Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

p-archery-msg



This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

p-archery-msg - 1/21/08

 

Medieval archery and equipment.

 

NOTE: See also the files: archery-books-msg, crossbows-msg, arrows-msg, quivers-msg, bow-making-msg, bowstrings-msg.

 

************************************************************************

NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that

I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some

messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I  have done  a limited amount  of editing. Messages having to do  with

seperate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes

extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were

removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I

make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the

individual authors.

 

Please  respect the time  and efforts of  those who have written  these

messages. The  copyright status of these messages  is  unclear  at this

time. If  information  is published  from  these  messages, please give

credit to the orignator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  Lord Stefan li Rous

    mark.s.harris at motorola.com            stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

From: g_duperault at venus.twu.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: re: women archers in period

Date: 2 Nov 93 18:58:30 +600

Organization: Texas Woman's University

 

      YES! Women archers are most definitely period! (And this time I have

documentation!)

      o  _Diana the Hunter_, Les Echecs Amoureux, MS Fr. 143, fol. 116;

French, late 15th century; Bibliotheque Natioanle, Paris.

      --shows a woman (noble lady by her dress) with longbow and arrow,

multiple beasts lurking in the woods, and her retinue of female attendants in

the background.

 

      o _Woman Hunter_, Giovanni Boccaccio. Le livre des cleres et nobles

femmes. MS Fr. 599, fol. 86; French, third quarter of 15th century;

Bibliotheque nationale, Paris.

      --shows a woman with longbow ready to shoot a nearby beast, she has

extra arrows tucked into her belt.

 

      Don't let these examples make you think only French women in the 1400's

used bows.  From what I've read (though I can't give you sources right now)

women of just about any period or location used bows to hunt with.  They also

hunted with dogs and hawks.

 

                              Avwye

 

 

From: Daniel K. Jarrell <Dan_Jarrell.DCOTEST at Mailgate.eecs.umich.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Women Archers in Period

Date: 4 Nov 1993 21:02:38 GMT

Organization: University of Michigan

 

In article <9311022124.AA23526 at NISC.SRI.COM> LOU STEWART,

STEWARTL at wood-emh1.ARmy.MIL writes:

>Are there any documented examples of women archers in history?

 

I don't immediately have information about a woman archer in combat but I

have seen paintings of women hunting with a bow. (Remember the legend of

Lancelot tells of how he was shot by a woman hunting a deer.)

 

 

From: gray at ibis.cs.umass.edu (Lyle FitzWilliam)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period archery technique

Date: 11 May 1993 04:40:47 GMT

Organization: Bergental, East Kingdom

 

In article <VADER.93May11013431 at meryl.csd.uu.se> vader at meryl.csd.uu.se (]ke

Eldberg) writes:

]Greetings from William de Corbie!

]

] [Discussion of "system archery" deleted]

]

]"System archery" is only possible as long as you have arrows with

]plastic snap-on nocks, which keep the arrow on the string. If there

]is no such device, it is not possible to move one's fingers down

]the string; the arrow will follow or drop off. Without a snap-on

]nock, it is necessary to have one finger above the arrow and two

]below it.

]

]Now, here is my point: Did medieval archers have snap-on nocks?

]If they did not, then I would argue that shooting with all fingers

]below the arrow, and especially system archery where the fingers

]are moved on the string, should not be allowed in the SCA.

]

]Comments?

 

Yes, I have a comment.

 

I shoot "instinctive", but I put three fingers below the arrow, rather than

use the "mediterranean" release, which has one above and two below.  I do not

use "system archery" -- your missive is the first that I've heard of this

method.

 

I have used this release for a number of years, with and without snap nocks,

and am comfortable with it.  I used it for years before a fellow archer

decided to do me a favor and put a nocking point on my bowstring (the nocking

point made me a little more consistent when doing speed shooting).

 

I can't speak for whether snap nocks are period.  However, even if they are

not, I don't think that the "three below" release can be banned based on their

lack.

 

Lyle FitzWilliam

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lyle H. Gray                       Internet (personal): gray at cs.umass.edu

Quodata Corporation            Phone: (203) 728-6777, FAX: (203) 247-0249

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: vader at meryl.csd.uu.se (]ke Eldberg)

Subject: Period archery technique

Organization: Indiana Jones University

Date: Tue, 11 May 1993 06:34:31 GMT

 

Greetings from William de Corbie!

 

In archery outside the SCA, the style that comes closest to

what we are doing is called "classic". This means that no

sights or stabilizers are used. Plungers are okay but clickers

and releases are not.

 

That is the mundane world's image of old-fashioned archery.

 

Among those archers who shoot in this style, the most usual method

is to use "system archery", which means that they will grasp the

string with three fingers below the arrow and always aim in the

center of the target with the point of the arrow. To sompensate

for different distances, the fingers are held closer to, or farther

away from the arrow, on the string.

 

A practised system shooter will know that e.g. holding his fingers

exactly one inch below the arrow gives a perfect result at e.g. 30

yards. Often, the stitches in the tab are used to measure out the

exact distance.

 

This is not what could accurately be termed "instinctive shooting",

since it is a mechanically calculated system and not based on the

archer's "feel". True instinctive shooting means that you do not

use any such aids, only what your mind and body will tell you when you

look down the arrow at the target.

