Forward Into the Past
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Previous Suggestions

988 and All That: An Introduction to Early Russian Society
This class will cover the period between the Russian conversion to Christianity in 988 up to the beginnings of the ascendancy of Muscovy in the 14th century. Come see it all--merchants, Crusades, inter-family squabbles, Mongol invasions, and information on everyday life in a neglected, yet fascinating period of history.
Speaker: Susan Carroll-Clark, Ph.D.

Advanced Chainmail
Beyondthe basics: mail is the most versatile, flexible armour ever developed. Able to be shaped to every part of the human form mail can also be thebasis for wonderful jewelry. In this class some different chain patternswill be discussed. A basic understanding of mail is required. Bring two pair of pliers.
Speaker: Gary Snyder

With the modern resurgence of brew your own several people have asked what medieval people drank. This class will look at the use of alcohol over theyears and cultures. The social mores surrounding drinking, ingredients and both medieval and modern recipes will be discussed.

Archaeological Reconstruction of a Medieval Village
Alook at the lifestyle of a medieval village through the use of archaeological tools and techniques.
Speaker: Gary Van Lingen

Armour through the Ages
This class will look at how armour changed over the centuries of the middle ages using both physical and pictoral examples
Speaker: Mark Patchett

Aromatherapy Practicum
Learn to create your own healing oils with scents of essential oils. Each participant will make 2 15mL bottles for personal use. Previous knowledge of aromatherapy or working with essential oils would be beneficial, but is not mandatory.
Class is limited to 15 people.   There is a materials fee of $6 for this class.
Speaker: Terra Jade Wallace

Arthurian Legends
Who was King Arthur? Learn the origins and evolution of these popular legends over a millennium of history.
Speaker: Heather Dale

Bagpipes for Beginners
This class will be a practical workshop designed for beginners and intermediate students who wish to pursue their interest in the Scottish Highland Bagpipe. Instruction will be conducted using GAELIC terminology when possible. Modern (written) musical notation will be used. Students must provide their own practice chanters if they wish to partake of this practical instruction.
Speaker: Halfdan Blackanvil

Bardic Apprenticeship
A chance to enjoy our own bardic heritage. Come with your own music or drop by to learn a new song, poem or story.
Speaker: Sigurd

Basic Armouring Techniques
This course will explore the basic techniques of armour construction including, dishing, rolled edges and riviting. Some "project pieces" will be available for sale and hammers and anvils will be available for a SMALL number of people to try their hands.
Speaker: Mark Patchett

Basic Bobbin Lacemaking
Learn the basic skills and information needed to make bobbin lace for yourself. There will be a brief discussion of the history and different styles of lace as well as simple, cheap ways to get started.
Speaker: Sarah Scroggie

Bawdy Songs & Love Ballads
Popular songs from the taverns of medieval England. We'll be discussing and learning rounds and catches, songs that stir the heart and songs that stir the ... hey nonny nonny. You are invited to join in the singing, but convenient larengitis will be provided for those who wish it.
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Beginner's Chainmail
Why was chainmail the ultimate armour for warriors for over a thousand years? So versatile, it is still in use today. Historical background, ‘how to’, and ‘hands on’. Please bring two pairs of pliers.
Speaker: Gary Snyder

Beginner's Guide to Herbology
Taking a first look at herbalism in the Middle Ages with applications to healing.
Speaker: Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Beginners Tablet Weaving
A hands-on introduction to tablet weaving. The participants will be shown how to string up a loom, as well as a few basic techniques and patterns. Observers are more than welcome. Mat Fee (active only) $3
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Black Death
The plague killed millions. Come and see how that affected the lives of those left behind. Learn a little about the Bubonic plague itself.
Speaker: Gary Van Lingen

Blacksmithing (3 hours)
This course will cover the basic tools and techniques of the Blacksmith's art. A maximum of four people will have the chance to put hammer to metal so sign up early if that is your wish. Others are welcome to sign up for this class and watch and learn.
Class is limited to 4 people.   There is a materials fee of $10 for this class.
Speaker: Augustine du Charbonnieres

Bow Making
This course will look briefly at the types of bows and their use during the medieval period, as well as the basic tools needed, and construction of a basic flat bow. For those wishing to try their hand at bow making there will be a limited number of staves availabel for purchase. Equipment will be provided for those who wish to work. If you have a draw knife please bring it along.
Class is limited to 6 people.   There is a materials fee of $35 for this class.
Speaker: Michael Kleinknecht

