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    (This is very close to stream of consciousness, I have not edited or redrafted it. I wanted it to be
    raw. And it is. Raw, rough, unrefined, crass, silly, hopefully somewhat amusing at times, and

    PART 1: Generally General Butt-Naked (real guy, look him up)
    This is the first layer of clothing they’d have: nothing. That’s right, people have had naked
    bodies for like... a long time. For the sake of all hypercardiac old women and curious young
    boys I have censored out the sensitive bits. Except breasts, since according to Game of Thrones
    apparently they don’t count as nudity (YMMV).
    (If you really want to see a 1500 year old woman’s vagina, it can be arranged for a small fee of
    I have not attempted to draw the face, but know I envisioned her as having blue hair. Saxons
    dyed their hair all sorts of wild colours, blue being considered the most regal. In their
    representations of the Garden of Eden, God, Adam, Eve and the other chick all have blue hair.
    God also has a blue beard, which literally makes him Bluebeard, minus the dead wives.
    Interestingly, Gilles de Rais was also called Bluebeard and inspired the tale. He was a
    paedophile, serial child killer and he really liked Jeanne d’Arc. His other nickname is Jimmy

    PART 2: Underwear
    Though unlike the other elements of clothing, we don’t have a physical surviving piece of
    female underwear, we know Saxon men and women wore them. We do have a surviving male
    loincloth. We know women wore them from graves: after you bury a body with the clothes still
    on (as they would have), even though the materials decompose, fragments of them stay stuck
    to the more durable pieces, like metal. A lot of metal buckles around the belt area have three
    layers underneath and one above, which suggests underwear, and undergown, a gown and a
    cloak above the belt. Statues of Saxon women show only the last three, so we can assume they
    had something underneath he undergown. Another tunic would be a bit overkill, so this is the
    most logical thing. I chose what Roman women would be wearing, which was essentially a linen
    bikini (wool for poorer people, and leather when playing sports). Nothing is worn on the chest.
    Roman women wore a sort of tube top to make their breasts smaller/flatter, but there’s no
    evidence Saxon women did this. Historians think either the word “ham” or “heathe” denoted
    this undergarment based on similar norse words. Stockings were also worn, wool for poor
    women and linen for richer women. I conjecture that these undergarments are the sort of thing
    women would prioritise on buying made of linen (more expensive), as otherwise it would be
    quite uncomfortable.

    PART III: Undergown
    The material of the undergown was woven, usually in a twill or diamond twill style, sometimes
    chevron. It would be made of white or off-white linen for nobles, rarely ever dyed or decorated
    (it was largely not visible anyway). If it was, it was on the arms, one of the few visible parts of
    the undergown (unless you were getting friendly with a Saxon girl, in which case you probably
    wouldn’t be looking to closely at if her undergown is embroidered). Poorer women would have
    to wear a wool undergown.
    We know that most undergowns had a slit that went down the chest and was fastened with a
    brooch, as represented.
    We do not know what they were called, but historians seem to like to attribute it to the Old
    English word “kyrtel” of unknown meaning, based on similar Norse words denoting
    It is thought to have been pleated. Iit’s length could be anything from groin-level to ankle-low,
    we don’t know (the hem is not visible in representations of Saxon women of the 5th
    th century.
    In the 7th
    -11th century the gown got shorter so it was visible: ankle-length. By this point the
    gown had become obsolete though, so the undertunic was probably far longer than a few
    centuries prior. I have chosen to represent it as on the hip to the mid-hip, as it seems less
    For a noblewoman it would be flattering and well-fitting, and for a poor woman, unflattering in
    form and shape because of the lack of tailoring and seams.
    While working, Saxon women would roll up the arms. This is based entirely on what I’ve learned
    from reenactors, who made exact replicas of undergowns found and found it far easier to move
    with the sleeves rolled up, especially when wearing bracelets and such.

    PART IV: Gown
    Also called the Peplos after the similar Greek garment, or just gown. historians suggest the term
    smoc (smo-tch) in Old English could be referring to this gown.
    As usual, it would usually be undyed wool for poor women, and dyed linen for women,
    sometimes wool as now there is no longer the problem of contact with the skin. It was fastened
    at the shoulders with brooches. It is unknown but unlikely that sometimes it was fastened only
    at one shoulder.
    Pale yellow and light blue were seen as feminine colours.