 

"System archery" is only possible as long as you have arrows with

plastic snap-on nocks, which keep the arrow on the string. If there

is no such device, it is not possible to move one's fingers down

the string; the arrow will follow or drop off. Without a snap-on

nock, it is necessary to have one finger above the arrow and two

below it.

 

Now, here is my point: Did medieval archers have snap-on nocks?

If they did not, then I would argue that shooting with all fingers

below the arrow, and especially system archery where the fingers

are moved on the string, should not be allowed in the SCA.

 

Comments?

 

William

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ross at chem.queensu.ca (Ross Dickson)

Subject: Re: Period archery technique

Organization: Dept. of Chemistry, Queen's University

Date: Tue, 11 May 1993 20:43:14 GMT

 

William de Corbie (]ke Eldberg) writes:

>Now, here is my point: Did medieval archers have snap-on nocks?

>If they did not, then I would argue that shooting with all fingers

>below the arrow, and especially system archery where the fingers

>are moved on the string, should not be allowed in the SCA.

 

Lyle has already addressed the misconception that snap-on nocks are

necessary to shoot "three-fingers below". However, there are a couple

of other interesting matters raised in William's posting.

(1) Did medieval archers have "snap-on nocks"? It is possible to cut

    a self-nock so that it is narrower at the tail than at the front,

    creating thereby the same effect.  Whether this was done is still a

    good question.  I'll ask Godwin next time I see him, if I can

    remember.  Anyone else have some data?  (Gaerhun, you listening?)

 

(2) "Mechanical" adjustments for ranging:  Oddly enough, I was talking

    about this just last night with Generys Flechyr, who is mundanely

    a fairly experienced archer.  She described to me "face walking"

    or "string walking", and how this was banned in modern competition.

    This is a technique of moving your grip hand *and the arrow* relative

    to your eye, rather than moving your grip hand relative to your

    arrow as William described.  Thus it is possible to make analagous

    adjustments without losing one's grip :-) on the arrow, and nullifying

    the question of snap-nocks.  From my own experience, I would

    speculate that this technique requires a visual concentration on the

    head of the arrow and the target, rather than the *whole* arrow,

    but was apparently effective enough that it was banned!

    Of course, there remains the difficult question of whether this

    practice was known in period.

 

I should perhaps add that I am leery of banning *techniques*;  I think

it is much more educational to restrict ourselves from equipment known

not to be available, and then see what that requires of our technique.

Of course, self-restriction is invariably preferable to a global ban,

except for those souls cursed with an undying need to compete :-)

 

Angus Boghadair, Greyfells  |  Ross M. Dickson, Queen's Univ. at Kingston,

Ealdormere, Midrealm        |  Ontario, Canada    ross at chem.queensu.ca

 

 

From: lalonde at cs.ubc.ca (Paul Lalonde)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period archery technique

Date: 11 May 1993 13:24:01 -0700

Organization: Computer Science, University of B.C., Vancouver, B.C., Canada

 

In <VADER.93May11202952 at meryl.csd.uu.se> vader at meryl.csd.uu.se (]ke Eldberg) writes:

>I agree that if it is possible to shoot with 3 fingers under

>the arrow, and not use snap-on nocks (as you are doing) then

>we acnnot ban this finger position.

 

>I am still in big doubts about the "system archery" however.

>It would surprise me if such methods were used before snap nocks.

 

William, the technique you are describing is very closely related to

string walking, which is already banned from out competitions (by

banning multiple nocking points or other such marks on the string).

 

As to snap on nocks, they are very easy to do with period techniques.

I've been making my own arrows with self nocks for a while now, and I

can make them into snap-on nocks trivially.  The process involves

insetting a piece of bone or horn, then cutting the nock across the bone

and wood.  By adjusting the the size of the gap at the bottom of the

nock it is simple to make the nocks snap on.  I've documented the

construction of the nock from the arrows found on the Mary Rose, but

don't have any evidence for or agains snap-ons.

 

      Gearhun/Paul

 

--

Paul A. Lalonde           Internet: lalonde at cs.ubc.ca

 

 

From: james at nucleus.cuc.ab.CA (James Prescott)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Bow Range

Date: 7 May 1993 09:49:44 -0400

Organization: Nucleus BBS - Calgary, AB CANADA + 1 403 531-9353

 

To: sca at mc.lcs.mit.edu

 

-

In discussing ranges for bows we must distinguish at least three

different values.

 

1) the maximum range ever with any arrow

2) the normal maximum range with the appropriate war arrow

3) the maximum *effective* range, being that range at which the

    arrow would still do significant damage

 

Some of the values mentioned previously under the porticoes of

the Rialto are from category 1 (intriguing but not practical).

 

Robert Hardy, in "Longbow", gives some solid category 2 numbers

for English longbows. Recall that longbows were probably in the

100 to 185 pound range. Recall too that the long bodkin arrow was

the armour-piercing arrow of choice.

 

He indicates (p. 203) that the maximum ranges for longbows firing

long bodkin arrows are: 230 yards (100 pound bow), 300 yards

(150 pound bow), and 450 yards (200 pound bow).

 

As additional evidence of both bow weight and range, one English

law (I have the quote to hand but not, alas, the source) required

that regular target practice be at not less than 220 yards, under

penalty of a heavy fine. This value for target practice suggests

that all English archers pulled bows significantly heavier than

100 pounds.