Brocaded Tablet Weaving
This class is for those individuals who have some experience with tablet weaving or who have attended the introductory class. A hands-on introduction of various brocading techniques used on tablet woven bands. Historical applications and designs will also be discussed. Observers are more than welcome.
There is a materials fee of $3 for this class.
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Build A Friction Drum
Robyn will guide you in the construction of a peasant instrument commonly played in the middle ages. You will leave the class with a quality "rommel pot", and information about other simple-to-play early folk instruments. All materials provided.
There is a materials fee of $10 for this class.
Speaker: Robyn Whystler

Dame Medinia's Acedemy
Dress and Deportment of a leter period lady. Gentlemen are welcome to attend. This In Persoona class will focus on the instruction of ladies in what is considered proper in today's society.
Speaker: Medinia

Dangerous Beauties: the lives of courtesans in Renaissance and Early modern Italy
Hollywood recently released a film portraying the life of Veronica Franco, a noted courtesan and poet of Renaissance Venice. But how much of the film was fact and how much was fiction? Courtesan Signora Inez Rosanera explores the film _Dangerous Beauty_ and delves into the sometimes brutal reality of the lives of the Italian courtesan, tackling such topics as their relationship with the law and their contribtuion to culture and the arts.
Speaker: Ines de Rusconi

Domination and Submission in the Middle Ages (Adults Only)
Kristine Maitland, taking hard look at male/female relationships during the Middle Ages, explores what today would been seen as sadomasochistic. Particular attention will be paid to representation in art and literature as well as to actual reported events in the period.
Speaker: Ines de Rusconi

Early Reed Instruments
Follow the evolution of reed instruments from ancient to late renaissance times. Experience the bizarre in sound and invention with Robyn's collection of early reed instruments, recordings and visuals. Learn by building simple reed instruments from disposable modern materials.
Speaker: Robyn Whystler

Embroidery (Practicum)
A hands-on approach to medieval needlework. Participants will have the oppertunity to experiment with hand died floss and various stitches, including couching, to produce a small favour.
There is a materials fee of $7 for this class.
Speaker: Larisa Kallaur-Telford

English Country Dance
Dancing was a very integral part of social life in the middle ages, and though there is very little documented about the types of dancing that were done by common folk, there are later pieces that indicate what form the dances would have taken. This will be an interactive workshop that will look the structure of a few dances, and introduce some of the etiquette that was appropriate at the time. Class participants should wear comfy shoes!
Speaker: Bernadette Steinhauser

English and Scottish popular music (Practicum)
A workshop divided into two sections: First is the discussion of the incorrect belief that "there are no ballads in the Middle Ages". Part two is a discussion on how to create a medieval-STYLE ballad, and how to document the text and/or tunes.

Expulsion of the Jews
In 1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain decreed that all Jews who would not convert to Christianity were to be expelled from Spain. This lecture will look at some of the events leading up to the expulsion as well as the repercussions on both Spain and the Jews of Spain.
Speaker: Zadok ben Soloman ibn Alfakhar

Feast Ettiquette
A delightful romp through the intricacies of medieval table ettiquette.
Speaker: Janet Lloyd

Folk Drumming in the Orient
A survey of percussion styles and rhythms found in the folk drumming of the regions between Morraco and Pakistan will be presented. Drumming for folk dances and other purposes will be discussed. Bring your own dumbek or frame-drum. Some loaners may be available for those without their own drums.
Speaker: Knott Maelsson

Fortune Telling
Want next weeks winning lottery number? SO DO I! This class won't teach you about the future, but it will provide a brief history on the use of Tarot cards, and a lesson in how to read them
Speaker: Maddelena bala Kameskro

Games - Early Norse and Anglo-Saxon
In this practical lesson participants will be provided with general information and rules for games that would have been popular in Northern Europe prior to the twelfth century. Trying the games is encouraged.
Speaker: Jim McColm

Games - what were being played where and when
In this lecture we will examine the origins of board, dice and card games, how they developed and the routes they traveled. The focus will be on games that were played within Medieval and Renaissance Europe. This class will lead into the three practical classes later in the day.
Speaker: Jim McColm

Games at the time of the Hundred Years War
This practical lesson will look at games and the major changes that developed in this field after 1350. A focus will be on early card games. But rules will be provided for common board games. Again, game trial is encouraged.
Speaker: Jim McColm

Gaming at the turn of the Sixteenth Century
This hands on class will examine games that were being played in the courts and inns of Europe during the period that Elizabeth reigned in England. Rules will be provided for the games taught. Time will be provided for trial.
Speaker: Jim McColm

Gothic Cathedrals A Building Built by Grace (In Personna)
A Master Mason's Story. Richard Larmer is the Master Mason in the construction of a Cathedral in Medieval England. The third Master Mason leading this project, Master Richard will describe the history of the Cathedral and how they are building it. This will be an in persona presentation.
Speaker: Richard Larmer

A history of the Gypsies in the Middle Ages, covering their origins, daily habits, beliefs, and rituals.
Speaker: Maddelena bala Kameskro

This course will give a breif introduction into the history of heraldic emblazonment, and will provide the novice with a general guide to heraldic terms andtraditions. (You too can look pretty on the field......
Speaker: Bernadette Steinhauser

Herbal Workshop
A workshop on making herbal preparations in medieval style.
There is a materials fee of $3 for this class.
Speaker: Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Historical Interpretation for Re-enactors
How do you re-create the past? Some background on basic principles used by historic interpreters, and how they can be applied to the SCA.
Speaker: Darrell Markewitz

History of Bagpipes 101
A presentation on the 2,500 year old history of bagpipes and their forerunners. This lecture will also include some audio selections of the various mouth-blown and bellow-blown instruments still to be found in the numerous Celtic cultures of modern times. This course is open to all who have an interest in the music of "the 'pipes".
Speaker: Halfdan Blackanvil

Holidays & History
A comparison between modern holidays and their origins in the Middle Ages. This class will look at the history of Easter, Christmas, Halloween and a brief look at a rather misunderstood holiday -- Valentine's day.
Speaker: Gwyneth ferch Gryffydd

How do we know what we know?
Today's courses range from one end of the medieval scale to the other. Have you ever wondered how the teachers figured these things out? Its not like you can simply get a book of Sufi poetry from the Waterloo Public library or watch a video showing the coat Henry V wore to his coronation. This class will look into the odd nooks and crannies and discuss the shortcuts and experimentation the SCA researchers use to bring this knowledge out into the light.
Speaker: Adrienne Dandy

This class will examine detailing and whitework. Hopefully there will be some time for some hands-on work. If you wish to practice your hand please bring a pencil, ruler, and eraser. If you have them please also bring watercolour paints.
Speaker: Genvieve

Introduction to Historical Dance
A survey of historical dance from the late Middle Ages to the end of the Renaissance. Seven easy dances will be taught, being Ductia, Saltarello, Petit Riens, Pavan, Pinagay, Washerwoman's Brawl, Ballo del Fiore.
Speaker: Rosina del Bosco Chiaro

Introduction to the SCA
So who are the people hosting this collegium? The SCA is a group of people interested in history. Come learn more of what else the group does, how widespread it is, how to contact your local group, some of it s history and stories. This class will change depending on who attends but it could also cover: How to get involved, how the SCA can help your group, ways the SCA works with the schools, and many other topics.
Speakers: Bernadette Steinhauser, Neil Peterson

Italian Renaissance Dance
Fifteenth-century Italian court dance is the oldest known ancestor of ballet. One dance from this period, Gratiosa, will be taught, along with a second dance if there is time. All steps needed will be taught.
Speaker: Rosina del Bosco Chiaro

Is there any truth to the stories that jugglers were considered nobility? Of course not. Come find out some of the history of juggling and learn the basic patterns.
Speaker: Pavel

This class will cover the making of leather drinking vessels.
Speaker: Onami

Medieval Fashions
An overview of costume from 900-1600 AD with visual examples. Primarily a hands-on and open forum discussing the development of clothes and the theory behind the changes.
Speaker: Danute Dorion

Medieval Menus
A look into the kitchens of a medieval manor, at the dishes and recipes they produced and how some of these could be used to add variety to the foods we cook in our everyday lives. This class will cover ideas for family suppers and picnics and suggestions for planning the menu for a historically themed party.
Speaker: Jo Duke

Middle Eastern Dance
This class is intended to show some of the more basic movements in Middle Eastern dance, giivng the beginner a basic view of muscle movement and rhythym interpretation. The basic steps and exercises will be demonstrated and discussed, as will the origins of Middle Eastern Dance, and the basic differences between Balady and Danse Orientale.
Speaker: Moria The Black

On Rope (Practicum)
A bit of history and a some hands on practical on rope making during the middle ages.
Speaker: Ken Cook

Oral Culture
An introduction to the character and merits of Oral culture with a basis in Northern Europe. entymilogical survivals in English from past cultures.
Speaker: Sigurd

Peasant Life
Conventional wisdom states that the lives of medieval peasants were nasty brutish, and short, filled with malnutrition, disease and death. As usual conventional wisdom is only partially correct. Come sort out history from our perceptions of it.
Speaker: Adrienne Dandy

