Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [SCA-Archery] The Language of Archery

Expand Messages
  • Carolus
    One thought which comes to mind is from illustrations of the period and my own experiments. Place your feet in the traditional longbowman s stance, the
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 8, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      One thought which comes to mind is from illustrations of the period
      and my own experiments. Place your feet in the traditional
      longbowman's stance, the forward parallel with the arrow, the rear
      perpendicular to it. Aim high, for a 300 yd shot. Your back knee
      will flex to reduce the amount of curve in your back while keeping
      your shoulders and arms in a plane. "Knee - Stretch" or "Knee -
      Stroke" would seem plausible but a Middle English scholar (which I am
      not, I barely speak clear modern American) could give a better idea.
      Carolus

      03:46 PM 2/8/2009, you wrote:
      >Greetings
      >
      >Here's an interesting little linguistic puzzle to consider...
      >
      >In Robert Hardy's excellent book on archery - "Longbow" - he has a
      >chapter on the Battle of Agincourt. In the description of the battle
      >itself, he refers to a French account which reports that the French
      >lines knew when the English were about to volley them with a flight of
      >arrows: the English hammered in their stakes, ran behind them, braced
      >their bows, and then their archery officers were heard to yell out a
      >command. To the French chronicler, it sounded like "Nestroque". Hardy
      >himself suggests "Now - Stretch", "Knee - Stretch", or "Now - Strike";
      >but he also admits that it's sheer speculation - we just don't know
      >what the command was. In regards the second suggestion, there are no
      >reports of the front line dropping to one knee before releasing, but
      >absence of evidence isn't necessarily evidence of absence, of course.
      >
      >So, here's the puzzle then - and I must hasten to add that I don't
      >have an answer, it's just thrown into the ring purely to spark comment
      >and reflection - what was being said? One must imagine what word or
      >short phrase, bellowed out on an active battlefield, in Chaucerian-era
      >Middle English mind you, would sound to someone speaking early 15th
      >century French like "Nestroque".
      >
      >Any ideas or suggestions?
      >
      >Cordially;
      >Nigel FitzMaurice
    • Cian of Storvik
      It s also been suggested that they were shouting menee stroke (with an accent over the second to last e ). Which was a norman medieval term for the trumpet
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 11, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        It's also been suggested that they were shouting "menee stroke" (with
        an accent over the second to last 'e'). Which was a norman medieval
        term for the trumpet call for assembly used in hunting.

        I believe the way it was posed is that the marshal of the army would
        have called out "menee stroke" to signal the trumpeters to start the
        assembly call to rouse the troops and prepare them for tossing the
        baton in the air (signaling that it was on like Donkey Kong), but the
        way a voice carries, it was probably common practice to repeat a
        command down the line. Much like we do at Pennsic when a hold is called.

        Now, the consonant "M" is termed a soft consonant, and in a multiple
        syllabic phrase, in English, we tend to mute the first part of what we
        are shouting, and put the accent on the end. (Think of shouting "Hey
        You!" <-the H is another soft consonant at the beginning of a sentance,
        and how it would sound to someone a quarter mile away. Especially if a
        hundred of you are screaming on top of one another.

        So to the french, their front line being a quarter of a mile from the
        front of the English, it may have seemed like the entire army was
        shouting "nestroque!"

        The only hole in this theory is that the French would have also been
        familiar with a hunting call of assembly, but because it was relative
        to hunting, maybe they just didn't make the connection.

        The reality is, we will probably never know what the English were
        shouting.
        -Cian
      • jameswolfden
        I have heard this too but I am wondering what menée stroke actually means. It seems strange to mix the french and the english at this point. Menée could be
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 11, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          I have heard this too but I am wondering what menée stroke actually
          means.

          It seems strange to mix the french and the english at this point.
          Menée could be charge or lead which fits in well but not sure how
          stroke fits in.

          I am also wondering what source indicates that this was a Norman
          medieval term at all. I have seen it mainly on websites that just
          matter of factly state it is a hunting term with no further
          explanation.

