The Order of the Laurel is one of the Peerages, equal in standing with the Knights, Pelicans, and Royal Peers. It is the highest award given in the SCA for excellence in the Arts and Sciences. Laurels attempt to inspire others to create beautiful and authentic works by teaching and example. For more information on Laurels' duties, see What Do Laurels Do?
A laurel wreath has been the symbol of excellence since Ancient Greece, where the wreath was awarded to great scholars, artists, soldiers, and those athletes who won in competitions such as the Olymic Games. The tradition survives to this day: in England, the Queen appoints a Poet Laureate from amongst the foremost poets of the day, a postion the poet holds for life.
|Portrait of Dante Aligheri
wearing the tradional poets'
crown of laurel.
Alessandro Botticelli. c.1495.
Members of the Order are called "Master" or "Mistress" and wear a medallion with a laurel wreath. In Lochac, Laurels in fealty to the Crown may also wear a chain of fealty. Many Laurels have wreaths on their cloaks, or other bits and pieces of clothing (such as Mistress Myfanwy's laurel-wreath hose -- a sight to behold!).