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Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Types of bows...Was Newbie question...

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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