-

James Prescott (james at nucleus.cuc.ab.ca), (403) 282-0541

Thorvald Grimsson, OP, OL, OGGS, Baron of Montengarde, Yeoman

Royal Archer for Crown Principality of Avacal, Kingdom of An Tir

... and in Iceland 'tis the year of the White Christ 973 ...

 

 

From: james at nucleus.cuc.ab.CA (James Prescott)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Arrow nocks (snap)

Date: 13 May 1993 03:43:05 -0400

Organization: Nucleus BBS - Calgary, AB CANADA + 1 403 531-9353

 

To: sca at mc.lcs.mit.edu

 

-

From Stone, G.C. "A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of

Arms and Armor":

"In the Turkish arrows [the nock] is made of two pieces of wood having

a natural curve that makes the opening at the end considerably smaller

than close to the shaft, so that the ends have to be sprung apart to

admit the string. This is done to enable the archer, even on horseback,

to carry an arrow in place ready for instant use."

-

The Turks seem to have used snap nocks. Stone gives no dates for the

arrows concerned, but it seems not unreasonable to assume that they

used arrows of such construction in period. It is so obvious that I

would be shocked if it were proven that no horse archer in period

ever used them.

-

James Prescott (james at nucleus.cuc.ab.ca), (403) 282-0541

Thorvald Grimsson, OP, OL, OGGS, Baron of Montengarde, Yeoman

Royal Archer for Crown Principality of Avacal, Kingdom of An Tir

... and in Iceland 'tis the year of the White Christ 973 ...

 

 

From: DDF2 at cornell.edu (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Combat Archery (and other flying stuff)

Date: 10 Nov 1993 03:52:12 GMT

Organization: Cornell Law School

 

Tristan wrote:

 

> Even the Mongol's little bows (which

> are more similar in range to SCA bows than an English longbow) ...

 

Evidence? The general type of bow the Mongols used (wood/horn/sinew

composite) was capable of much greater ranges than the Englishh  longbow.

Turkish flight shooting records (admittedly, a sport where the objective

was range, not actual combat) indicate maximum ranges of about a thousand

yards, whereas maximum range for the English longbow seems to have been

about a third of that, and effective range substantially less. _Saracen

Archery_, by Lathem and Patterson, has a good deal of information on this

subject, and Payne-Gallwey's _The Crossbow_ has some information on the

range of the English longbow. My memory is that the effective combat range

of the middle-eastern composite was about twice that of the longbow.

 

I don't know about the range of Mongol bows in particular, but they were

the same technology as the turkish bows and from the same general part of

the world.

 

David/Cariadoc

DDF2 at Cornell.Edu

 

 

From: bloodthorn at sloth.equinox.gen.nz (Jennifer Geard)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Combat Archery and the EK

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 93 23:51:19 GMT

Organization: Lethargy Inc.

 

Iain Odlin asks:

>   As for "combat archery" being period:  In war, yes.  But was archery ever

>   used against fighters in a tournament setting?

 

Probably yes.  All quotes are from _The Tournament in England, 1100-1400_ by

Juliet R. V. Barker (Great Britain: Boydell Press, 1986).

 

Although "by the fourteenth century ballistic weapons had been banned from

the s

port" (p. 179), "until the end of the thirteenth century there were

apparently no restrictions on who could take part in tournaments: foot

soldiers therefore appear regularly.  [Examples of foot soldiers deleted --

mention that Sir Symons de Neaufle brought "treis cenz serjanz de pie o

armes,| O ars, o glaives, o gisarmes," to a tournament between Anet and

Sorel.]  The suggestion that Symons de Neaufle's men were armed with bows and

arrows is substantiated by the monk of Montaudon who, at the end of the

twelfth century, complained that he hated to see 'dart et quairel' in

tournaments and by Knighton's account of the tournament which turned into the

'little battle of Chalons' in 1272 at which Edward I's company of a thousand

knights and foot soldiers were obliged to resist the Duke of Burgundy's men

'cum fundis et acubus'."  (p. 142)

 

Barker also mentions the song of 'Gui de Nanteuil' -- fiction about the court

of Charlemagne -- in which the author describes a tournament where ten

thousand serjans with bows and arrows were employed.

 

Make of it what you will.  It appears that the rowdier early melee

tournaments could sometimes include archers, but this seems somehow

incompatible with the claim that the *intention* of tourneys was not to kill

your opponents, but merely to bludgeon them into submission or

unconcsiousness.  <shrug>

 

  Pagan

________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Geard                         bloodthorn at sloth.equinox.gen.nz

Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mittle at watson.ibm.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Subject: Re: Combat Archery and the EK

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1993 19:25:32 GMT

Organization: IBM T.J. Watson Research

 

Greetings from Arval!  After providing some excellent evidence of archery

in period tournaments, Pagan wrote:

 

> It appears that the rowdier early melee tournaments could sometimes

> include archers, but this seems somehow incompatible with the claim that

> the *intention* of tourneys was not to kill your opponents, but merely to

> bludgeon them into submission or unconcsiousness.  

 

My interpretation has been that foot soldiers and archers in early

tournaments were used primarily against each other, rather than against the

knights, and served the additional purpose of protecting their lords if the

tournament should turn into warfare, as it occasionally did.

