Threads from "An Old English Tapestry"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by perdu42, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    I assumed 'marshal' was purely a loan word from Norman-French. Turns out that is not the case... although the modern meaning has come from there its etymology does not. Given me more to think about.
     
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  2. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    You won't go far wrong is you assume:
    W from UU
    U from II
    Y from II and U
    C mostly replaced K
    DD evolved from medial T and D
    If I find my link to the Welsh etymological dictionary again I'll post it.
     
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  3. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    What's happening in France now the Dukes of Normandy can't draw on England's resources as per OTL?
    More centralised France? Less centralised without one rival to the French crown eventually controlling half the country?

    If the Normans fail to conquer England do they try their luck elsewhere?
    Spain? Somewhere else in the med?
     
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  4. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    An update on France is in the works... although it is more of a general look at the state of play in Europe as a whole given the butterflies set in motion. As to the Normans, I'll repeat a comment from couple weeks ago:

     
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  5. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, does the butterfly effect mean the First Swedish Crusade in the 1150s actually happens?
     
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  6. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    I imagine, just like OTL, that academics ITTL will debating whether it happened or not.;)

    Seriously, good question. I have to say that I'd never encountered that particular crusade. Given that it is highly unlikely that there will be an English bishop by the name of Henry ITTL, I'd say no crusade.
    Then again, because the dating is far in advance of what I've sketched out, time will tell.
     
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  7. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a Welsh Bishop named Harry due to butterflies. :-D
     
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  8. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    One thing I didn't realise until reading this timeline and doing some digging was that there were a few prominent Norman lords in Britain before the Conquest. I'd imagine they'd go native much quicker than OTL seeing as they've never been running the show. The Kings of England and the Nobility never really took English seriously as a language until the 100 Years War.
     
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  9. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Not as many as I used to believe - seems to me there were just as many Breton's and Lotharingian's by the time of Hastings.

    Normans: Richard fitzScrob and his son Osbern, definitely gone native.
    Bishop William of London remained loyal to the English.
    Simon (or Simeon) the provost/prior of Winchester (St Swithun), taken to Rome on Stigand's 1067 expedition.
    Osbern fitzOsbern, one of the Confessor's chaplains, also taken to Rome.

    Bretons: Ralf the staller, died fighting alongside Duke William. His brother and nephew remained loyal to the English. His son however...
    Robert fitzWimarc definitely gone native.

    The Lotharingian bishops (Walter of Hereford, Giso of Wells) remained loyal to the English.

    French: Abbot Baldwin of St Edmondsbury remained loyal to the English.

    Those secular lords that remained loyal, while going native, are part of the reformist/modernizing faction of the English military.

    Did I miss any?
     
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  10. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Yes!

    The question really should have been: How many did I miss?

    Rather than finish the latest random page I made a (by no means exhaustive) search and at last count -
    Lotharingians: at least another ten, including one very obvious bishop who I mentioned in one of The Great Chronicle entries.
    Flemings: at least four, one of whom - or his work at least - I've mentioned twice.
    Normans: one, maybe two - It is possible that Peter, who became Bishop of Lichfield OTL, was one of The Confessor's royal clerks pre-1066.

    Have been unable to ascertain the 'nationality' of Hugelin the chamberlain.

    So these sixteen (leaving Peter of Lichfield out) 'Normans', like most of those listed above, remained loyal to the English. Although it is probably more accurate to say ITTL, just like OTL, they were neutral ie waiting for the dust to settle and then picking the winning side. The exception to that being Abbot Baldwin who supplied troops to King Harold II Godwineson.
     
  11. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Extract from Enid Worsley, Where War Meets Art, (York: Combined Colleges Press, 2012).
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    The Battle of Albara – a subject that has been continually reworked in various artistic mediums (poetry, prose, song, paintings and sculpture) for more than nine hundred years – is, without doubt, the most insignificant military encounter to be discussed in this monograph. The disaster at Harran on 7 May 1104 saw the crusader state of Antioch lose most of its territory east of the Orontes as garrisons either fled or were expelled. The situation at Albara was no different as the local population expelled the garrison before the arrival of the army of Rudwan of Aleppo. However between those two events occurred the Battle of Albara in which a small force of Cuthbertines at a forward post some five miles outside the town was wiped out. Their deaths achieved nothing tactically or strategically. While they may have delayed the Aleppan army some four to six hours, ultimately Rudwan regained the town. The encounter almost destroyed the Cuthbertines as an order. Conversely, when it became known how and why the monks died, the Cuthbertines rode a wave of sympathy that resulted in an exponential growth that cemented them as the foremost military monastic order[1].


    So why has the Battle of Albara exercised a fascination for more than nine hundred years? Because the incident was yet another example of that commonplace in Germanic culture – an absolute and over-riding loyalty to one’s lord – coupled with defiance against overwhelming odds and all cloaked in the romance of the crusades. The commander of the Cuthbertines, the order’s provost-general Bridoc, lay dying and his men – a mix of English, Germans and Scots – would not leave him to join the retreat of the other crusaders from Albara. Whether true or apocryphal is immaterial for the legend has a life of its own. Even now one cannot be but moved by the stirring simplicity of Stephen Bragi’s (c.1357-1414) version of the tale The Battle at Albara[2], or awed by the detail in Johann Rottenhammer’s (1564-1615) painting The Dust of Albara[3], or haunted by James Dylan’s (1941-1999) song The Watchtower[4].


