The Adrian Empire, Inc. is a non-profit, educational organization that re-creates history from the time frame of 1066 through 1603 AD. This narrow time frame covers what was known as the Middle Ages (medieval) through the Renaissance period to the end the reign of Queen Elisabeth I of England.
Members of the Adrian Empire cover a diverse cross-section of today's modern society, all with one common interest - the desire to learn more about medieval history. Just like us, you have probably seen a movie or play that had armored knights fighting, nobles plotting grand schemes, or explorers setting out to discover the world. You might have played a computer or video game set in a medieval world. You probably wondered what it was really like, but didn't know how to find out. Worse, the thought of reading book after book and still not getting the feel of medieval life had no appeal. Whouldn't it be nice if you could learn about history by doing the history?
Our members attend events to learn and teach history by doing history. We do history by re-creating the atmosphere of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Many of us re-create history by becoming a character that could have lived during our time period, but not the famous characters known from history. Instead, we choose an area from the known world at that time, and create our character based on what we know about the people that would have lived there. Don't worry if you have no idea what your character would be - you can learn and grow into your persona. Many members have done just that.
But that is not all we do! Members learn how to fight with real swords in real armor, or learn about the arts and sciences of the time, or learn to shoot a bow. These activities allow members to earn a knighthood based on their experience and skill in their chosen activities. Members may also earn a knighthood by doing service for the organization. Whatever the path to becoming a knight, members also learn what it is to be a knight. Chivalry isn't just a word bandied about - it has meaning.
Members participate at fighter practices, demonstrations, tournaments, feasts, and wars. Our Crowns (the ruling nobles) hold courts at events, bringing the feeling of being in the Middle Ages to each gathering. Each event has its own opportunity to learn something new, or to teach others something a member has learned. And every member, young or old, male or female, is given the chance to participate. It is truly a family-oriented experience.
Pick up a map of the continental United States, select an area, and you will probably find us there. We have chartered subdivisions from the east coast to the west coast, and many points in between. If there isn't a chartered subdivision in your area, we welcome and encourage folks to start up a group there.
The Adrian Empire began in 1987, and has been growing ever since. There is probably an event of some sort happening right now! Typically, events are scheduled for weekends and weekday evenings. Each chartered subdivision will have its own event schedule, and individual groups within the chartered subdivision might also have something going on.
The Adrian Empire is a feudal-styled parliamentary republic. From the top down, every member is directly represented by somebody within the organization. And, unlike modern parliamentary governments such as that of England, our current ruling nobles (Crowns) share in the political process. The Adrian Empire is composed of the following chartered subdivisions, all of whom have a local government, as well as representation on the Imperial government:
• The Empire: This includes all of the continental United States, whether or not there are other chartered subdivisions in the region. The Empire is governed by the Emperor and Empress (the corporate President and Vice President)
• Kingdoms: These are chartered subdivisions that have 100 or more members. They are governed by a king and queen.
• Archduchies: Smaller than kingdoms, these chartered subdivisions have memberships between 50 and 99. They are governed by an Archduke and Archduchess.
• Duchies: Even smaller, these chartered subdivisions have a stable membership of at least 20. They are governed by a duke and duchess.
• Shires: Newly formed chartered subdivisions who have members numbering between 1 and 19. They are governed by a viceroy, who acts as the voice of the Emperor and Empress.
Knighthood in the Adrian Empire is awarded following a merit-based system. For each discipline (arts, archery, combat, and ministry), there are certain time and skill milestones that must be met before advancing in rank. There are no restrictions to knighthood based on gender. Only combat (for safety reasons) has any minimum age requirements. By learning about medieval history while participating in the Adrian Empire, you are taking steps to become a knight.