 

===========================================================================

Arval d'Espas Nord                                   mittle at watson.ibm.com

 

 

From: sapalmer at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Sharon A Palmer)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Women Archers in Period

Date: 18 Nov 1993 19:25:11 GMT

Organization: The Ohio State University

 

>In article <9311022124.AA23526 at NISC.SRI.COM> LOU STEWART,

>STEWARTL at wood-emh1.ARmy.MIL writes:

>>Are there any documented examples of women archers in history?

 

Well, the _Medieval Woman_ calendar hanging on my wall shows a woman

shooting a bow for October.  She wears a long dress and is standing.

 

Huntress. Ovide, Metamorphoses moralisees, MS Fr. 176, fol 153, French

1380-1390; Bibliotheque publique et universitaire, Geneva.

 

The text refers to _The Debate Betweene the Heralds of France and

England_ (1460) "small parkes made only for the pleasure of ladyes and

gentylwomen, to shote with the longe bow and kill the sayd beastes."

 

March shows a woman in armor, on horseback holding a bow

 

Penthsilea, Queen of the Amazons, Giovanni Boccacchio, Des cleres et nobles

femmes, MS Fr 599, fol 27v, French, 15th century, Bibliotheque Nationale,

Paris.

 

Ranvaig (Sharon Palmer)

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: kdz at sae.com (Douglas Zimmerman)

Subject: Re: Viking/Celtic Archery Equipment???

Organization: Template Software

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1993 16:23:24 GMT

 

In article <1993Nov22.155601.24344 at lds.loral.com>, kreyling at lds.loral.com (Ed Kreyling 6966) writes:

|> I am currently researching Viking/Celtic Archery Equipment/Weapons.

|> So far, with the exception of a few arrowheads and some paterns on

|> period tapastries, I do not seem to be able to uncover any real

|> details.  What I am looking for is fletch types, bow types, quiver

|> designs, etc.  If anyone has any ideas or sources please let me know.

|>

 

As for bows, the medieval yew longbow has an ancient history; they have been

dug up in Viking excavations, and even the Iceman's bow was a yew longbow.

Ref: The Grey Goose Wing, by E.G.Heath, and Longbow, by Robert Hardy.

 

For the others, I have no idea, and evidence will be hard to find.  I know

of very little info on even medieval quivers, much less older stuff.

Fletchings will have perished, of course, so you'll have to rely on the

few pictorial representations from that period, but I bet a 'parabolic'

feather shape will be far off.

--

Douglas Zimmerman  kdz at template.com  uunet!template!kdz   703-318-1218

Template Software  13100 Worldgate Dr, Ste 340  Herndon, VA 22070-4382

 

 

From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Viking/Celtic Archery Equipment???

Date: 23 Nov 1993 17:24:35 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

>In article <1993Nov22.155601.24344 at lds.loral.com>,

>kreyling at lds.loral.com (Ed Kreyling 6966) writes:

>|> I am currently researching Viking/Celtic Archery Equipment/Weapons.

>|> So far, with the exception of a few arrowheads and some paterns on

>|> period tapastries, I do not seem to be able to uncover any real

>|> details.  What I am looking for is fletch types, bow types, quiver

>|> designs, etc.  If anyone has any ideas or sources please let me know.

 

Giraldus Cambrensis has a description of Welsh bows during his era:

(from the Penguin edition)

"The bows they use are not made of horn, nor of sapwood, nor yet of yew.

The Welsh carve their bows out of the dwarf elm-trees in the forest.

They are nothing much to look at, not even rubbed smooth, but left in

a rough and unpolished state. Still they are firm and strong. You

could not shoot far with them; but they are powerful enough to

inflict serious wounds in a close fight."

 

He has a number of other references to archery, but I don't know if they

included descriptions of equipment. For a rather amusing description

of archery equipment (which should not be taken literally!) there is

the following passage in the Welsh tale of Owein (from the Jones & Jones

translation)

"[two youths] ... a box of ivory in the hand of each of them, and strings of

deer sinews thereto, and arrows with their shafts of walrus ivory,

winged with peacocks' feathers, and heads of gold on the shafts."

 

Keridwen f. Morgan Glasfryn; West, Mists, Mists

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: John, R., Edgerton <sirjon at waffle.sns.com>

Subject: Re: mongol/turkish archery

Keywords: archery, turkish, mongol, anchor

Organization: Systems'n'Software, Fremont, CA  94539-6669

Date: Mon, 27 Dec 93 20:18:38 PST

 

mcs at unlinfo.unl.edu (M Straatmann) writes:

 

> Greetings unto the Rialto and wishes for a Happy New Year;

>

> Does anyone out there have any information on the nocking point used

> in mongol or turkish archery?  Was the string pulled clear to the

> face?  

> In curiousity,

> misha

> (mcs at unlinfo.unl.edu)

 

        In all the reproductions of period ilustrations

that I have seen both near and far east, the anchor for

the draw is often to the side of the face at the cheek or

even to the ear and sometimes past the ear.  Using their

typical thumb release this is a comfortable position for

drawing even heavy bows.

