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An epoch or era may be called "a period" or "time period." Within the SCA this term usually refers to anything, either an object or behavior, which is medieval. The period of the SCA is said in the SCA's Corpora to be Western Culture prior to 1600 A.D. The starting date is not defined, and thus one sees pre-Medieval recreation efforts and much more frequently, post-1600 efforts, generically called Cavalier.

Contrary to what is sometimes popular belief, the period of the SCA does not end at 1650, but instead at 1600. Even the Known World Handbook is cautious on this topic, suggesting that those 50 years are compatible with the SCA's period. As one Duke said "The speed limit is 1600, but people drive 1650." The two main groups which 'speed' the most are costumers (there is a wealth of extant clothing and objects from the period of 1600 to 1650) and dancers (thanks to the prominent book "The English Dance Master" which was published in 1650, no earlier treatise on English Country Dance is known as of this writing.)

Period also refers to place as well as time; ie: Western Europe. This aspect of the Society's Period is also stretched in practice to include those cultures that were in contact with Western Europe before 1600. In particular, Eastern Europe, Russia, The Middle East and even China and Japan. One Midrealm Knight has an Aztec persona (as the Spanish explored the New World before 1600.)

Sometimes one will hear the slang term ‘periodicity’. See Authentic.

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