The bow and arrow are known to have been invented by the end of the Upper Paleolithic, and for at least 10,000 years archery was an important military and hunting skill, and features prominently in the mythologies of many cultures.
Archers, whether on foot, in chariots or on horseback were a major part of most militaries until about 1500 when they began to be replaced by firearms, first in Europe, and then progressively elsewhere.
Archery continues to be a popular sport; most commonly in the form of target archery, but in some places also for hunting.
Based on indirect evidence, the bow seems to have been invented near the transition from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic, some 10,000 years ago. The oldest direct evidence dates to 8,000 years ago. The discovery of stone points that could have been employed equally successfully as insets for spears or arrows in Sibudu Cave, South Africa, has prompted the proposal that bow and arrow technology could have existed as early as 64,000 years ago.
In the Levant, artifacts which may be arrow-shaft straighteners are known from the Natufian culture, (ca. 12,800-10,300 BP) onwards. The Khiamian and PPN A shouldered Khiam-points may well be arrowheads.
The oldest indication for archery in Europe comes from Stellmoor in the Ahrensburg valley north of Hamburg, Germany. They were associated with artifacts of the late Paleolithic (11,000-9,000 BP). The arrows were made of pine and consisted of a mainshaft and a 15-20 centimetre (6-8 inches) long foreshaft with a flint point. They had shallow grooves on the base, indicating that they were shot from a bow.
The oldest definite bows known so far come from the Holmegård swamp in Denmark. In the 1940s, two bows were found there, dated to about 8,000 BP. The Holmegaard bows are made of elm and have flat arms and a D-shaped midsection. The center section is biconvex. The complete bow is 1.50 m (5 ft) long. Bows of Holmegaard-type were in use until the Bronze Age; the convexity of the midsection has decreased with time.
Mesolithic pointed shafts have been found in England, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. They were often rather long, up to 120 cm (4 ft) and made of European hazel (Corylus avellana), wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana) and other small woody shoots. Some still have flint arrow-heads preserved; others have blunt wooden ends for hunting birds and small game. The ends show traces of fletching, which was fastened on with birch-tar.
The oldest depictions of combat, found in Iberian cave art of the Mesolithic, show battles between archers. A group of three archers encircled by a group of four is found in Cueva del Roure, Morella la Vella, Castellón, Valencia. A depiction of a larger battle (which may, however, date to the early Neolithic), in which eleven archers are attacked by seventeen running archers, is found in Les Dogue, Ares del Maestrat, Castellón, Valencia. At Val del Charco del Agua Amarga, Alcañiz, Aragon, seven archers with plumes on their heads are fleeing a group of eight archers running in pursuit.
Archery seems to have arrived in the Americas via Alaska, as early as 6000 BCE, with the Arctic small tool tradition, about 2,500 BCE, spreading south into the temperate zones as early as 2,000 BCE, and was widely known among the indigenous peoples of North America from about 500 CE.
The oldest Neolithic bow known from Europe was found in anaerobic layers dating between 7,400-7,200 BP, the earliest layer of settlement at the lake settlement at La Draga, Banyoles, Girona, Spain. The intact specimen is short at 1.08m, has a D-shaped cross-section, and is made of yew wood. Stone wrist-guards, interpreted as display versions of bracers, form a defining part of the Beaker culture and arrowheads are also commonly found in Beaker graves. European Neolithic fortifications, arrow-heads, injuries, and representations indicate that, in Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Europe, archery was a major form of interpersonal violence. For example, the Neolithic settlement at Carn Brea was occupied between around 3700 and 3400 BC; excavations found that every timber structure on the site had been burnt, and there was a concentration of arrow heads around a probable entrance to the enclosure; these arrows may have been used by a large group of archers in an organized assault. 
Chariot-borne archers became a defining feature of Middle Bronze Age warfare, from Europe to Eastern Asia and India. However, in the Middle Bronze Age, with the development of massed infantry tactics, and with the use of chariots for shock tactics or as prestigious command vehicles, archery seems to have lessened in importance in European warfare. In approximately the same period, with the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon and the spread of the Andronovo culture, mounted archery became a defining feature of Eurasian nomad cultures and a foundation of their military success, until the massed use of guns. In China, crossbows were developed, and Han Dynasty writers attributed Chinese success in battles against nomad invaders to the massed use of crossbows, first definitely attested at the Battle of Ma-Ling in 341 BCE.
Ancient civilizations, notably the Persians, Parthians, Egyptians, Nubians, Indians, Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese fielded large numbers of archers in their armies. Arrows were destructive against massed formations, and the use of archers often proved decisive. The Sanskrit term for archery, dhanurveda, came to refer to martial arts in general. Mounted archers were used as the main military force for many of the equestrian nomads, including the Cimmerians and the Mongols.
The ancient Egyptian people took to archery as early as 5,000 years ago. Archery was widespread by the time of the earliest pharaohs and was practiced both for hunting and use in warfare. Legendary figures from the tombs of Thebes are depicted giving "lessons in archery". Some Egyptian deities are also connected to archery. The "Nine bows" were a conventional representation of Egypt's external enemies. One of the oldest representations of the Nine bows is on the seated statue of Pharaoh Djoser (3rd Dynasty, 27th century BCE). Many of the archers in service to Egypt were of Nubian extraction commonly referred to as Medjay, who go from a mercenary force during their initial service to Egypt in the Middle Kingdom to an elite paramilitary unit by the New Kingdom. So prolific were the Nubians as archers that Nubia as whole would be referred to Ta-Seti or land of the bow by the Ancient Egyptians.