    PART V: Jewellery and Accessories
    The main part beyond this would be the cloak: either made of roughspun wool or of fur, with
    the fur turned inwards and the skin outwards. Fur would be more expensive.
    Every Saxon freeman and freewoman would carry a small sword called a Seax (more of a dagger
    really, depending on how wealthy you were the blade would be shorter, seemingly ranging
    from about 40cm for a very poor man to ~20cm for a wealthy man). They were single edged like
    the Roman Spatha, which in fact seem to be too similar to be coincidence. They were an
    everyday tool but also a weapon in combat. Women at home would use it for cooking, wittling,
    carving, etc...
    Women fought, of course. It’s unknown how many, though going only on grave statistics (which
    will invariably be very WRONG as they are gross statistics), it seems 1 in 10 warriors would be
    women. Even those who were not warriors would defend their village/town/fort with their life
    in the event of a siege/attack, even if it was just grabbing a knife off the wall (tools were hung
    on the wall, they had little concept of proper storage).
    Even women who did not fight would probably own swords. Indeed, swords were VERY
    expensive. Most people would own one, it’s been found, but it would be the most expensive
    thing in their household. In one story (I’m afraid I forget which) a man basically gives all his
    other possessions, including his wife and daughter, just to get his sword back.
    While this is probably poetic “exaggeration” (read as silly hyperbole), it’s not far off from the
    Saxon men proposed to women by bringing them a dowry, usually a few animals, their own
    sword (or spear if they were too poor for a sword) and an ox or two (more if they had them).
    They’d then “give” them to the woman. Really, they just said “Do you want my stuff?”. If the
    woman said no, she’d declined his offer of marriage. If she said yes, she legally became owner
    of the property but “gifted” them back to her new husband. I like this tradition myself, I’ll
    probably try it. Bring my cat, a spoon and a few empty packets of Pringles TM to my future wife,
    give them to her, ask for them back, and then go on a honeymoon (paid for by her of course).
    Seems like a flawless plan.
    Anyway, I think calling that going off on a tangent would be the biggest understatement in
    history. Back to the subject of accessories and jewellery, the brooches seem to have been
    culturally different. Indeed, Jutes seem to have favoured round brooches, while Saxons
    preferred them in different shapes, especially cruciform shapes like Thor’s hammer. The
    intermarriage of both cultures by 500 AD would invalidate that concept though, so I’ve
    portrayed this woman as wearing a round “Jutish-Style” brooch.
    It’s probably a good point to define “Anglo-Saxon”. It’s a big generalisation, as the invaders
    were: Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Norsemen, Frisians, Geats, Goths, Franks, Longobards, Visigoths,
    and time-travelling Syrian Refugees (Doctor Who fucked up his mission to bring them to New
    New York in 4000 AD). I’m guilty of using the generalisation myself.
    I find it curious how the term persists, given our isles were then invaded by Danes, Normans,
    the French, the Dutch and finally Germans (who are still there, the queen’s real name is
    Elizabeth Gotham Säxe-Coburg. Her husband is called Phillip Mountbatten. Not very English
    what what?)
    Patterns and designs would include very, very, very abstract animals (we’re talking how your
    five-year-old nephew draws a few lines and says “it’s a dragon” and you have to go “oh it’s very
    nice” when really it’s just a few squiggles), indo-european/aryan symbols (yes, a lot of
    swastikas. Where did you think Hitler got the idea?). One man’s tunic found near modern-day
    Munich from around the 4th century had about four dozen swastikas embroidered on it. Time-
    travelling Neo-Nazis really are a bane to our society. These are usually called Tetraskellions,
    especially if the branches of the cross are curved.
    Hanging from their belts would be tools: bowls, combs, pouches/purses, their seax, anything
    related to the tasks they might have to do or are planning to do (spindling). They could also
    hang charms or beads, or wear these elsewhere such as around their neck. Pendants were
    often worn around the neck. I have portrayed mine as wearing a pendant, and with some beads
    and a pendant/charm of thor’s hammer on her belt. They believed representations of Godly
    things or carving runes automatically brought magic or made the object magic. Often, instead
    of beads, small rocks with runes carved on them were worn dangling from the belt or the neck.
    matwoolf, LinnyV and Oscar Leigh like this.
  2. The conversation grew more and more interesting, and Micromegas spoke as follows:

    "O intelligent atoms, in whom the Eternal Being has been pleased to manifest His skill and power, you must doubtless taste joys of perfect purity on your globe; for, being encumbered with so little matter, and seeming to be all spirit, you must pass your lives in love and meditation--the true life of spiritual beings. I have nowhere beheld genuine happiness, but here it is to be found, without a doubt."

    On hearing these words, all the philosophers shook their heads, and one, more frank than the others, candidly confessed that, with the exception of a small number held in mean estimation among them, all the rest of mankind were a multitude of fools, knaves, and miserable wretches.

    "We have more matter than we need," said he, "the cause of much evil, if evil proceeds from matter; and we have too much mind, if evil proceeds from mind. For instance, at this very moment there are 100,000 fools of our species who wear hats, slaying 100,000 fellow creatures who wear turbans, or being massacred by them, and over almost all of Earth such practices have been going on from time immemorial."

    The Sirian shuddered, and asked what could cause such horrible quarrels between those miserable little creatures.

    "The dispute concerns a lump of clay," said the philosopher, "no bigger than your heel. Not that a single one of those millions of men who get their throats cut has the slightest interest in this clod of earth. The only point in question is whether it shall belong to a certain man who is called Sultan, or another who, I know not why, is called Caesar. Neither has seen, or is ever likely to see, the little corner of ground which is the bone of contention; and hardly one of those animals, who are cutting each other's throats has ever seen the animal for whom they fight so desperately."

    "Ah! wretched creatures!" exclaimed the Sirian with indignation; "Can anyone imagine such frantic ferocity! I should like to take two or three steps, and stamp upon the whole swarm of these ridiculous assassins."

    "No need," answered the philosopher; "they are working hard enough to destroy themselves. I assure you, at the end of 10 years, not a hundredth part of those wretches will be left; even if they had never drawn the sword, famine, fatigue, or intemperance will sweep them almost all away. Besides, it is not they who deserve punishment, but rather those armchair barbarians, who from the privacy of their cabinets, and during the process of digestion, command the massacre of a million men, and afterward ordain a solemn thanksgiving to God."

    The traveler, moved with compassion for the tiny human race, among whom he found such astonishing contrasts, said to the gentlemen:

    "Since you belong to the small number of wise men, and apparently do not kill anyone for money, tell me, pray, how you occupy yourselves."

    "We dissect flies," said the same philosopher, "measure distances, calculate numbers, agree upon two or three points we understand, and dispute two or three thousand points of which we know nothing."

    -Micromégas, Voltaire
    I.A. By the Barn likes this.
  3. [​IMG]

    Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

    To the last syllable of recorded time,

    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

    And then is heard no more. It is a tale

    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

    Signifying nothing.
    -Macbeth, Shakespeare
    Oscar Leigh likes this.