Pewter Casting
Pewter is a cheap alloy that was used extensively in the Middle Ages as an alternative to silver in the making of tokens, buttons, belts, and other costume accessories. In pewter casting, the molten metal is poured into an image carved into soapstone. The class will include a brief survey of some of the uses of pewter casting and then participants will have the oppertunity to create their own images in pewter (a lead-free pewter will be used).
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Saxon Heritage (In Personna)
Being a tale of the history and heritage of the Saxons told first hand by Hlaford Cynred Broccan, a survivor of the Battle of Hastings.
Speaker: Ken Cook

Scottish Life
So you are betrothed to the son of the Laird, or are you a member of her entourage ? Come and meet the first family of Clan MacLeod and find out what you can expect when you join the household. This is an 'in Persona' class and the opportunity of a question and answer period will be offered.
Speaker: Ealasaid Loginach na Kildare

Sex and the Church (Adults Only)
Feeling randy? Stop! Better check with the priest if you want to practice medieval safe sex! What were official Church attitudes regarding sexual practices in the Middle Ages--and how indicative were they of reality? How did these attitudes evolve from the days of the early church up to the Reformation? And how did these doctrines affect daily life for most people?
Speaker: Susan Carroll-Clark, Ph.D.

Shopping with Sylard - What a Norseman needs to own! (In Personna)
A survey of artifacts from the Viking age. Illustrated with slides and samples. Historical sources, and construction tips.
Speaker: Darrell Markewitz

SilverPoint Drawing (In Personna)
Find out the medium that folks like Leonardo da Vinci used for their sketches. Silverpoint on Gesso. Please bring a 3mm mechanical pencil.
Speaker: J Caz Bentley

Speaking Medievally
'God Save This Fair Company!' - Practice speaking 14th century conversational english in a hands-on workshop that draws on Chaucer, Period Conversation Manuals, and other works of the time. You too shall learn how to say 'Greet this Fair Company!', 'Marry, this is good drink', and 'By my hood, sir, you are a straw for brains' with true aplomb.
Speaker: Brand Thorwaldsson

Come play in the spice box! Learn about some common scents! This class will discuss the spices used in the middle ages. There will be some sampling.
Speaker: Janet Lloyd

Stories & Songs From Camelot
A storytelling session featuring favorite tales from King Arthur's Court, as presented by an Arthurian enthusiast (and professional musician).
Speaker: Heather Dale

Stories from the Middle East
Spend 40 minutes listening to stories and tales you might have heard told on a street in Damascus, Cairo, or Jerusalem. The remainder of the class will be an open discussion on storytelling and sources for stories.
Speaker: Fionn MacRuarrie

Stripping an Elizabethian Lady
This class will look at the proper layering of clothing for an Elizabethan Lady. Both outerwear and underwear (smalls) will be discussed.
Speaker: Gwendolyn Rosamond

The History of Bladed Weapons - from the dawn of time to the firearm
This is a overview of the development of the cutting edge, from stone to rapier. Illustrated with slides of historical artifacts. Special attention given to types for medieval cultural groups.
Speaker: Darrell Markewitz

The Real Braveheart
A madcap romp through the 13th century Scottish Wars of Independence, which inspired Mel Gibson's film 'Braveheart'.
Speaker: Heather Dale

Women In History - Writers
A mid-70's book about women authors began with Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Georges Sand and Jane Austen. But, a thousand years before Austen women were writing, and continued to write all through the Middle Ages. The class will explore some of these women.
Speaker: Adrienne Dandy

Women in History - Crusaders
Arab writers chronicled a great number of stories about women fighting in the Second Crusade. Women weren't even there, according to Christian chroniclers. The truth may well be somewhere in the middle. This class will look at the roles women played in the Crusades.
Speaker: Adrienne Dandy

Women in History - Roles of Women
Women through the Ages is designed to give an overview into the changing roles of women. This course is NOT designed to be an in-depth study into anyone woman or time but rather a look at the way women's relationships with their families, their communities and the world as they knew it changed with the changing fortunes of time. Several geographic areas and times will be discussed in an effort to best illustrate the changing morals and values women have had to conform to. It will, it is hoped, give the student a greater understanding of why women are the way they are and how we got to where we are today.
Speaker: Ealasaid Loginach na Kildare

Wood Carving (Practicum)
A discussion of wood carving in a medieval context. If you wish to work please bring your tools and any work in progress.
Speaker: J Caz Bentley

Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions