Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > The Asian war bow Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,504

PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2011 6:35 pm    Post subject: The Asian war bow         Reply with quote

Late last year, I presented a poster on the Asian war bow. The paper that appeared in the proceedings is available here:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.1677

It's about the physics and engineering of the bow, so doesn't get very much into the history etc. There was also a 4 page limit.

One thing that I didn't put in, because it didn't occur to me until the paper was written, submitted, reviewed, and accepted was that the Manchu/Chinese thumb ring (the cylindrical ring) gives about 3% more energy than the tabbed thumb ring that just about everybody else used/uses (e.g., Korean, Indian, Turkish, Persian, Tatar, Russian, Hungarian). For lots of pics of thumb rings, the best online resource I know of is University of Missouri Museum of Anthropology tumbring collection.

Another important point is the cost of the bow. Scott Rodell gives a little mid-Qing military price list in Chinese Swordsmanship, in which a bow costs about 2 muskets, 2/3 of a sword, and about the same as a bundle of arrows. Japanese prices from the 17th century have a bow being worth about 1/15 of a sword (and no, that isn't an exceptional expensive sword, comparing with the prices of spears, naginata, and arrows - it's about 1 sword = 100 arrows). The Japanese bow is of laminated bamboo or bamboo + wood construction, not a horn-wood-sinew composite bow.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,504

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Physicists like toys, bows are nice toys. Therefore:

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/26258/

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan, 2011 6:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Was the statement that composite bows "never spread south to India" yours or the journalist's? I'd take issue with it since it's patently untrue, what with India having several types of composite bows (one of which--the "crab bow"--is largely unique to it). The shapes of the famous Indian steel bows* are also noticeably patterned after those of composite bows, and this would be hard to explain without accepting the existence of composite bows in India.

*) there's a good overview in this series of articles:

http://sagittarius.student.utwente.nl/artikel...elbow.html

http://sagittarius.student.utwente.nl/artikel...teel1.html

http://sagittarius.student.utwente.nl/artikel...teel2.html
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,504

PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Was the statement that composite bows "never spread south to India" yours or the journalist's? I'd take issue with it since it's patently untrue, what with India having several types of composite bows (one of which--the "crab bow"--is largely unique to it).


That's journalese. My words were "limited penetration into ... southern India". The further south, the more likely that a bow would be a wooden self bow. The further north, the more likely composite. One sees composite bows in southern India art, so they were certainly not unknown there. Most of the surviving composite bows appear to be north Indian.

Like Babur said, concerning Hindustan, "During the monsoon, bows from that country cannot be used to shoot or they are ruined." I think that the really big military problem is that the composite bow doesn't last very long in humid climates - expensive to replace, limited production capacity. How do you store them long-term, for when you recruit an army?

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
The shapes of the famous Indian steel bows* are also noticeably patterned after those of composite bows, and this would be hard to explain without accepting the existence of composite bows in India.


The military steel bow is a good solution to the problem of long-term storage of bows. Minimal maintenance will keep it in fully-functioning condition for a long, long time.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jan, 2011 12:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
That's journalese. My words were "limited penetration into ... southern India".


Gah. For some reason, I was already expecting that the journalist would mangle your words in the process of transmission....
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > The Asian war bow
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum