Officially, the SCA is concerned with medieval and Renaissance Europe, with a cut-off date of 1600 AD. Functionally, our members stretch the boundaries of that pretty often. Our nebulous start date of ‘the early middle ages’ gets extended backwards to accommodate people with an interest in ancient Greece and Rome. Our definite end date of ‘1600 AD’ gets waived now and then to take advantage of primary sources from the early seventeenth century. Our broad region of ‘Europe’ (which is a post-medieval concept anyway) has its borders expanded to include cultures that had contact with Europe during our period, including Persia, Mongolia, Japan, and others. Essentially, we define our area of interest not by its boundaries, but by its central point.
We think that it’s interesting and valuable to try to recreate parts of the Middle Ages in an ‘authentic’ way (i.e. based on archaeological and historical evidence), but at the same time, we’re willing to make a lot of compromises because of the other things we value:
Safety (using non-metal weapons in armoured combat, refrigerating food, having hand sanitiser at camping events)
Inclusion (religion is not incorporated into our ceremonies, people of all genders participate in combat activities)
Accessibility (food tailored to dietary requirements, out-of-period mobility aids are always welcome, cheap modern tents are common)
Hospitality (first attempts are accepted and encouraged, even if they aren’t accurate)
Diverse interests (our events always have people with outfits from different times and places mingling together)
Everyone has different levels of authenticity that they strive for, but we believe that historical accuracy should not be a barrier to participation. If you’re not sure whether something is ‘medieval enough’ for our events, you’re always welcome to ask, in person or by emailing our Newcomers’ Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org