 

Sir Jon Fitz-Rauf               John R. Edgerton

Esfenn, Mists, West             Newark, California

----

sirjon at waffle.sns.com  (John, R., Edgerton)

Systems'n'Software

Free Public Access Internet BBS

(510)623-8652

 

 

Newsgroups: alt.archery,rec.org.sca

From: akarpowicz at mta.ca (Adam Karpowicz)

Subject: books

Organization: Mount Allison U, Sackville, N.B. Canada

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1993 23:19:39 GMT

 

I got a flyer from the Society of Archer-Antiquaries listing

several trad. archery books available from Simon Archery

Foundation, The Manchester Museum, The University, Mancherster,

M13 9PL, UK.

 

Here they are:

 

Bows and Arrows by James Duff. reprinted from 1927 ed., on how

to make archery tackle etc., #18

 

Turkish Archery by Paul Klopsteg. This is one of the (very) few

books on the construction and shooting of a Turkish composite,

I listed it in the FAQ on Asian/Turkish composites. #18 or #34.20,

they have a few damaged, but readable copies too.

 

Toxophilus by Roger Ascham, reprinted from a 1866 ed., written in

1544, #7.50

 

Brazilian Indian Archery by E.G.Heath and Vilma Chiara, ethnotoxico-

logical study, 1977 ed., #12

 

A Bibliography of Archery by Fred Lake and Hal Wright, publ. in 1974,

all refs to archery are here, #21+#3.15 s&h

 

Good reading,

Adam       akarpowicz at mta.ca

 

 

From: doconnor at sedona.intel.com (Dennis O'Connor)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Recurves are period (was: "Register what you use...")

Date: 24 Jun 93 13:50:29

Organization: Intel i960(tm) Architecture

 

kenm at maccs.mcmaster.ca (...Jose) writes:

] people are going to think of [...] the way they do bunny-fir, kilts,

] chain-mail bikinis and recurve bows (yes, I'm guilty on at least one

] count).

 

Recurves are prefectly period for Eastern European, Middle-Eastern and

Asiatic personas. Even composite recurves are period, although

fiberglass is not.

 

Fiberglass (glass fibers in resin), while different in many ways, is at

least the same class of material (a stiff fiber in a binder) as the

sinew-in-glue components found in period Turkish, Persian and Mongol bows.

 

So don't let people bust on you for using a recurve. Even if your

persona isn't the right nationality for it. Lots of longbow

shooters (like my wife, a Mongol persona, who also shoots recurve)

aren't the right period or place to have a longbow, either !

 

What's not period, as far as I know, is cut-outs ("sight windows"?)

in the handle, and arrow rests. And of course, takedown bows aren't period.

--

Dennis O'Connor                          doconnor at sedona.intel.com

Intel i960(R) Microprocessor Division    Solely responsible for what I do.

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: hagen at lk-hp-6.hut.fi (T. Viljanen)

Subject: Re: Recurves are period (was: "Register what you use...")

Organization: Helsinki University of Technology

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1993 00:39:09 GMT

 

In article <DOCONNOR.93Jun24135029 at potato.sedona.intel.com> doconnor at sedona.intel.com (Dennis O'Connor) writes:

>

>kenm at maccs.mcmaster.ca (...Jose) writes:

>] people are going to think of [...] the way they do bunny-fir, kilts,

>] chain-mail bikinis and recurve bows (yes, I'm guilty on at least one

>] count).

>

>Recurves are prefectly period for Eastern European, Middle-Eastern and

>Asiatic personas. Even composite recurves are period, although

>fiberglass is not.

 

Also period Finnish bows were of composite construction. The Byzantine cavalry

bows were quite strong, being recurve and of composite construction, and

were shot at volleys. Before crossbow arcs were begun to make from steel, they

were of composite construction, and sometimes even recurved.

 

>What's not period, as far as I know, is cut-outs ("sight windows"?)

>in the handle, and arrow rests.

 

Arrow rest, named "solenarion", was certainly known in Byzantine weaponry

during the 7th century. It is period.

 

Pulley-mechanism bows (the same used by Rambo in "First Blood") aren't period.

--

  ** Tuomas Viljanen                     ** For a battle like Crecy you   **

  ** Lahderanta 20 A 19                     ** do not need a military genius **

  ** 02720 Espoo FINLAND                    ** like Edward III. All you need **

  ** 358-0-592175 or hagen at snakemail.hut.fi ** is idiot like Duke of Alencon **

 

 

From: Daniel K. Jarrell <jarrell at engin.umich.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: 220 yard law

Date: 19 Apr 1994 13:47:02 GMT

Organization: University of Michigan EECS Dept.

 

In article <199404181450.KAA22184 at zip.eecs.umich.edu> Dan Jarrell,

Dan_Jarrell.DCOTEST at mailgate.eecs.umich.EDU writes:

>I've only found one reference to this law myself. It's in Robert

Hardy's book

>"Longbow".  I'll send the specific page tomorrow if you'd like.  I was

trying

 

"In 1542 an Act established that no man who had reached the age of 24

years might shoot at any mark at less than 11 score (220 yards) distance."

"Longbow" Robert Hardy, 1992 ed., Bois d'arc Press, pg 135

---------------------------------------------------------

Alexander Macintosh of Islay-            Archers don't use duct tape

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: kdz at sae.com (Douglas Zimmerman)

Subject: Re: Mary Rose bow pulls

Organization: Template Software

Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 17:52:01 GMT

 

The latest edition of the book  _Longbow_, by Robert Hardy, has a whole

chapter devoted to the Mary Rose bows.  I heartily recommend the book to

anyone with an interest in medieval archery; it should be on every serious

SCA archer's bookshelf.  It resolves all the questions that have been raised

in this thread.

