Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Type of bows Europe in the 10th-13th Centuries Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Type of bows Europe in the 10th-13th Centuries         Reply with quote

Just thought I'd move this to a seperate topic, in order to not sidetrack the Genoese Crossbow Thread.
View user's profile Send private message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Clifford Rogers wrote

Quote:
Gerald is a teller of tall tales, e.g. that beavers castrate themselves to avoid being hunted for their testicles. His testimony on this subject, unsupported by other evidence, is not worth much.


I'd have to agree with you here. If the story of the welsh bow piercing the mailed riders thigh were correct, the welsh bows would be far more powerful than the Mary Rose bows.

Quote:
You are probably thinking of the fourteenth-century Henri de Ferrières, Le Livre du roy Modus et de la royne Racio, ed. Elzéar Blaze (Paris, 1839), dated 1354-77
or (even later c14):
Gaston Phébus, The hunting book
of Gaston Phébus. Manuscrit français 616. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale. Facsimile, intro. Marcel Thomas and François Avril,
commentary by Wilhelm Schlag (London, 1998)

If I interpret them correctly, the former does call for a bow the length of the archer; the latter calls for one two hands-breadths shorter. But those are for hunting bows and both treatises specify they should be on the weak side so that a steady draw can be held for a sustained period. C15 English archers in Ireland were supposed, by statute, to have bow measured between the knocks at the very least the height of the archer plus a "fistmele" [probably a fist].


Thank you Professor Rogers. A read it once and could not for the life of me remember where I had read it.

They may indeed be on the weak side - I think some of the found longbows with lower draw weights may well have been desigend for hunting as well.

But it's not the power of the draw, but the length of the bow that interests me. This is indeed a bow designed for for hunting. However, a shorter bow is more advantageous for hunting, as it is less "cumbersome" when walking in a forest. Not weight, but the length makes the bow easier to snag on underbrush. Modern hunters prefer a shorter bow when hunting for this same reason.

So if a bow for hunting is long, it would make no sense at all for that people's bow designed for battle to be shorter. I would think the length of the bow used for hunting would follow their normal archery tradition as would a warbow.

So with all of this I think the "warbow" of france, though little used, was likley a "longbow" by definition, though not as long as the bows of the Mary Rose.
View user's profile Send private message
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 450

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bows from Kraków and Opole would fit into that period:

http://arcus-lucznictwo.pl/index.php?id=47

Don't know much more about them, not much in the Internet at least, and saldy Opole ones got wrecked during WWII.
View user's profile Send private message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't read the info, but I probably should have mentioned western europe, or even northwestern europe, where the tradition of horse archery and the tradition of composite recurves did not factor in much.
View user's profile Send private message
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 450

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those bows are about ~ 6 feet tall (Kraków) and 200 cm in case of Opole ones, so they probably weren't for horse achery...

Bows weren't really all that popular in Medieval Poland in any case, and certainly not for mounted use, got to go further east for that.

They're of rather 'familiar' roughly D cross section selfbows, with interesting change of shape at the ends though.

Bow from Wawel is interesting in apparently having flat belly and rounded back, instead of other way around.




View user's profile Send private message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My idea of stying out of areas with a horse archery tradition was not for these specific bows, but in general. I was just hoping to stop people from posting info on Magyar or Cuman Horse bows Big Grin

Insteresting though, about a 6' bow. What time period are these estimated form?

One other thing I would find interesting - find some illustration (period of course) of archers that were known to use bows of longbow length, and see if the illustration portray them as shorter.

St Edmund and the Danes would be one example. There is an illustration of his execution by bowmen in the late 9th century, within 100 years of when bows of longbow length have been found for scandanavians, so it would seem to reason that the Danes would be using longbows.

The illustration shows the bows to be of "shortbow" length. However, I am not sure of the date of the illustration.

I guess my main resaon for belief that bows were of longbow length, and that there was not a commonly used shortbow is the archaeological evidence.

We have more than a handful of bows from prehistory through the Renaissance of bows that were roughly 6 feet in length or longer. We have 2 bows to my knowledge that are of a 54" length, both from the same find.

If the "shortbow" was the precursor to the longbow and in common usage throughout Europe, you would expect more finds of these shorter bows. Instead, all we have is finds of predominantly bows of 6' or greater.

Admittedly, we are dealing with a small sample base. But that small sample base points towards longer bows in use throughout history.

The one thing I would say is that it seems most bows, other than the Mary Rose are right at 6' in length - the Mary Rose bows run from about 6' in length to about 7', with a average of about 6'6".

This does point to the Mary Rose Bows being about 6" longer than most other found bows. Why? A gradual lengthening from the 11th century to the 16th? A sudden lengthening? Are the Mary Rose Bows different from the contemporary longbow due to the unit's "elite" status? I really have no idea here.
View user's profile Send private message
Mikael Ranelius




Location: Sweden
Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding the length of hunting bows vs warbows, there are examples of hunting bows that are both comparatively long as well as quite powerful and in all respects difficult to separate from warbows. Saami hunting bows of the 17th and early 18th centuries are described as being about 6 ft in length, and the only completely preserved Saami bow, the so called Örbyhus bow (at 177 cm), is estimated to have pulled ca 70 lbs at 27".
View user's profile Send private message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iteresting about hunting bows. When you compare them to modern bows, the draw weights for hunting bows seem heavy. But the modern bows are much more efficient, based on projectile speed and weight.

For example, I thik for elk a bow in the range of 60-70 pounds is recommended. However, to get the same results of nergy transmitted, a middle ages selfbow would need to be in the 90-100 pound range.
View user's profile Send private message
R. Kolick





Joined: 04 Feb 2012

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Tue 14 Aug, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

read the chapters on shortbows in "The Great Warbow" it answers your questions better than i could as well as give example from the time period your looking for also explains why the shortbow isnt part of the evolution of the longbow but a modern misconception from artwork and propoganda rather than fact there are some ancient bows that have been found in recent years that where over six feet some one posted it on this site but i couldnt find it but it seems unlikly that the bow devolved from a longbow than evolved back into one
View user's profile Send private message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Wed 15 Aug, 2012 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
explains why the shortbow isnt part of the evolution of the longbow but a modern misconception from artwork and propoganda rather than fact there are some ancient bows that have been found in recent years that where over six feet some one posted it on this site but i couldnt find it but it seems unlikly that the bow devolved from a longbow than evolved back into one


My thoughts as well, Mr Kolick.

There have been longbow finds in NW Europe dating back to the stone age.

The one think I do think is a possibility though - the Mary Rose bows were of greater average length by about 6 inches or so than other bows that have been found, and it seems of a heavier draw.

The reason the Mary Rose bows are longer/heavier IMO stems from a few possibilities:

1) The "Longbow" used by the English grew from about 6' to 6'6" from the 11th-16th centuries. Whether this was gradual or a sudden jump at some point in time is impossible to say, as well as if it was a sudden jump when this happened.

2) The Mary Rose Bows were longer and heavier draw than most other longbows of that time, perhaps due to the Mary Rose being a flagship and therefore elite troops.

3) The average self bow was 6'6" long, and the other we have found are on the short end of average.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Type of bows Europe in the 10th-13th Centuries
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 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum