Hero: Ulrich von Liechtenstein

Ulrich von LiechtensteinUlrich von Liechtenstein has been a hero of mine for some time, ever since I first of heard of him and what he had done in his life. I know some of you are thinking of the movie from a few years back by the the name of A Knight’s Tale, which starred the late Heath Ledger and somewhere in the back of your mind you recall that was the assumed name the peasant turned jousting knight used. Someone associated with the movie must have actually had a bit of medieval history in their background, for there was indeed a true knight from the 13th century by the name Ulrich von Liechtenstein.

The real Ulrich had a life that was probably just interesting, perhaps more so, and certainly as ruled by the notions of courtly love and how to win the favor of his this lady that inspired in him all things. Further, the true Ulrich was not only a knight and jouster of some reknown during his lifetime, but he was further was educated and used his talents to write poetry describing his exploits pursuing the love that spurned him. The title of the work the famed poet-jouster, as he is often called, wrote in the original Middle High German was Frauendienst. Translated to modern English, it reads as Continue reading “Hero: Ulrich von Liechtenstein”

Medieval Cavalry

A recent article on a blog by the name of Muhlberger’s Early History has me really taking a bit of an issue with it. The blog can found at http://www.nipissingu.ca/department/history/MUHLBERGER/2008/07/re-enacting-medieval-cavalry-henrik.htm. In the article, one of the founding members of the SCA, who has participated in the re-enactment of Hastings starts to claim that perhaps horses in medieval warfare were perhaps not as much a factor as we would like to believe.

Interestingly enough this goes against most of what we have in both the record and what is put forth by most noted historians. In fact, most of the historians, and indeed most of the record seems to support, that the medieval era from horses standpoint in warfare actually sees its rise to the pinnacle of the ultimate shock troop and it fall from that position to the little more than a quick-moving “infantry” or scouting role by the close of the period. Continue reading “Medieval Cavalry”

Currently reading, listening, watching…

So I had been thinking about things that I am currently reading, listening to, and occasionally watching. I have tried to update some of those items as well as a current favorite or two on my accounts for MySpace and Facebook, as well as a few other places. I have since decided it just too much work to maintain it in separate places and will, going forward on a semi-sporadic time scale, post a message here in my blog that contains what I am reading, listening to, or watching – as well as any current favorites and what I have recently finished (and for those I plan to give the a rating out of 5 stars)

Currently Reading:

Recently Finished:

  • Native Dancer: The Grey Ghost: Hero of a Golden Age by John Eisenberg – A good little work of history regarding the horse Native Dancer. A horse that became even more famous because of his gray coloring and the contrast that gave him on the new fangled device in the early 1950’s that we call television. Despite having lost the Kentucky Derby and having a reputation of being a lazy horse toward the finish once he knew he had the victory, his record crunchy times and his later huge winning progeny definitely make him one of the better horses of the last century, some accounts placing him as high as 3rd (even without a triple crown). Good background for where America is and what is going socially and such at the time too. Only thing I would say is, maybe written at a bit of an elementary level at times. Rating: * * * *
  • The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir – A good account of Elizabeth and her reign, as Weir is noted for having done with several monarchs around about the same time. I found a couple of her theories on things a bit implausible, but she doesn’t really say one way or the other, but rather presents them as possibilities that have been considered by scholars at one point or another. Overall, you get a really good feeling of just what court life would have been like during the reign, especially as she is establishing and consolidating her power during the early years of her reign. You can also really appreciate the tricky balancing act Elizabeth played over the years with her many suitors, while all the while knowing full well as soon as she had a husband she would be submitting to his rule over her in all likelihood. Rating: * * * * 1/2

Currently Listening:

  • about anything they have out by Pythia – Interesting cross between old style music and lyrics with a very heavy metal instrumentation and presentation. I need to break down and by a CD, but so far I have just playing off of their MySpace page. Be sure and check out Tristan and My Pale Prince (now humming aloud “Dark Lord hold me, you control me, you should know me, by my faithful heart…”). Beside all of that, Emily Alice is HOT!
  • Ghost of a Rose and The Village Lanterne by Blackmore’s Night – Another cross of old world styled lyrics and instruments with some pop style riffs and updating. I am pretty sure that most of material is original lyrically, but I am not 100% that some songs are not old lyrics re-done. Again, you can at least get an example of their sound at there MySpace page.
  • Greatest Hits by Willie Nelson by Willie Nelson – Obviously, if you have read other post in this blog this should not come as a surprise. What is surprising is this is the only Willie recordings I own, and there are only like maybe eight to ten tracks. How do you reduce his greatest hits to that number, I am not sure? Anyway, I think this is a very old set of music and I am thinking that I should get his version of the ‘immaculate’ collection in the boxed CD set (One Hell of a Ride) that was released not to long ago, which I think a total of over a 100 tracks.

Recently Watched:

  • Survivor – I am not even sure where they are doing the current season. There was a year or two there where I watched this show often. The couple of episodes I watched sort of here and there while doing other thing recently was more than enough for me to get my fill. Basically the same thing is still going on – it is much more a political suck up game the anything about actual survival.
  • CSI – Again, a couple of episodes caught mostly in full view after having finished other things that were being worked on. This is the original one, set in Las Vegas – and I admit to at one time a few years back having been sucked into the other two CSI shows as well, though I was never as fond of the one set in Miami (guess I was just to set on it they should be working Crockett and Tubbs). Anyway, as I felt before, there is a lot more depth to and development of the characters in the original CSI. However, while the science is mostly sound, I still get agitated about how quickly things tend happen, how there is a computer database available out there for everything material composition of everything ever made to tire tread and shoe tread patterns, and of course the desperate we need a break by point X in the show and then tah-dah – there it is with just enough time to wrap up the story line – but almost everything is always solved. And yes, I admit to not having much for a willing suspension of disbelieve of the last few years in case you are wondering.