Interesting historical characters

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  • #2245
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    Here is a good one, a Czech (?) / German merchant from Nuremberg who imported navigational instruments to Portugal and then went on some of the earliest voyages of discovery

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Behaim

    #2268
    Philologus
    Participant

    Ken Hite has a series on the KARTAS podcast focused on how to fit them into pop-culture tropes and make them gameable. So episode 431 had Michael Scott, episode 288 covered self-proclaimed Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, appointed Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, meddler in the Western Schism, false monk Palaiologos Tagaris, another the very post-medieval and very neurodivergent Kaiser Rudolph II.

    #2271
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    Interesting concept. Michael Scott is a wonderful interesting and enigmatic historical figure, almost as much for the legends built around him after he died as what he did in his life. I’ll definitely check it out.

    #2275
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    Ah, this is Pelgrane Press. I used to write for them! Listening now.

    #2278
    Philologus
    Participant

    Pelgraine Press is one of their publishers. A nice thing is that they break the podcast into 15-minute chunks, so if there are topics you aren’t interested in or where their perspective makes you grind your teeth (Robin D. Laws is really really evangelical that “roleplaying games are like Hollywood movies, screenwriting books teach you the secrets of good scenario design” which is nuts to me because a director controls everything you see and hear and a game-master nor so much) you can skip those without too much back and forth.

    I’m neurodivergent so a lot of pop psychology makes me scream “that is not how any of those things work”!

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Philologus.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Philologus.
    #2281
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    Robin Laws is one of the main writers for Pelgrane

    https://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/staff-directory/

    When I was writing for them (as a Free Lancer) it was for their old game Dying Earth, which was great fun – Robin basically wrote that game.

    I’m not sure who was who (always struggle with that on podcasts), but they both knew a ton about film, which was interesting, and one of those guys was quite erudite. They are deep into the occult history stuff, I learned a bit about Michael Scot. I knew he and Fibbonaci knew each other, but I didn’t know he and Fibbonacci were so tight. That the Liber Abaci was dedicated to Scot, that’s quite interesting. Or that he was instructor of Roger Bacon (who decidedly didn’t like him lol)

    Also amusing that he was offered a Bishopric in Ireland (but declined). He had such a sinister reputation in later eras, though probably not deserved, it’s funny to think of him as a prelate. I think that was more because he was openly active as a court astrologer (and other somewhat non-Christian avocations) at a time when people were more orthodox than in say, the late medieval world.

    #2331
    Philologus
    Participant

    I have a soft spot for Hennequin of Bruges, who a young Francesco di Marco Datini set up in a shop in Avignon in the 1360s to make, alter, and repolish the mail he was buying and selling. Making mail was not one of the best trades- it was labour-intensive, and the materials were not especially rare or expensive, so it was hard to make much money at it- but it was still worthwhile to bring a man from Flanders all the way to the south of France. What adventures did he have along the way? Why did he leave Bruges? What did he use as a working language when the locals spoke Provençal and his boss / business partner spoke Tuscan? What did he do when Datini made so much money that he decided to return home to Prato? Or when that army of mercenaries showed up to squeeze money out of the pope?

    #2333
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    He does sound like an interesting person. I think the mid-14th Century was around the time when the vice and the draw plate were being spread around Central Europe by journeymen in the metalworking crafts. The draw plate in particular made life for mail makers much easier. They also started making very fine linked (and sometimes also heat-treated) mail for “civilian” use by courtiers and burghers (particularly in Italy) and these were very expensive – often more expensive than plate harness. So maybe he was able to find some useful profit margin after all.

    #2335
    Philologus
    Participant

    I’ve actually got a little magazine article on concealed mail, headpieces, and brigandines in the Archivo Datini di Prato (only two pages I think, I put the Italian up here).

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Philologus.
    #2337
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    That’s really neat. I like that magazine I have a few copies around here. Considered writing for them too. I’ll have to look into buying a copy of that issue it’s a very interesting subject.

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