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Old 11th August 2021, 04:06 AM   #1
ausjulius
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Default extent and spread of turko-mongol bows in europe

it just crossed my mind that it is unusual that the turko-mongol bow never spread to the entirety of europe.

the romans had composite bows, im not sure about the preroman construction of celtic bows? if anyone has some info ?

but the superiority of the nomads composite bows over the older near eastern composite bows and the solid wood bows is just obvious to anyone whos ever shot one. same with the arrow designs of the nomads for that matter.

its not just a matter of more power to weight and easier draw but more accurate, better release and you can use longer arrows for a shorter bow faster to draw, show with ease from a horse and shoot faster.. ect ect.

the price of making them is much higher probably in actual terms of the day 10 or 20 times.. and they cant really be stored in arsenals very long without them degrading very fast so that might be something.

but considering the massive numbers of professional soldiers in europe, many of them archers who would own their own bows.. it seems odd they didnt spread well. people understood composite crossbow limbs.

russia, hungary, the balkans ect and poland used the turko-mongol bows and theyed been present in eastern europe since the huns invasions at-least.. (along with roman & greek composite bows )
bows arnt my specialty.. but it is curious and form what i can see it is quite odd..
for example i wounder how common composite bows were in spain an area under arab influence for quite some time.. or in southern france in the areas on the mediterranian?

and i do wounder how far the nomads composite bow penetrated into europe?

i find it odd that there was no religious barrier.. Hungarians and poles for example were Catholics.. so medieval knights could have seen the nomad composite bows with ease and could have purchased them..

also some medieval art dosnt look like theyer using composite re-curve bows of some type.. more like the roman type. but most art from western europe clearly shows wooden self bows.

i wouder if one of the western eurpean composite bows has survived?


stubborn english maybe ? also i wounder if there is examples of composite re-curve bows being made in medieval england ?
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Old 12th August 2021, 01:14 PM   #2
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Probably lack of skilled workmen, what makes an expensive production, confronted with an existing alternative, what prevents the formation of those skilled workmen.

If they had any chance, possibly the XIVth century plague crisis, ended it, making handwork more rare and impulsing industrial methods.

In the case of Spain, both sides, muslims and christians, were early adherents of crossbows.
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Old 12th August 2021, 07:57 PM   #3
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During the middle ages, two types of bows evolved in the Iberian peninsula; the Eastern, also known as the 'two-turn' bow; and the English, known as the 'long bow'.
From the 8th century onwards, it started being known in the Iberian Peninsula, probably due to Arab influence, a type of double-curved bow that prevailed in Portugl until the 12th century. Designed to be used on horseback, with enormous elasticity, it was considered magnificent for both war and hunting, having some acceptance at the time until it was supplanted by the crossbow. Built with three types of materials, bone, wood and sinew, they required the greatest care in their adjustment. It is a mystery today how the different parts of a double-curved arch were so firmly connected and how the tendon or gut that gave the arch its elasticity was treated, and especially how the glue that resisted such effort when the bow was used. Another mystery is that of the thick polishing that seems indestructible, applied to the entire outer surface of the bow, to protect the various substances from humidity and ruin, and which resisted, without cracking, its considerable flexion.
The last European nation to equip itself with units that used the Moorish arch was Venice. Not only did they import the bows but also Turkish archers to handle them.

The crossbow is not as modern as it might be thought, because in 1139 in the Councilium of Latrão, Pope Innocent II prohibited the use of the crossbow between Christians.

Attached are:
A Portuguese archer shooting a two turns bow in an illuminated page of the Apocalypse of Lorvão, dated 1189 and a Tukish horseman shooting the double turn bow while riding (Istambul)


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Old 14th August 2021, 03:39 PM   #4
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that is interesting so the turkic bow had some foothold in iberia.. its interesting that about the time crossbows really got popular in rurope middle easterners abandoned them..

i remember reading the medieval english would buy additional wooden bow shafts from portugal and spain to fill demand as the price was cheaper..
kind of in the same way theyed buy amour parts from central europe and knife blade from the lowlands to rehandle.


as to skill i doubt it after all they made plenty of laminated crossbow prods.. and if it was skill they could just hire hungarians or tatars ect to make them for them.

maybe our perception of wooden bows being dominant in europe is a bit skewed by modern ideas?
it could very well be that it was only the british isles where it was totally dominant and maybe other areas turco-mongol and other types of recurve bow were much more common that we presume ?

also what happened to the native mediterranian laminated recurve bows in history.. its odd they just vanished?

the saami, people of the baltic and finns used laminated recurve bows of a two wood type. more primitive than the siberian a or nomads bows. but still a step closer.. it just seems so odd that such technical martialistic people as medieval northern europeans had such inferior bows.. but great crossbows,, amour ,, weapons.. fortifications ect..

mabye they just liked wooden bows? like it was a thing they took pride in even if less practical? i wounder if there is any medieval writing on the topic. because after all english for example were masters of archery.. .
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Old 15th August 2021, 11:46 AM   #5
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In the battle of Aljubarrota (August 1385), where the Portuguese secured their independence from Spain, 800 local crossbow men were sided by 300 highly trained English long bow archers.
Attached is how Portuguese artist Gregório Lopes (c. 1490-1550), recriated the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, a martyr from the III century condemned by emperor Diocleciano.


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