A Brief Early History of Marinus

By Master Donal macRuiseart


                     In A. S. IX, Atlantia did not exist, and the East Kingdom had jurisdiction of all the lands it now encompasses.  But there was nothing there.  The southernmost groups at the time were the Barony of Bhakhail (Philadelphia) and the nascent Shire of Myrkwoode (Baltimore).  Everything south of those groups was considered wilderness.  So it was when this writer arrived in the area.  But it was not wholly deserted.  There were a few SCAdians dwelling in the region, and true to form, we gravitated towards each other.  For a time, we merely associated informally, but in due course there were enough of us to go about forming a Shire.  But that Shire was not Marinus.  The total numbers were sufficient to form a branch only if those residing on both sides of the Great River (the James) were counted, and so the areas now known as Tir-y-Don and Marinus were, for a time, all under the banner of Tir-y-Don.

                      The Great River was, at the time, even more a barrier to travel than it is now, and for that reason those of us living on its southern bank sought pretty early to forge an identity of our own.  Thus it was that little more than a year after the founding of Tir-y-Don, the southern sister shire was formed.  At first it was to be called Pindar, but that name proved impracticable, and we in time settled on the name Marinus.  The name is simply a Latinate form of the word “marine,” reflecting the maritime nature of the area and, at the time, of most of its residents.  Most of us followed the sea in one or another way, as do many Marinusians today.

                      While we on the south bank sought to be a separate group, we did not wish to completely sever the bonds between ourselves and our neighbors to the north, and so before long the City-State of Dinas Moryn came into being.  This was a confederation of Tir-y-Don and Marinus, whose chief distinction was the Dinas Moryn Shield Wall, the first organized and disciplined fighting band in the area and one of the earliest in the East Kingdom.  During its relatively brief history, the Shield Wall was a valued part of the Eastern and later Atlantian Armies, striking fear into the hearts of all who stood before its shields, bearing a badge suggesting a wall (Argent masoned sable, a chief embattled azure and a base point vert.).  It was during this time that Atlantia first began as a Principality, which later grew into a Kingdom.

                      The City-State used as its arms the original arms of Tir-y-Don (Per bend sinister vert and azure, a pile enarched issuant from dexter base, in dexter chief a laurel wreath Or.)  To this Tir-y-Don added the dolphin gules that still graces its Arms, and Marinus added the trident sable.  So for several years the City-State and its component branches prospered, until Tir-y-Don decided that it was time to strike out on its own and sought to discard the confederated group and seek Baronial status on its own.  In the ensuing transition, Tir-y-Don retained the original form of the Arms, retaining the dolphin; and Marinus retained the style of City-State, while rotating the pile on its own Arms to assume the form it has today (Per pale vert and azure, on a pile enarched throughout argent a trident sable, the points environed of a laurel wreath vert).

                      With the passing of a few more years, Marinus had grown to a size that warranted elevation, but rather than seek Baronial status, it rose to the status of a Province, the only one in Atlantia’s history.  In time, the distinction of that status lost its savor, and Marinus made the lateral migration to the style of a Barony.  And so it has remained for a quarter-century, growing in prestige, learning, and prowess; proud to call itself the Barony by the Sea.