 

The quick summary is:

   1. They recovered a *lot* of bows, so many that testing a few to

      destruction was worth it.

 

   2. While all the bows were in excellent condition, none were in

      a state such that you'd actually shoot with them. However,

      they could certainly be strung and drawn.

 

   3. Based on shape and traces of (now gone) horn nocks, they are certain

      that these were finished bows, not unshaped blanks.

 

   4. Drawing a few bows to destruction (or at least serious cracking)

      resulted in draw weights of, say, 100 pounds average.

 

   5. However, analysis of the wood indicates that the wood had degraded,

      and so was significantly weaker (in draw weight) that when the bow

      was new.  Calculations based on the dimensions of the bows indicated

      the true draw weights would have been around 150 pounds, but

      ranging upwards to 200.

 

   6. They had experienced bowyers make *replicas* of the Mary Rose bows,

      with the same dimensions, which could actually be shot.

      These replicas indeed had draw weights of 150 to 200 pounds or so.

      However, there are slight differences between the grain structures

      modern and Mary Rose yew, so there is a small range of error.

 

   7. They brought in archers and historians of archery to actually work

      with the archaeologists, so all this is not just the musings of

      clueless academics.  A few archers have actually practised with their

      150 lb replica bows, and become proficient with them.  It does not

      take training from childhood to pull one, but it does take dedication.

 

      -- Galen Woodwalker

--

Douglas Zimmerman  kdz at template.com  uunet!template!kdz   703-318-1218

Template Software  13100 Worldgate Dr, Ste 340  Herndon, VA 22070-4382

 

 

From: Jonathan J. Satcher (2/13/95)

To: Mark Harris

Period Archery (Long) (fwd)

 

My lord,

 

I thought I would forward this to you after you requested information about

the long distance shooting at 3YC.  

 

Giovanni Dell'Arco--->

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Tue, 9 Aug 1994 12:11:35 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Jonathan J. Satcher" <giovanni at seattleu.edu>

To: archery at mav.com

Subject: Period Archery (Long)

 

To the archers of An Tir

Does Giovanni Dell'Arco send his greetings

 

I did a little digging and I found some interesting things about period

archery and how it compares with SCA archery.

 

The clout shoot, from what I could interpret, has been around at least

from the time of Henry VIII (early 16th century).  'Clout' was the old

English word for 'cloth'.  A white cloth was laid on the ground and

archers had to hit it from distances of 160, 200, or 240 yards. The

modern clout shoot, using GNAS (Grand National Archery Society) rules, has

a white flag placed 180 yards from the shooting line (120 yards for

women).  Archers shoot a round of 36 arrows.  Five points are scored if an

arrow lands within 18" of the flag; four, three, two, and one points are

awarded if an arrow lands within three, six, nine, and 12 feet away,

respectfully.  Distances are measured with a string attached to a flag

pole.  FITA (Federation Internationale de Tir a'L'arc) rules place the

clout target 165 meters (125 meters for women) from the shooting line.

The target is made of straw, measures 15 meters in diameter and sports a

white flag in the middle.  The target is divided into five equal rings

worth five, four, three, two and one points.  

 

The York Round and the five color target rings we use for our competitions

were not standardized until 1844 by the Prince Regent. Although there is

evidence that colored concentric rings were placed on butts during the

period we strive to re-live, most butts (which were banks of earth grassed

over) had a white disc as a target.  Beyond 140 yards the targets were

called 'clouts'; canvas covered, straw stuffed discs of some 18" in

diameter.  Technically, the York Round and the standardized five color

target rings are out of period.

 

I have mentioned to HL Arianne of Falconmoors, Chief Archer of Aquaterra,

and Lord Andras Truemark, the Kingdom Protector, that we should attempt a

clout shoot in place of a York Round.  Both expressed concern for the

potential loss of arrows and the danger inherent in shooting above a 45

degree arc.  However, I am in the process of adapting the clout shoot

rules to fit combat archery tackle.

 

One period shoot I found documentation on is called the Popinjay.  The

Continental version of the Popinjay has wooden birds fixed on an 85' pole.

On the pole stands the cock bird with colorful plumage and a 10" to 12"

body, then a row of hen birds 6" to 8" tall and one or two rows of chicks

3" to 4" tall.  The archers draw lots for the order of shooting and shoot

one blunt arrow vertically (as in straight up!) towards the birds in turn.

The Scottish version has a single bird atop a 100' pole.  

 

Another period shoot I found documentation on is called the wand shoot.

The wand is a 6', 2"x4" Balsa board (or other suitable wood), painted

white, placed 100 yards (60 yards for women) from the shooting line.

Archers shoot rounds of 36 arrows.  Only arrows that are embedded in the

board count.  At a tournament held last October at the Corinthian Yacht

Club in Philadelphia, the archers placed the want at 80 yards.  The first

to stick an arrow in it would be the winner; there would be no second place.

