Welcome to The Medievalist
When we think of medieval or ancient times, our minds fill with images both real and imagined, realities and myths, legends and longings.
A mighty keep rises within a vast stone wall, upon the parapet a figure in flowing robes, arms outstretched to call forth power from the wind and the clouds. History meets magic and forms a single image; an image of power, strength and purpose. Simple. Meaningful.
In our age, technology now meets Heinlein's criteria for magic - both ubiquitous and inexplicable to the common person. And how do we use our technology? We use it to create future and medieval fantasy worlds on screen and online. Virtual magic. Sword and sorcery, adventure and war, magic and mayhem.
Despite the decline of traditional religion in the West, use of magic is on the upswing. Pagans practice their neo-ancient arts, vampires drink vials of blood in upscale bars, mojo is had for a credit card swipe, And don't discount the power of the Church: Holy Water and the Cross play a significant role in defeating monsters and demons, in our minds, if not in fact.
Future history, too, is steeped in magic and apocalyse. Barrens worlds, evil machines, rubble and ruin. Paranormal powers use the mind, rather than a spellbook, to call forth fire and brimstone. DNA mutates a prosaic human being into a superhero. Swords are superseded by blasting weapons large and small. But the results are the same. What is Luke's light saber but Excaliber for a new age?
And why is this? Ah well, this site is not a scholarly treatise on the psychological necessities of myth, nor a historical recitation on the formation of legend.
My opinion is this: People everywhere and anywhere, across time and across continents, want more.
More life. More time. More significance. More fun.
Immortality with the means to enjoy it.
The curse of humanity is twofold. Self-awareness and imagination. We know we will die, sooner rather than later. And we know that that is just plain wrong.
So as we go about our daily business, to and fro from jobs, a stop at the store, a burger for lunch, life itself seems out of whack. A mirror reflecting mundanity rather than marvel.
We know, in our heart of hearts, that the world's not right. Life's not what it should be. Not what we can imagine it to be. It's all just a bit askew.