    The earliest known allusion to a poem about the Battle of Albara seems to be a line written by Wulfgeat, “Her min gebróðor lecgan þá ascan[5]”. The poem is mentioned by Eadmer c.1122[6] and by Otto c.1145[7] but the first extant lines are written by Æthelwold when he mentions the poem c.1177[8]. A version of the tale by Merbort was circulating in the Holy Roman Empire during the fourteenth century but like most of his work does not survive, indeed nothing is known of the poet. Bragi presumably had a copy – whether the ‘original’, Merbort’s, or some other – upon which to base his version but it was unknown as to which that may have been. Until the following fragments (dated to c.1180) were discovered by antiquarian Harold Dodsworth in 1725:


    Ælfsige hléoþrode ðá / foreweard his gebróðor,
    “her forþ berað færsceaðan / habbað éowre heaðulinda.”
    Fram þone stántorr ðá / Ælfsige þeneþ boga,
    “7 me of bosme fareð / ætren onga.”

    Hyge is cwic, / heorte is cene,
    se ðe nū fram þis ƿīgplegan / ƿendan þenceð.
    Mod is mære, / ūre strengþ meahtum.
    we Sanctus Cuthberti secgrof, / fram we ne ƿille.

    Adalhard… [9]

    … / gúðwudu hlynneð,
    scyld scefte oncwyð. / Cullen stearcedferhþ gæleþ,

    “Hyge sceal þē cwic, / heorte þē cenre,
    se ðe nū fram þis ƿīgplegan / ƿendan þenceð.
    Mod sceal þē mære, / ūre strengþ meahtum.
    we Sanctus Cuthberti secgrof, / fram we ne ƿille.”[10]

    … Hyge sceal þē cwic, / heorte þē cenre,
    Mod sceal þē mære, / þē ūre mægen lȳtlað,
    Her þá gebróðor lecgan in þá ascan
    .[11]


    [1] For a fuller account of the battle and its aftermath see: Godwin Cuthbertson, A History of the Order of Soldiers of Saint Cuthbert (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

    [2] Stephen Bragi, A New England: Selected Poems, ed. Godwin Chase, (London: English Library Classics, 1983). Bragi’s 1402 poem remains the earliest full account of the legend.

    [3] Johannes Rottenhammer, The Dust of Albara (1604), hangs in the Galerie Augsburg.

    [4] James Dylan, The Watchtower, (London: Liberation Records, 1967).

    [5] Wulfgeat (1048-1117), an ex-Cuthbertine was provost of Chester and took an interest in the composition of The Great Chronicle produced at that abbey. Although entered under the year 1105 it is believed that part of the chronicle was completed c.1116. See Merefin Swanton (ed.), The Great Chronicle Vol. 20: St Wæburh’s Recension, (Grantbridge: Grantbridge University Press, 2010).

    [6] Edweard Barrow (ed.), Eadmer’s Chronicle (Gloucester: Woodbridge Publishing, 1970).

    [7] Otto of Freising, Chronica sive Historia de duabus civitatibus, (Munich: Schriften der MGH, 1956).

    [8] Æthelwold, History of Not So Recent Events, ed. Merefin Stanton (London: Writers and Readers Publications, 1930).

    [9] Fol 10r, Alcuin College Library (York) Dodsworth MS 87.

    [10] Fol 10v, Alcuin College Library (York) Dodsworth MS 87.

    [11] Æthelwold,
    History of Not So Recent Events.
     
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  12. clem attlee Well-Known Member

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    Any chance of a translation?
     
  13. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Sure but it will expose my complete lack of metre, alliteration and whatnot. A poet I ain't, not in any language.
     
  14. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Then cried out Ælfsige / watchman for his brothers,
    “here the enemy bear forth / seize your linden-wood shields.”
    Then from the stone-tower / Ælfsige bent his bow,
    “and there flies from my bosom / the poisonous dart.”

    Thought is keen, / heart is bold,
    who now thinks to turn away from this warplay?
    Courage is great, / our strength mighty,
    we are St Cuthbert’s men, / we will not go away.

    Adalhard…

    … / the war-wood clashes,
    the shield answers the shaft. / Stouthearted Cullen sings out,
    “Thought shall be keen, / the heart bolder,
    who now thinks to turn away from this warplay?
    courage shall be greater, / our strength mighty,
    we are St Cuthbert’s men, / we will not go away.”

    … Thought shall be keen, / the heart bolder,
    courage shall be greater, /as our strength lessens.
    Here the brethren lie in the dust.


    ADDED: and as a bonus, not included on the original random page -

    Up in the gate tower // Ælfsige kept the view // All the while brothers prepared weapons // And their horses, too // Outside in the far distance // Ever louder yowls // Many riders were approaching // And the dust began to shroud.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 6:21 AM
  15. clem attlee Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm no poet either in fact and so can't judge it on that level, but I will say that it is beautifully written and sadly evocative. Exactly right for the purpose in other words.
     
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