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Re: Types of bows...Was Newbie question...

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  • Godwin fitzGilbert de Strigoil
    ... Well an english longbow is generally described as a bow having a D cross section, and some would say technically would have to be at least 72 from nock
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 4, 2002
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      > Message: 7
      > Date: Sun, 04 Aug 2002 00:44:33 -0000
      > From: "elbrethofmontrose" <pk_lioness@...>
      > Subject: Re: Newbie question... (bear with me please!)
      >
      > -snip-
      > I used to teach basic archery to kids at a summer camp, so I've used
      > recurves and longbows, but what's a flatbow like? And how does it
      > differ? I'm not sure if I want to get into combat archery yet or not,
      > definatly target though.
      > ~Lady Elbreth of Montrose

      Well an english longbow is generally described as a bow having a "D" cross section, and some would say technically would have to be at least 72" from nock to nock. In period a longbow was a bow the same height as you and up to 4" taller. So if you're 5' tall, a longbow for you would be 60-64", by a rule of thumb so to speak.

      You would consider a flatbow to be a bow not having a "D" cross section. American longbows for instance could be considered a flatbow because of it's basic cross section.
      __________
      / \
      \__________/

      What more may be considered a flatbow, is a description of when the limbs spread out considerably wider than the riser. The flatbow is generally a shorter bow than the longbow. I have an American longbow, which the belly and back are flat. I have a hickory backed yew bow, which I built, which is about halfway between a flatbow and a true "D" section longbow.

      Here is a good archery dictonary page:
      http://hometown.aol.com/tradbowmd/archdict.htm

      And here would be where you can get in touch with people involved in archery in your area:
      http://www.tnc.ab.ca/~sca/officers.htm

      Hope all that is clearer than mud :)

      Godwin
    • elbrethofmontrose
      ... used ... not, ... a D cross section, and some would say technically would have to be at least 72 from nock to nock. In period a longbow was a bow the
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 4, 2002
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        --- In SCA-Archery@y..., Godwin fitzGilbert de Strigoil <Godwin@r...>
        wrote:
        > > Message: 7
        > > Date: Sun, 04 Aug 2002 00:44:33 -0000
        > > From: "elbrethofmontrose" <pk_lioness@h...>
        > > Subject: Re: Newbie question... (bear with me please!)
        > >
        > > -snip-
        > > I used to teach basic archery to kids at a summer camp, so I've
        used
        > > recurves and longbows, but what's a flatbow like? And how does it
        > > differ? I'm not sure if I want to get into combat archery yet or
        not,
        > > definatly target though.
        > > ~Lady Elbreth of Montrose
        >
        > Well an english longbow is generally described as a bow having
        a "D" cross section, and some would say technically would have to be
        at least 72" from nock to nock. In period a longbow was a bow the
        same height as you and up to 4" taller. So if you're 5' tall, a
        longbow for you would be 60-64", by a rule of thumb so to speak.
        >
        > You would consider a flatbow to be a bow not having a "D" cross
        section. American longbows for instance could be considered a flatbow
        because of it's basic cross section.
        > __________
        > / \
        > \__________/
        >
        > What more may be considered a flatbow, is a description of when the
        limbs spread out considerably wider than the riser. The flatbow is
        generally a shorter bow than the longbow. I have an American longbow,
        which the belly and back are flat. I have a hickory backed yew bow,
        which I built, which is about halfway between a flatbow and a
        true "D" section longbow.
        >
        > Here is a good archery dictonary page:
        > http://hometown.aol.com/tradbowmd/archdict.htm
        >
        > And here would be where you can get in touch with people involved
        in archery in your area:
        > http://www.tnc.ab.ca/~sca/officers.htm
        >
        > Hope all that is clearer than mud :)
        >
        > Godwin

        Thanks Godwin,
        that does help a bit... I'm starting to realize I know way less than
        I thought I did. :) Now that I'm humbled enough to admit it, I'm
        willing to learn.

        Ok, so if I'm 5'10 (which I am, by the way) and my persona is early
        12th century pretty-much-english-a-bit-celtic... what would my
        options be? :) Or have I made it difficult by choosing a curious
        persona?
        ~Elbreth
      • Carolus Eulenhorst
        Flatbows and longbows were both known but evidence of their use is scarce among the English at this time. No significant evidence of major military use of any
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 4, 2002
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          Flatbows and longbows were both known but evidence of their use is scarce
          among the English at this time. No significant evidence of major
          military use of any archery, though indications are that it existed in
          scattered use. Best evidence is the use of the long bow by the Welch at
          this time. Sport archery was probably scarce, if it existed at all
          outside of personal challenges, and hunting information is probably out
          there though I don't know of much serious collected scholarship. The
          Eastern recurve was know through the Crusades but there is no evidence of
          its having been brought back to Western Europe. Best suggestion from
          here - do some reading, create a best guess speculation to justify your
          choice and go with what you want. Don't claim it to be anything more
          than what it is and have fun.