 

We don't usually have enough room at most events to set up targets 80-100

yards from the shooting line.  The following rules for a 40 yard wand

shoot should add some periodness to our shooting and a little competition

to impress the spectators.  For a wand shoot, each target will have a

piece of duct tape placed vertically down the middle of the target for the

full length of the target face.  All archers will start at the 20 yard

line and loose three arrows.  Those archers with at least one arrow

touching the tape advance to the 30 yard line.  Those archers who fail to

advance, at any stage, are out of the competition.  The archers at the 30

yard line again loose three arrows.  Those archers with at least one arrow

touching the tape advance to the 40 yard line.  Those archers who

successfully touch the tape from 40 yards with their arrows continue to

shoot ends of three arrows from 40 yards until only one archer is left.

In the case of a tie, the archer who has hit the tape the most throughout

the competition is the winner.  Lord Andras Truemark liked my idea and

hopefully we'll give it a try at a future event.

 

A period event that I couldn't find any documentation on but it's in all

the Robin Hood movies is the . . . the . . . gee, I don't know what to

call it.  I used to call the following the rover shoot because that is how

it was referred to in a book I read.  According to other sources, the

rover is what we now call field archery.  For the purpose of this post,

I'll call this the Robin Hood shoot.  Those who attended Robin Hood Days

this year will be familiar with this competition.  for the Robin Hood

shoot, each archer starts with three arrows, two archers per target

shooting from the 30 yard line.  After each archer has loosed their three

arrows, the one arrow that is farthest away from the center is pulled and

taken out of play.  The archer who lost the arrow must now compete with

one less arrow.  Archers compete in a round robin.  When an archer has all

three arrows pulled, that archer is out of the competition.  The winner is

the sole remaining archer with at least one arrow left.

 

Of course, flight shooting has for centuries been considered a test of an

expert archer.  I don't think we can access a 300 yard range at a SCA

event, though.

 

References in no particular order:

Robert Hardy's _Longbow:  A Social and Military History_

E. G. Heath's _A History of Target Archery_ and _The Grey Goose_

Daniel Robert's _Archery for All_

Donald Campbell's _Archery_

Charles Chenevix Trench's _A History of Marksmanship_

W. F. Paterson's _Encyclopedia of Archery_

G. Howard Gillelan's _Bow and Arrow_

Horace Castillo, "Primitive Target Archers Shoot Broadheads" _Primitive

   Archer_

 

Northwest Archery in Burien has a small but good library in their museum.

They are always happy to let you roam through the books and the museum

makes a wonderful reading room.  Two books I have read that I think are a

must for every SCA archer are Robert Hardy's _Longbow:  A Social and

Military History_ and Vic Hurley's _Arrows Against Steel: The History of

the Bow_.  I also highly recommend the magazine _Primitive Archer_.

 

I apologize for the length of this post but I hope you found the time you

took to read this time well spent.  If anyone has any questions or

comments, please feel free to drop me a line.

 

In the pursuit of fostering knowledge about period archery,

 

Giovanni Dell'Arco

Baronial Chief Archer of Madrone

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: Period Archery

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 03:24:03 GMT

 

shane O'brollachain asks about period archery competitions:

 

Taybugha tells a story about a mast shoot--a competition for shooting from

horseback at a target, I think a bird, on top of a tall mast. A certain

archer deliberately had a saddle made with the section behind him (cantle?)

cut very low. Competing at the mast shoot, he rode up to (past? my books

are packed) the base of the mast, so that everyone thought he had missed

his shot, then leaned back in his saddle until he was lying flat on his

back and shot up to hit the target.

--

David/Cariadoc

DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu

 

 

From: nqf2312 at is2.nyu.edu (Norman J. Finkelshteyn)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Archery

Date: 21 Jul 1995 22:55:51 GMT

Organization: New York University

 

David Friedman (DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu) wrote:

: shane O'brollachain asks about period archery competitions:

 

: Taybugha tells a story about a mast shoot--a competition for shooting from

: horseback at a target, I think a bird, on top of a tall mast. A certain

: archer deliberately had a saddle made with the section behind him (cantle?)

: cut very low. Competing at the mast shoot, he rode up to (past? my books

: are packed) the base of the mast, so that everyone thought he had missed

: his shot, then leaned back in his saddle until he was lying flat on his

: back and shot up to hit the target.

 

Thereafter (or was it concurently?) this became the way to do the game.

Called "shooting at the Kabak (gourd)"

Often, instead of having a gourd at the top of the mast, a cage was

placed there with a bird inside. The object was to shoot off the lock

and free the bird.

 

Nahum Kuzari

 

 

From: DMKEY at vnet.ibm.com (David Key)

Newsgroups: soc.history.living,rec.org.sca

Subject: English Longbowman 1330-1515 - Errata

Date: 14 Aug 1995 16:47:18 GMT

Organization: IBM (UK) Ltd, Hursley

 

For anyone out there with a copy of Osprey's 'The English Longbowman

1330-1515' I have recently received a letter from the author (Clive Bartlett)

asking me to publish an errata to one of the captions in the book.

 

The errata will be published in newsletters of 'The White Company', 'The

Federation of the Wars of the Roses' and 'Call to Arms'. However as Clive

is trying to reach as wide an audience as possible I am also appending it

here ...

 

The errata is to the Caption of an archers' bracer in the British Museum ...

 

"This archers' bracer is of 'cuir bouilli' (hardened leather) and decorated with

a crowned rose, acorns and oak leaves and the words 'ihc helpe' (Jesus help).

The decoration was originally enhanced with gilding and colouring. Because of

the design of the wording and the rose & crown the bracer has been dated to

the early 16th. century. Measurements (dimensions not exact) are: length 4 15/16"

(125mm); Width 5 13/16" (147mm); thickness of leather 1/8" (3mm).

