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Medieval Archery

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  • Seán Moore
    Dear All, I have been following the discussions on medieval archery and the period aspects of archery in our society and as a fervent longbow archer, can
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2004
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      Dear All,

      I have been following the discussions on medieval archery and the 'period'
      aspects of archery in our society and as a fervent longbow archer, can only
      say that whilst it would be nice to have everyone shooting period bows, this
      is not always practical.
      I used to travel with my longbow on airlines and having it returned over a
      foot shorter because it �fell� off the plane wasn�t a very nice experience,
      despite it being in an industrial case. Mine was a modern laminate but my
      colleague suffered the same fate with his yew selfbow, a more expensive
      experience.
      As to where I�m going with this; well, we have �open� divisions in our
      archery which permit the use of take down recurves and any other non period
      bows. At the end of the day, I don�t really care if I am shooting against
      someone with a modern recurve or a field bow because I am still shooting and
      having fun, be it within my division or open. I have my other societies if I
      want to be more competitive with my longbow and if I am travelling to an SCA
      event that involves air travel, then I pack my fibreglass bow and don�t have
      to worry about bad handling by airlines or closing it in the taxi door. We
      also have a lot of service personnel here in Europe and having a take down
      bow makes travelling more practical for them.
      The great thing about our society is the range and depth of authenticity
      that we can get involved in from simply dressing up to full living history
      and the same goes for our archery. I like my longbow and others like the
      Asian and Eurasian recurves, some prefer the Scandinavian longbows or the
      European short bows, some prefer the modern take down bows and some prefer
      the fibreglass training bows.
      In essence, irrespective of what equipment we use, we are all archers and we
      should respect each other�s level of commitment to archery and to the
      society.

      I have done a lot of research into medieval and period bows, worked with the
      bowyers as they made replicas and have even shot them. I have seen a longbow
      made entirely of linen and watched it being shot albeit it with clenched
      teeth and partially open eyes. I have held actual prehistoric bows and get
      just as much fun from shooting the period bows as I do from my simple
      fibreglass flatbow.


      I have placed some links below that I hope you find useful:

      Archers in Medieval and Renaissance Works of Art:
      http://www.geocities.com/karen_larsdatter/archers.htm

      Military Archery in Medieval Ireland: Archaeology and History:
      http://www.deremilitari.org/RESOURCES/PDFs/halpin.pdf

      English Archery in the Hundred Year's War:
      http://www.primitivearcher.com/articles/englisharchery.html

      Stone Age Bows and Arrows:
      http://www.stoneagebows.subnet.dk

      The Archery Library Books:
      http://www.xs4all.nl/~marcelo/archery/library/books/


      Happy shooting,

      Se�n

      ... . .- -. -- --- --- .-. .
      Ad Astra Per Aspera - Semper Exploro
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