          In service to the dream
          Carolus von Eulenhorst
          eulenhorst@...

          On Mon, 05 Aug 2002 04:46:12 -0000 "elbrethofmontrose"
          <pk_lioness@...> writes:
          > snip<
          >
          > Thanks Godwin,
          > that does help a bit... I'm starting to realize I know way less than
          >
          > I thought I did. :) Now that I'm humbled enough to admit it, I'm
          > willing to learn.
          >
          > Ok, so if I'm 5'10 (which I am, by the way) and my persona is early
          >
          > 12th century pretty-much-english-a-bit-celtic... what would my
          > options be? :) Or have I made it difficult by choosing a curious
          > persona?
          > ~Elbreth

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        • Daniel_Hawley
          Sorry Carolus but you are wrong. There is plenty of evidence of English Military archery in the 12th Century, The tactics used in later years were developed at
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 19, 2002
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            Sorry Carolus but you are wrong.

            There is plenty of evidence of English Military archery in the 12th
            Century, The tactics used in later years were developed at this
            time. There is specific mention of the bow used by the English in
            the battles of Bourgtheroulde (1124), Battle Of The Standard (1138)
            and the Battle of Lincoln (1141) There is also evedence of the
            knowledge of the Composite bow (probably a recurve) in an acount by
            Gerald Of Wales (1188) where he says of the Welsh;
            "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 unpolished state, you could not shoot far with them,
            but they are powerful enough to inflict serious wounds in a fight.. "
            Note the mention of a bow made of HORN. This is most likely a
            Turkish style recurve.
            Also this helps to disprove one of the bigest myths of the modern
            age.. The Welsh invented the longbow. No no no no no. The longbow
            was known at least as early as Roman times, (see the Nydam bows for
            proof of that) and probably earlier.
            The English Longbows were known for their length and being mainly
            (but not exclusively) made out of yew. The Welsh bow of the time was
            a short, elm bow, not a Longbow.
            Sorry if I have caused offence but I hate the perpetuation of a myth
            which I know to be false.
            As for the advice to go with what you feel best with, I agree.


            Daniel Hawley

            http://www.livinghistory.co.uk/homepages/purbrook_bowmen/
            --- In SCA-Archery@y..., Carolus Eulenhorst <eulenhorst@j...> wrote:
            > Flatbows and longbows were both known but evidence of their use is
            scarce > among the English at this time. No significant evidence
            of major > military use of any archery, though indications are that
            it existed in
            > scattered use. Best evidence is the use of the long bow by the
            Welch at
            > this time. Sport archery was probably scarce, if it existed at all
            > outside of personal challenges, and hunting information is
            probably out
            > there though I don't know of much serious collected scholarship.
            The
            > Eastern recurve was know through the Crusades but there is no
            evidence of
            > its having been brought back to Western Europe. Best suggestion
            from
            > here - do some reading, create a best guess speculation to justify
            your
            > choice and go with what you want. Don't claim it to be anything
            more
            > than what it is and have fun.
            >
            > In service to the dream
            > Carolus von Eulenhorst
            > eulenhorst@j...
            >
            > On Mon, 05 Aug 2002 04:46:12 -0000 "elbrethofmontrose"
            > <pk_lioness@h...> writes:
            > > snip<
            > >
            > > Thanks Godwin,
            > > that does help a bit... I'm starting to realize I know way less
            than
            > >
            > > I thought I did. :) Now that I'm humbled enough to admit it, I'm
            > > willing to learn.
            > >
            > > Ok, so if I'm 5'10 (which I am, by the way) and my persona is
            early
            > >
            > > 12th century pretty-much-english-a-bit-celtic... what would my
            > > options be? :) Or have I made it difficult by choosing a
            curious
            > > persona?
            > > ~Elbreth
            >
            > ________________________________________________________________
            > GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
            > Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
            > Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:
            > http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/.
          • haroldingelsson
            ... Can you site sources? Harold
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 19, 2002
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              > There is plenty of evidence of English Military archery in the 12th
              > Century, The tactics used in later years were developed at this
              > time. There is specific mention of the bow used by the English in
              > the battles of Bourgtheroulde (1124), Battle Of The Standard (1138)
              > and the Battle of Lincoln (1141) There is also evedence of the
              > knowledge of the Composite bow (probably a recurve) in an acount by
              > Gerald Of Wales (1188) where he says of the Welsh;

              Can you site sources?

