Northern Renaissance


For the purposes of the Wiki, the Northern Renaissance should be considered a catch-all for individual personas and related interests ranging from the the late fifteenth century through the end of the SCA Period in north and western Europe.

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Northwestern Europe at the time of Charles V's abdication, c. 1556

By the late 1400s, the forces of the printing press and international trade began to spread Italian Renaissance humanism and art into that part of Europe north of the Alps. By the early decades of the sixteenth century, a societal transition was well under way that would usher in the early modern period.

This period of transition would be largely complete after the catastrophic English Civil Wars and Thirty Years War of the mid 1600s, setting the stage for the maturation of the scientific revolution, mercantilism, and global empire building to come.

The nations of north and western Europe - primarily England, Scotland, France, the Low Countries, the Holy Roman Empire, and Scandinavia - were the primary centers of the Northern Renaissance. However its influence also spread to other parts of Europe, such as the Iberian Peninsula, Poland-Lithuania, and Austrian Hungary.

Relevant Wikipedia Articles:

Relevant Personas and Kits


While landsknechts, kampfrauen, and merchant classes from the Elizabethan era (1558-1603) may be the most commonly-seen across the Society, they are by no means the only options for a reenactor interested in the Northern Renaissance.

Burghers and gentry from the post-Burgundian era or Henrecian Tudor period, early Polish hussars, late Irish Gallowglass, and Anglo-Irish nobility are all valid and interesting avenues for research and reenactment during the era.

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Timeline of the more popular reenactor and SCA fashion styles from the Northern Renaissance

Regarding Post-Period Personas

Caveat Emptor!

The SCA defines its historical focus as "pre-seventeenth century." As such, the appropriateness of personas and kits dating later than that is the subject of occasional debate.

Some consider such impressions as wholly out of bounds within the SCA in violation of the spirit and letter of the law. Others welcome personas from before the English Civil Wars or 1648 Peace of Westphalia in the spirit of historical continuity, with cavaliers and Dumas-inspired French musketeers being the most common examples of seventeenth century impressions (while still being a fractional minority of personas in the wider SCA context).
In either case, the decades following the English Civil War and the Thirty Years' War should be considered wholly inappropriate for the SCA's context. As such, those considering a Jacobite-era Scot or the classic pop culture appearance of a pirate (e.g. tricorn hat, cutlass, and jolly roger flag) should look towards more historical periods and personas more appropriate to the "pre-17th Century" standard the SCA aspires to.

Related Pages:

Tag your page or profile with "northern renaissance" to be added to the list.




Revised Feb 6, 2018 8:20 pm.
Created Aug 13, 2016 8:57 am.