          James





          --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Cian of Storvik"
          <firespiter@...> wrote:
          >
          > It's also been suggested that they were shouting "menee stroke"
          (with
          > an accent over the second to last 'e'). Which was a norman
          medieval
          > term for the trumpet call for assembly used in hunting.
          >
          > I believe the way it was posed is that the marshal of the army
          would
          > have called out "menee stroke" to signal the trumpeters to start
          the
          > assembly call to rouse the troops and prepare them for tossing the
          > baton in the air (signaling that it was on like Donkey Kong), but
          the
          > way a voice carries, it was probably common practice to repeat a
          > command down the line. Much like we do at Pennsic when a hold is
          called.
          >
          > Now, the consonant "M" is termed a soft consonant, and in a
          multiple
          > syllabic phrase, in English, we tend to mute the first part of
          what we
          > are shouting, and put the accent on the end. (Think of
          shouting "Hey
          > You!" <-the H is another soft consonant at the beginning of a
          sentance,
          > and how it would sound to someone a quarter mile away. Especially
          if a
          > hundred of you are screaming on top of one another.
          >
          > So to the french, their front line being a quarter of a mile from
          the
          > front of the English, it may have seemed like the entire army was
          > shouting "nestroque!"
          >
          > The only hole in this theory is that the French would have also
          been
          > familiar with a hunting call of assembly, but because it was
          relative
          > to hunting, maybe they just didn't make the connection.
          >
          > The reality is, we will probably never know what the English were
          > shouting.
          > -Cian
          >
        • Cian of Storvik
          I m just repeating what I d read in one of my archery history books, probably by Soar or Hardy. I don t know any archaic Norman, or know of any period text
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 11, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            I'm just repeating what I'd read in one of my archery history books,
            probably by Soar or Hardy. I don't know any archaic Norman, or know of
            any period text that would support either word used in an
            archery/military context much less used in combination as an understood
            command or exclamation.
            -Cian
          • jameswolfden
            I find Soar sometimes make comments that add great colour but don t seem to be backed up with any evidence. Hardy often has a source. Even finding the earliest
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 11, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              I find Soar sometimes make comments that add great colour but don't
              seem to be backed up with any evidence. Hardy often has a source.

              Even finding the earliest explanation for nestroque to be a
              misrepresentation of menee stroke might give us a clue as to whether it
              is a valid explanation.

              James

              --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Cian of Storvik" <firespiter@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > I'm just repeating what I'd read in one of my archery history books,
              > probably by Soar or Hardy. I don't know any archaic Norman, or know
              of
              > any period text that would support either word used in an
              > archery/military context much less used in combination as an
              understood
              > command or exclamation.
              > -Cian
              >
            • bluecat@neo.rr.com
              Enguerrand de Monstrelet is a period source for the Battle of Agincourt Link: http://www.archive.org/details/chroniclesengue14johngoog This is the text of his
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 24, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Enguerrand de Monstrelet is a period source for the Battle of Agincourt

                Link: http://www.archive.org/details/chroniclesengue14johngoog

                This is the text of his chronicles in electronic format

                A borrowed bit of text from a discussion on NetSword is below:

                The author of this account of Agincourt is "Enguerrand de Monstrelet
                (d.1453), governor of Cambrai and supporter of the French crown."
                *(snip)*... He includes a number of interesting details, like the name
                of the commander of the [i]English[/i] archers and the fact that many of
                them had their "hose loose"; which has been attributed to the dysentery
                raging among the English. His passage about Erpingham ordering the
                English archers to open the battle is of sufficient interest that it is
                specifically discussed in Anne Curry's book [b]Agincourt 1415[/i]. The
                author concludes that "Nestroque" was the french rendition of a man with
                a Norfolk accent shouting "Now Strike!".

                Hugh Soar makes his own comments in Vol. 44 of Society for Archer
                Antiquaries in 2001, but that doesn't appear to be available unless you
                are a member

                Link: http://www.societyofarcher-antiquaries.org/publications.htm

                A recent work- 'Cavalry from Hoof to Track' By Roman Johann Jarymowycz,
                Roman Jarymowycz, Donn A. Starry
                at:http://books.google.com/books?id=nQDBUgwGae4C&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=nestroque&source=bl&ots=H69TWboH0L&sig=BjN_ByR8630t4W_K2oRLdV9gtKw&hl=en&ei=57SkSfWFNMe_tgfRmIzKBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA52,M1

                Also says Sir Thomas Erpingham says "Now Strike" on page 51, and while
                footnoted, I cant get to the bibliographic page for the reference.

                Dirk Edward of Frisia
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.