35388Re: [SCA-Archery] defining Archery
- Apr 2 1:37 PMI have seen references to this before, but had never noted the source.I think it would be most worthwhile if you or someone would write a paper on this for TI or Quivers and Quarrels.I find it interesting that on chivalry lists over the years I have frequently read posts that say: "Our armor standards indicate that we are doing early period. And therefore bows used in combat archery are the early period lighter draw bows and would not penetrate our armor. And besides archers would not have been used in tournament melees anyway and that is what our wars are. Tournament melees, not wars and archery would not have been used." They like to have it both ways.Jon
From: Carolus <eulenhorst@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 11:07 PM
Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] defining Archery
Actually, this is only true of the tournaments of later high middle ages. Archery was part of the pre 13th century tournaments. In an excerpt from
Tournaments and William Marshal cop0yright 2003 by Catherine Armstrong:
"The tournaments on the continent usually began in the morning and lasted until dusk. There were no restrictions on who could or could not enter a tournament until the 13th century, and no prohibition that prevented a knight from entering a tournament that had already begun. There were no prohibited strikes, and no rules that prevented a group of knights or foot soldiers from banding together to attack a single knight. The count of Flanders used serjeants as well as knights in one tournament, and in another tournament he used over 300 infantry to cover a retreat. Mounted knights fought with lance, sword, and mace, and foot soldiers used arrows and lances. There were specified areas, recets, where a knight that had been unhorsed or captured could go to make arrangements for the payment of his ransom, or could re-arm, or simply rest. In this area no one was allowed to harm any other. After a knight had made his arrangements for the payment of his ransom to the knight who had defeated him, he could return to the fight if he wished."
"Bows were used by foot soldiers and with their reach and their barbed, iron arrowheads could be deadly in battle."
"The archers were to use their weapons to create an opening for the cavalry charge, and the foot soldiers' job was to resist the enemies charge with their lances and arrows."
Note this is from a biography of William the Marshal, considered the most chivalrous knight of the middle ages who lived in the 12th century. I have read many other similar accounts over the years but this one comes to hand right now. Even the descriptions of the tournament used by the SCA chivalry have been carefully sanitized and selected to present a biased view suitable to their purpose and do not truly represent the tournament as it existed throughout the SCA period and extent. By using an 11th or 12rh century definition of the tournament, archers still have a distinct place in Tournament melees. It is only in the rather restricted lists of the high middle ages when the tournament had become the medieval sporting equivalent of modern football that the stylized and restricted weapons forms had their prominence.
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