              Harold
            • godwinthearcher
              ... I as probably others, would like some bibliographies of the afore mentioned sources. In my mind probably doesn t go to far. Yeah they had composites:
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 19, 2002
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                --- In SCA-Archery@y..., "Daniel_Hawley" <daniel_hawley@y...> wrote:
                > Sorry Carolus but you are wrong.
                >
                > There is plenty of evidence of English Military archery in the 12th
                > Century, The tactics used in later years were developed at this
                > time. There is specific mention of the bow used by the English in
                > the battles of Bourgtheroulde (1124), Battle Of The Standard (1138)
                > and the Battle of Lincoln (1141) There is also evedence of the
                > knowledge of the Composite bow (probably a recurve) in an acount by
                > Gerald Of Wales (1188) where he says of the Welsh;
                > "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 unpolished state, you could not shoot far with them,
                > but they are powerful enough to inflict serious wounds in a fight..
                "

                I as probably others, would like some bibliographies of the afore
                mentioned sources. In my mind "probably" doesn't go to far. Yeah they
                had composites: linen backed wood. Geraldus also mentions "nor of
                sapwood", and I don't think you would make a bow of only sapwood, so
                let's not take apart statements to the point that only the separate
                parts back up our claim.


                > Note the mention of a bow made of HORN. This is most likely a
                > Turkish style recurve.

                They also did strip laminations for backing, but not Turkish.

                > Also this helps to disprove one of the bigest myths of the modern
                > age.. The Welsh invented the longbow. No no no no no. The longbow
                > was known at least as early as Roman times, (see the Nydam bows for
                > proof of that) and probably earlier.
                > The English Longbows were known for their length and being mainly
                > (but not exclusively) made out of yew. The Welsh bow of the time was
                > a short, elm bow, not a Longbow.

                The Welsh Elm bow was indeed a short bow, and Elm would lend itself to
                more of a flatbow type shape than a true "D" section. I think the
                English should be noted for taking the bow into it's "D" section shape
                that they used.

                > Sorry if I have caused offence but I hate the perpetuation of a myth
                > which I know to be false.
                > As for the advice to go with what you feel best with, I agree.
                >
                Well, then maybe you could rephrase your retort, because in my take of
                your response, you were not to worried about causing offence....and
                I'm not even the person this was directed at.

                Lend your experience gently, and it will be well recieved.

                Godwin
              • Carolus Eulenhorst
                My Lord, you cause no offense but I feel I must defend my position. I will not argue the point that we know of extensive use of archery in the 12th Century,
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 19, 2002
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                  My Lord, you cause no offense but I feel I must defend my position.

                  I will not argue the point that we know of extensive use of archery in
                  the 12th Century, even earlier. And by many cultures. The Vikings, the
                  Normans, the Welsh, even the Germans defeated an attempted Rhine crossing
                  by the Romans in 354 by use of longbows.

                  Actually, we have little evidence of what the state of archery among the
                  English truly was, only that they made use of it within their military
                  forces. We do not have good documentation of whether these were part of
                  the Norman contingent, remains of Harold's Saxon archers, or Welshmen
                  hired as archers for the army. We do not have documentation of whether
                  they used the powerful Saxon short bow (a flatbow) the Welsh version of
                  the longbow, or the more classic longbow (which was known to the Normans
                  and the Saxons and ,in fact I agree, is the oldest known form of bow).
                  We know that they had archery, and that it was effective but not what the
                  unit organization, tactics, or equipment were.

                  I wish to point out that Bourgtheroulde was a battle fought by Normans in
                  France, not a battle of the English army. And, from a web page at NYU "We
                  would never know of the archers present at the Battle of the Standard in
                  the English line, if it were not for Symeon of Durham's throw-away line
                  about the Galwegian dead looking like hedgehogs because of the numbers of
                  arrows sticking in them." This does not speak well of our state of
                  knowledge. Again, references to the Battle of Lincoln give little
                  insight to the equipment deployed, the nature of its application except
                  that the archers were a single somewhat cohesive unit used to break up
                  enemy formations and retire behind the foot and dismounted cavalry, or
                  the source of the troops.

                  We know that composite bow technology was known as the troops of Richard
                  I in the Holy Land had composite prods in their crossbows but we have no
                  information that they knew of this technology being applied to handbows
                  for as Cambrensis says "... are not made of horn, or ivory, or yew, but
                  of wild elm..." as both yew and elm were used for self bows and the
                  reference lumps all of the bows together it may as well be assumed that
                  the thought of the day was that solid horn or ivory was used. There also
                  is no reference, explicit or implied, that they knew of recurve
                  technology - this is an assumption applied because of our modern
                  knowledge. Cambrensis also says "... stout and strong nonetheless, not
                  only able to shoot an arrow a long way but also to inflict very severe
                  wounds..." This is in contradistinction to your translation. Cambrensis
                  goes on to speak of a case where a Welsh arrow pierced both sides of a
                  mail chausse, the padding beneath, the leg so enclosed, and then mortally
                  wounded the horse being ridden after piercing the saddle. This indicates
                  to me the enormous power of that bow. I find it hard to believe that the
                  force of the military bow was significantly lessened from the 12th to the
                  15th centuries. (BTW my translation of Cambrensis comes from Robert
                  Hardy's book Longbow).

                  So far as the myth of the Welsh inventing the longbow, I entirely concur
                  and do not believe I said otherwise. We have examples of the longbow
                  form from the neolithic, far predating any other form of bow. If you
                  wish to provide citations to available sources to expand your arguments I
                  will be happy to look at them, and, if appropriate, change my view but at
                  this time with what I have found I stand by what I have said. I
                  appreciate the discourse and hope to see other points raised.

                  In service to the dream
                  Carolus von Eulenhorst
                  eulenhorst@...

                  On Mon, 19 Aug 2002 23:04:14 -0000 "Daniel_Hawley"
                  <daniel_hawley@...> writes:
                  > Sorry Carolus but you are wrong.
                  >
                  > There is plenty of evidence of English Military archery in the 12th
                  >
                  > Century, The tactics used in later years were developed at this
                  > time. There is specific mention of the bow used by the English in
                  > the battles of Bourgtheroulde (1124), Battle Of The Standard (1138)
                  >
                  > and the Battle of Lincoln (1141) There is also evedence of the
                  > knowledge of the Composite bow (probably a recurve) in an acount by
                  >
                  > Gerald Of Wales (1188) where he says of the Welsh;
                  > "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 unpolished state, you could not shoot far with them,
                  >
                  > but they are powerful enough to inflict serious wounds in a fight..
                  > "
                  > Note the mention of a bow made of HORN. This is most likely a
                  > Turkish style recurve.
                  > Also this helps to disprove one of the bigest myths of the modern
                  > age.. The Welsh invented the longbow. No no no no no. The longbow
                  > was known at least as early as Roman times, (see the Nydam bows for
                  >
                  > proof of that) and probably earlier.
                  > The English Longbows were known for their length and being mainly
                  > (but not exclusively) made out of yew. The Welsh bow of the time was
                  >
                  > a short, elm bow, not a Longbow.
                  > Sorry if I have caused offence but I hate the perpetuation of a myth
                  >
                  > which I know to be false.
                  > As for the advice to go with what you feel best with, I agree.
                  >
                  >
                  > Daniel Hawley

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • "Carnyval" Pearl D. Buttons
                  Godwin, I love your statement Lend your experience gently, and it will be well received . It rings with trueness. I would however state my opinion. I do
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 20, 2002
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                    Godwin,
                    I love your statement "Lend your experience gently, and it will be well received". It rings with trueness. I would however state
                    my opinion. I do not feel the original 'retort' was offensive, but more 'zealous' maybe a little over zealous, but still spoken
                    with excitement rather than rudeness. you may be correct when you said the other person was not worried about causing offense, but
                    I do not think it was written to CAUSE offense wither, It was just written in haste, ans without proper time put in to soften the
                    rashness.....Sorry if this is a bit off topic, but I was personally quite interested in the information, and it need not escalate, I
                    am sorry if I have spoken too long on this subject.
                    :steps off soap box:
                    humbly yours,
                    Serafina


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "godwinthearcher" <Godwin@...>
                    To: <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
                    -snip-
                    > Sorry if I have caused offence but I hate the perpetuation of a myth
                    > which I know to be false.
                    > As for the advice to go with what you feel best with, I agree.
                    >
                    Well, then maybe you could rephrase your retort, because in my take of
                    your response, you were not to worried about causing offence....and
                    I'm not even the person this was directed at.

                    Lend your experience gently, and it will be well recieved.

                    Godwin
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