The Arizona Desert Lamp

Party like it’s MCCL!

Posted in Campus, Culture by Evan Lisull on 18 October 2008

UA may have the infamous SAE Jungle Party, but as far as I know they’ve never been directly responsible for death by bow and arrow:

Typical is the 1231 dispute between students and a tavern cook that led to scalding water being poured on an Irish scholar’s head and the cook being shot dead with an arrow. Other “Town and Gown” clashes were even more dramatic. After one St. Scholastica’s Day feast in 1398, a trio of inebriated students in Swyndlestock Tavern complained about the “indifferent wine” and threw their mugs at the tavern-keeper’s head in disgust. Three days of bloody riots followed, with the townsmen sacking the student’s homes while chanting “Slay, Slay, Havoc, Havoc, Smite Fast, Give Good Knocks,” resulting in numerous dead and mauled on both sides.

Maybe that’s what the townspeople of Tucson need to do to deal with those damn kids. The quote comes from a great essay in the Smart Set on Oxford’s students during the medieval era. Despite the fact that they were mostly training to work as scribes for the Church, the students’ raunchiness makes the worst of Greek Row look like a barefoot contessa. One of my favorite lines from the piece:

Life was punctuated by random outbursts of violence against townsfolk and other Nations, and no student ever ventured into the streets without his sword, pole-axe, or mace.

Forget guns on campus — where’s my pole-axe? Really, read the whole thing.


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  1. […] colleges “creating” culture, the drunk and hedonist campus has existed, on record, since the eleventh century. The article is awesome enough to quote again: Drinking Notes: Students in the Middle Ages had […]

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