Friday, October 23, 2009

Reasons to Date a Medievalist

Over on Facebook, a discussion recently erupted about reasons to date geeks. Through a link someone posted, I saw that articles and posts on this subject abound, but they're typically about computer geeks specifically. What the world needs is an apologia for dating medievalists. Here are just a few reasons:

Romance -- medieval troubadours invented romance. Want a woman who knows how to be the coquette damsel? A medievalist is for you. Want a man who will literally fight in your name in shining armor? Again, you're looking for a medievalist. Medievalists understand the deep symbolic resonance of a rose, and they're not afraid to use it.

Brains -- Let's face it, as a class medievalists are just plain smarter than other people. Academic medievalists can often read more dead languages than most people can read living languages. We know what happened between the fall of Rome and the discovery of the New World. We know art, philosophy, you name it. You'll never find conversation with a medievalist dull.

Crafts -- Popular medievalists hold the hands-on knowledge. They do their own leatherworking, smith their own armor and inscribe their own manuscripts. These are women who can start with an unsheered sheep and end with a beautiful, ornate article of clothing. These are men who look at plywood and see the start of a shield. If you're dating a medievalist, you'll find lots of repairs around the house or alterations to your clothing just get done.

Costumes -- For a medievalist, Halloween means standing in front of your closet changing garb from one period or region to another. Plus, your costume is likely to be tailor-made.

Sex -- Medievalists have know the Art of Courtly Love, and can probably discuss sexuality through Augustine and Jerome. If your name is John and you want to be called Eleanor, a medievalist understands why. We're the ones who can really get medieval on your ass -- but we know the limits, thanks to Abelard & Heloise. Plus the costume thing, if that's your scene.

Religion -- We'll go to church with you, and when's the last time you had a lover who did that? Plus, we'll actually enjoy the liturgy.

Apocalypse -- If civilization collapses, who would you rather be with: the National Guard, or the Society for Creative Anachronism? I'd go with the SCA, because as soon as the gasoline and ammo run out, you'll need guys who can fletch their own arrows and pierce a zombie's eye at 50 yards. Never again have a date go bad because of unexpected apocalypse.


These are just a few reasons, but I'm sure you Wordhoarders can come up with more. So, medievalists and those who love us, tell us your own reasons in the comments.

14 comments:

  1. Great post. As a medievalist, I've never seen a better description of us as a class. Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed the description.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Medievalists can brew a mean ale (or mead, if that's what takes your fancy) and aren't afraid to enjoy it! (Also useful in the apocalypse scenario, when water becomes undrinkable.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome list! Thanks for the laugh. (I found your site via Tanzanites Shelf and Stuff.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. excellent! Except that I don't at present own any medieval clothing ...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I may be taking a joke too seriously but I don't feel comfortable about the assumption of Church-going, or indeed of Christianity, here. But then, if I were a good church-going boy I'd probably be married by now and it would seem irrelevant...

    ReplyDelete
  6. No one said anything about being a Christian -- I just said we'd go to church with you. Of course, you could be wicked like me and have a running commentary of the sermon complete with koine Greek obscenities ... but then, that's my children's cross to bear during each service.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I actually couldn't be wicked in exactly that manner, which is quite an impressive one! But I could probably qualify a lot of things as having been heretical at one point or another in Catholic history (irrespective of what denomination might have admitted me). But I was seeing myself as the medievalist date here, not the non-medievalist datee. (No, okay, that's not a real word.)

    By a weird freak of timing, earlier today I was roused from my bed by two women outside my front door carrying a small open book. I didn't answer mainly because I was in a dressing gown and it was cold, but if I had I'd have had to say, "Sorry, I don't have time for you to proffer me the Word of the Lord, because I'm reading up on eleventh-century papal claims of universal supremacy". I'm not sure how that would have gone from there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm only going to church with, well, anyone if the liturgy is in a dead language! ;)

    If medievalists know romance, is it not true that medievalists might also make like Yvain and run off with their fellow knights, leaving their wives defenceless? I feel this is a possibility the public should be warned about.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I found this very humorus. I actually look at Halloween as a chance to wear something OTHER than garb!

    ReplyDelete
  10. As medievalist, and further a jouster on a white horse in armour and such on occasion - you are spot on. Though I do have to concur, usually at Halloween I am trying something besides the different garbs I have collected.

    Eum equus audiet qui equum audiet.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Very wonderfully worded, although many of the medievalists I know are a bit fuzzy on the languages, but could not only go from sheep to clothing (I'd be the shepherdess, probably), but could build you a decent home from skinny branches and mud, and start up a forge in the back yard as well! The only problem would be where to get decent coal....

    T

    ReplyDelete
  12. The John/Eleanor reference made me giggle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. For a more expert medical discussion of the subject than you will find in the philosophers, may I recommend _De Coitu_ by Constantinus Africanus?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous5:47 AM

    By a weird freak of timing, earlier today I was roused from my bed by two women outside my front door carrying a small open book. I didn't answer mainly because I was in a dressing gown and it was cold, but if I had I'd have had to say, "Sorry, I don't have time for you to proffer me the Word of the Lord, because I'm reading up on eleventh-century papal claims of universal supremacy". I'm not sure how that would have gone from there.

    I actually couldn't be wicked in exactly that manner, which is quite an impressive one! But I could probably qualify a lot of things as having been heretical at one point or another in Catholic history (irrespective of what denomination might have admitted me). But I was seeing myself as the medievalist date here, not the non-medievalist datee. (No, okay, that's not a real word.)
    ----------------------------------
    wisata riau

    blogger tutorial

    Pesta Blogger

    Kuansing

    Pekanbaru Riau

    Hibah Sejuta Buku

    ReplyDelete