lines were scored with an awl rather than marked with a lead or ink. I have read this to be more common among the earlier Anglo-Saxon practices.

Calligraphy is in a proto-gothic style similar to that found within the exemplar. Due to time constraints I wasn't able to produce a true ductus from the original as I would have liked.

[1] Information from "Identification by Raman Microscropy and Visible Reflectance Spectroscopy of Pigments on an Icelandic Manuscript" (see my general bibliography for full source information - Stephen Best et al.) suggests that the following pigments were available to the Icelanders during the mid-14th century; azurite, red ochre, vermillion, and realgar (with orpiment probably as an impurity). Green is also used throughout the tested manuscript but the authors were unable to conclusively confirm those pigments, however it is believed that they are derived from verdigris. Interestingly none of the lead pigmemts were found during the testing and in the case of white, the inferior bone white was found to have been used instead of the far superior lead white. The authors hypothesize that this was because lead white wasn't available to the illuminator at the time, probably since pigments needed to be imported.

[2] "Anglo-Saxon Manuscript Pigments" (see my general bibliography for full source information - Mark Clarke) discusses the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy and near-infrared imaging to determine the pigments used on various Anglo-Saxon manuscripts (England c. 600 - c. 1066). Pigments positvely identified were minium (red lead), verdigris, carbon black, orpiment, indigotin, ultramarine (lapis), and lead white. Red ochre was found to have been used on a small number of manuscripts and surprisingly, even though azurite was being used in Europe there was very little evidence on the test samples that it had been used in England prior to the 11th century. It should be mentioned that Raman spectroscopy cannot identify organic pigments, so they should not be completely discounted as having been used.

Calligraphy by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by GKS 2365 4to (scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link to the right), specifically folios 20r, 39v and 44r.

Paper: Goat parchment created by Jean Paul DuCasse.
Materials: Mitchell #6 nib, iron gall ink. Vermillion, (homemade) verdigris, French ochre and indigo.

Words by Master Fridrikr Tomasson (AEthelmearc)

In Old Norse:
Margnum beinad mikill
meistari raust hrosta
skaðamaðr sanngõfugr
salgauks bruggað õlblóð.
Fræði gróf at fornskrár
fróða elszk hann sõgu
klifsstaf tárit korni
kallað frem hvalmegi.

Heitað bytár á hverlegi
hvel maðr gullin svelgas -
fleyliðit hann Freyjas
fljóta sem munvágs Dáins
Dimmt þungliga drupu
dvergregn á eyru herrar
áðr Magnus õlsgõrvir
á dómi með sõgu koma.

Õlhaf bitið Óðins
ok hornstraum klari fagreygr
Kenna drottning kenst ok
konungr Gregor greypr
Magnus bjórwit beina á
bróðerni stuka ok duppuð
með guðvefr stuka ok gullin
gaglbjartr albezt hvalmegi

Dæmað þess sexdagr heyannirs, fertugátt ár stofnanar í Líndalfylki á herbúðir.

Gregor, konungr

Kenna, drottning

In modern English:
Many call out for the
mighty master of malt
most noble slayer of hallcock
brews a bloody ale.
Craft-lore dug from ancient
scrolls Lore-wise makes him -
Whale mighty calls forth
Tears of of gold corn´s wave-prow.

Man of golden gurges brewed
bee-tears to cauldron liquor -
His aleships of Freya
float as Dains blithe waves.
Heavily dripped the dark
dwarfrain on the master´s ears
ere Magnus ale-maker
brought his tales to court.

Odin's ale-sea and clear
hornstream moved
faireyed Kenna queen and
fiercest Gregor king -
Beer-wise Magnus lifted they
to the Sleeve Order and
clad best goosesmart whale-might
in sleeves of perse and gold.

Proclaimed this sixth day of the harvest season, the forty-eighth year of the Founding, in Flax-dale-Shire, at War Camp.

Gregor King

Kenna Queen

Notes on Kennings and Volcabulary Used:

Verse 1:
meistari hrosta – master of malt – brewer
skaðamaðr sanngõfugr salgauks – most noble slayer of the hallcock – the poet seems to make reference to a ritual slaying of a rooster, somehow associated with “õlblóð” or blood-ale.
sõgufróða – Lore-wise – learned in research
klifsstaf tárit korni - tears of of gold corn's wave-prow – ale or beer.
Hvalmegi - Whale-mighty – reference to the subject's byname.

Verse 2:
Heitað bytár á hverlegi - Brewed bee-tears to cauldron-liquor - “bee-tears” are honey; “cauldron-liquor” can denote both ale/mead AND poetry.
hvel maðr gullin svelgas – man of golden gurges (whirlpool) – reference to the subject's shield.
fleyliðit Freyjas – Freya's aleships – poetry.
munvágs Dáins – bright waves of Dain (a dwarf name) – verses or ale.
Dimmt dverregn – Dark dwarfrain – poetry. Heavy, stolid poetry.
gõrvirõls – maker of ale – brewer and poet.

Verse 3:
Õlhaf Óðins ok hornstraum klari – Odin's ale-sea and clear horn-streams – poetry & ale.
bjórwit – beer-wise – skilled in brewing.
bróðerni stuka – sleeve bortherhood – Order of the Maunche.
gaglbjartr - goose-bright or goose-smart - intelligent
guðvefr – good-weave – a costly fabric for Kings – hence, metaphorically, purple.

Prose close:
heyannirs – harvest months – July and August.
Lindalfylki – Flax-dale-Shire – Shire of Glenn Linn.

Cited Works and Bibliography:
Cited works can be found in my General Bibliography, or in the additional sources listed below.

Scroll ID: Isabel C XLI
Completed July 2013