It has been assumed that the fastening has always been by a thong

passing through the holes. However, the punched holes are a later addition, and in

many cases disfigure the decoration. During a close examination, kindly arranged

by David Gaimster of the British Museum, the author was able to establish that

the original fastening had been by a strap and buckle riveted to the bracer - the

common medieval method. Through age or accident, the rivet holes, now enlarged

and included with the others, had been ripped (the tears are just visible in the

photograph, below the holes first and third left) and the method of fastening

changed."

 

(British Museum. Catalogue reference BM MLA 1922, 1 - 10, 1)

I hope this is of use & my apologies to Clive if I have added any typos to his

original text.

 

David Key,

Tel. (UK) 01962 818575,

MP 102, IBM Hursley Park, Hampshire, England

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: kdz at sae.com (Douglas Zimmerman)

Subject: Re: brain shots

Organization: Template Software

Date: Fri, 4 Mar 1994 19:02:00 GMT

 

In article <9403031546.AA01076 at math.bu.edu>, jeffs at math.bu.EDU (Jeff Suzuki) writes:

|> However, before about the 16th century (with rare exceptions), people

|> thought that the brain was 1) a lump of fat (true enough), 2) used

|> mainly to cool the blood (Aristotle).  

|>

|> So the question is this: did this change how people fought?

 

I guarantee you that people knew head injuries would kill quite well -

after all, look at all the effort they expended on helms. The issue for

an archer, however, is 'what can you hit'?

 

In siege situations (where the croosbow was most used), the defenders at most

poked their heads out, and the attackers usually had a bead drawn on

that very spot.  There are documented cases of a defender ending up with two

or three bolts through his head, and at least a couple of open-faced helms

around today have multiple holes out the back.

 

However, in the field, no sane archer would aim at a man's head, cause

it's too darn small.  Torsos are much larger, and horses larger yet.

Plus helms were usually heavier gauge, plus more curved, so an arrow/bolt

would be more likely to glance off a helm than from body armor.

 

Archery in a battle was usually not a precision matter anyway, just

a rain of arrows coming down.  Don't believe the claims of Robin Hood

always hitting a wand at 100 yards, or an archer always hitting a man at 200.

World champion archers today (with *much* more accurate equipment) only expect

to hit an immobile, sighted in 10 inch diameter circle at 100 yards.

 

                  - Galen Woodwalker

--

Douglas Zimmerman  kdz at template.com  uunet!template!kdz   703-318-1218

Template Software  13100 Worldgate Dr, Ste 340  Herndon, VA 22070-4382

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 13:41:36 MST

From: Keith Hood <hoodkl at netscape.net>

Subject: Pincushions (was RE: ANST - Slings)

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

 

> > Agreed. In fact there was a "game" amongst Crusader knights to see

> > who could come back with the most arrows stuck in their armor.

> > Until the advent of the longbow the arrow was not a major factor

> > against the  heavily armored knights.

 

I remember hearing some time in the past, that Richard and some other Crusade

leaders made special efforts to make sure their knights and men at arms were

equipped with very thick felt underclothes.  Most likely, mail by itself,

lying close to the body, did not offer enough resistance to arrows to keep

them from digging in deep.  But with the felt under the mail, the combination

of that dense fiber mat, with the friction between the arrow shaft and

adjacent links, slowed the arrow enough to keep it from pentrating flesh.

 

> check out the marvelous prints from the japanese fuedal age show

> samuari on the battlefield looking like pin cushions but still able

> to function.

 

That was due largely to the construction of the armor.  It was usually made of

thousands of individual scales, laced together with braided cord made of

cotton or hemp (or silk for the really fancy sets).  The lacings acted kind of

like springs between the scales, so when a shaft penetrated the cords pulled

the scales tight against it, putting enough friction on the shaft to scrub off

its momentum.  And since the scales always overlapped at least half their

width, no matter where a shaft hit the flat outside of a scale, it would

always also come into contact with the edges of the adjacent scales.

 

Some parts of the armor were also designed with a 'fire curtain' effect in

mind.  Those were the skirting on the bottom of the body armor and the helm,

and the sode (the big shoulder guards that were common on early armors).  In

addition to the pinch effect from the scales, these parts were deliverately

made heavy and hung free, so if an arrow hit them it lost momentum because the

skirting would move with it.

 

The earlier armor design associated with the samurai was the yoroi, which was

specifically designed for use by mounted archers.  In addition to the factors

mentioned above, the body armor was actually built in the form of a loose box.

When the archer was mounted the weight of the body armor rested on his

thighs, and the armor actually stood away from the body. That style of armor

was phased out as armies got bigger and combat between foot soldiers became

more common.  Since the armor was designed to be loose around the torso, it

hung from the shoulder straps when the wearer was on foot, and it interfered

with fighting on foot because it would swing when the wearer turned.

 

(Lot more than anyone cared to hear on the subject, right?<G>)

 

     Tomonaga

------

A long bow and a stong bow,

And let the sky grow dark.

The nock to the cord, the shaft to the ear,

And a foreign king for a mark!

 

     --  Stolen from "The Song of the Bosonian Archers" --

               By Robert E. Howard, who should be

                 the patron saint of Ansteorra

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org