When you first encounter the SCA, you will find it has a lot of specialised terms that are new and unusual to you. While all members of Thamesreach will be more than happy to explain these in more depth, this little glossary should help you get familiarised with some basic SCA jargon as found on this webpage.

More in-depth glossaries can be found on the SCA website and on the website of Insulae Draconis, and the following definitions have been gratefully quoted from the above.


Anno Societatis: (abbreviated “A.S.”) The dating system we use in the SCA (translates to “In the Year of the Society”). May 1, 1966 was the first day of the year A.S. I, and May 1st is “New Year’s Day” for each Society year. The years are usually depicted in Roman numerals.

Arms (or device): The heraldic emblem that identifies a person or entity.

Arts and Sciences: Members of the SCA peruse a variety of medieval activities and crafts, from armouring, costuming, brewing, historical research and living history, dance, calligraphy and just about any other medieval activity you care to mention. Also referred to as A&S.

Authorization: The process that fighters and fencers go through to be allowed to participate in combat.

Belted/Unbelted Fighter: SCA jargon to denote if a fighter is a Knight or Master at Arms (or otherwise a non-Peer fighter).

Castellan / Chatelain(e): The officer in charge of welcoming and assisting new members to a group.

Drachenwald: The European Branch of the SCA. Drachenwald was founded as a territory of the East Kingdom, achieved the status of Principality in Anno Societatis XV(1980) and finally Kingdom in AS XXVIII (1993).

Event: Any Society gathering. You’re welcome to go to any that are listed in the newsletter. You can take part in the activities, although some (mainly martial arts) take special training, and you’ll need to be authorised by a marshal before you can take part in those.

Feast: A feast can be anything from an elaborate meal served in the evening, sometimes accompanied by entertainment, to a potluck at the end of a revel. A meal in the company of others, usually in garb.

Feast Gear: A place setting for a feast. At least a plate, bowl, drinking vessel, spoon and knife. You can also include a napkin, fork, tablecloth, candles, etc. Assume you’ll need to bring basic feast gear for any feast unless the announcement says you don’t. Loaner feast gear is available for revels, please contact the organiser of the event.

Garb: Clothing based on that worn in the Middle Ages or Renaissance. We wear this at revels and other events. Your first attempt doesn’t have to be fancy! We can also provide loaner garb for an event if needed, please contact the organiser of the event

Herald: Officer who helps participants come up with SCA names and armoury; or, the official who makes announcements on the field, or is the Master of Ceremonies for court. Local group heralds are called Pursuivants.

Marshal: A specially trained person who oversees combat activities for safety purposes.

Minister of Arts and Science: The officer responsible for the organisation and encouragement of the arts, crafts and research in a group.

Period: Of the time period studied in the SCA (the Middle Ages and Renaissance); also, authentic.

Persona: Your Middle Ages / Renaissance “character”. Your persona can be detailed or simple – starting with the time period and country you are from, all the way to knowing the details of your persona’s place in society or your family history.

Populace: The inhabitants of a kingdom or local group; the people present at an event.

SCA Name: The name someone uses in the Society, the name of your persona.

Seneschal: The administrative officer of a local group, responsible for the day-to-day running of the group and coordinates the work of the other officers.