The Assyrians and Babylonians extensively used the bow and arrow; the Old Testament has multiple references to archery as a skill identified with the ancient Hebrews. Xenophon describes long bows used to great effect in Corduene.
The Chariot warriors of the Kassites relied heavily on the bow. The Nuzi texts detail the bows and the number of arrows assigned to the chariot crew. Archery was essential to the role of the light horse-drawn chariot as a vehicle of warfare.
The Greek god Apollo is the god of archery, also of plague and the sun, metaphorically perceived as shooting invisible arrows, Artemis the goddess of hunting. Heracles and Odysseus and other mythological figures are often depicted with a bow.
During the invasion of India, Alexander the Great personally took command of the shield-bearing guards, foot-companions, archers, Agrianians and horse-javelin-men and led them against the Kamboja clans—the Aspasioi of Kunar valleys, the Guraeans of the Guraeus (Panjkora) valley, and the Assakenois of the Swat and Buner valleys.
The early Romans had very few archers, if any. As their empire grew, they recruited auxiliary archers from other nations. Julius Caesar's armies in Gaul included Cretan archers, and Vercingetorix his enemy ordered "all the archers, of whom there was a very great number in Gaul, to be collected". By the 4th century, archers with powerful composite bows were a regular part of Roman armies throughout the empire. After the fall of the western empire, the Romans came under severe pressure from the highly skilled mounted archers belonging to the Hun invaders, and later Eastern Roman armies relied heavily on mounted archery.
For millennia, archery has played a pivotal role in Chinese history. In particular, archery featured prominently in ancient Chinese culture and philosophy: archery was one of the Six Noble Arts of the Zhou dynasty (1146–256 BCE); archery skill was a virtue for Chinese emperors; Confucius himself was an archery teacher; and Lie Zi (a Daoist philosopher) was an avid archer. Because the cultures associated with Chinese society spanned a wide geography and time range, the techniques and equipment associated with Chinese archery are diverse.
In East Asia Joseon Korea adopted a military-service examination system from China, and South Korea remains a particularly strong performer at Olympic archery competitions even to this day.
Detailed accounts of training methodologies in early India concern archery, considered to be an essential martial skill in early India. Legendary figures like Drona, are depicted as masters in the art of archery. Arjuna, Bhishma, Indrajit, Ravan, Eklavya, Karna, Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna the great warrior are also associated with archery.
A treatise on Saracen archery was written in 1368. This was a didactic poem on archery dedicated to a Mameluke sultan by ṬAIBUGHĀ, al-Ashrafī.
A 14th century treatise on Arab archery was written by Hussain bin Abd al-Rahman.
A treatise on Arab archery by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr (1292AD-1350AD) comes from the 14th century. Another treatise, A book on the excellence of the bow & arrow of c. 1500 details the practices and techniques of archery among the Arabs of that time. An online copy of the text is available.
Skilled archers were prized in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Archery was an important skill for the Vikings, both for hunting and for war. The Assize of Arms of 1252 tells us that English yeomen were required by law, in an early version of a militia, to practice archery and maintain their skills. We are told that 6,000 English archers launched 42,000 arrows per minute at the Battle of Crecy in 1346. The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 is notable for Henry V's introduction of the English longbow into military lore. Henry VIII was so concerned about the state of his archers that he enjoined tennis and other frivolous pursuits in his Unlawful Games Act 1541.
The advent of firearms eventually rendered bows obsolete in warfare. Despite the high social status, ongoing utility, and widespread pleasure of archery, almost every culture that gained access to even early firearms used them widely, to the relative neglect of archery.
Have them bring as many guns as possible, for no other equipment is needed. Give strict orders that all men, even the samurai, carry guns.— Asano Yukinaga, 1598
Early firearms were inferior in rate of fire (a Tudor English author expects eight shots from the English longbow in the time needed for a "ready shooter" to give five from the musket), and François Bernier reports that well-trained mounted archers at the Battle of Samugarh in 1658 were "shooting six times before a musketeer can fire twice". Firearms were also very susceptible to wet weather. However, they had a longer effective range (up to 200 yards for the longbow, up to 600 yards for the musket), greater penetration, and were tactically superior in the common situation of soldiers shooting at each other from behind obstructions. They also penetrated steel armour without any need to develop special musculature. Armies equipped with guns could thus provide superior firepower, and highly trained archers became obsolete on the battlefield. The Battle of Cerignola in 1503 was won by Spain mainly by the use of matchlock firearms, marking the first time a major battle in Europe was won through the use of firearms.
The last regular unit armed with bows was the Archers’ Company of the Honourable Artillery Company, ironically a part of the oldest regular unit in England to be armed with gunpowder weapons. The last recorded use of bows in battle in Britain seems to have been a skirmish at Bridgnorth; in October 1642, during the English Civil War, an impromptu militia, armed with bows, was effective against un-armoured musketmen. (A more recent use of archery in war was in 1940, on the retreat to Dunkirk, when Jack Churchill, who had brought his bows on active service, "was delighted to see his arrow strike the centre German in the left of the chest and penetrate his body").
Archery continued in some areas that were subject to limitations on the ownership of arms, such as the Scottish Highlands during the repression that followed the decline of the Jacobite cause, and the Cherokees after the Trail of Tears. The Tokugawa shogunate severely limited the import and manufacture of guns, and encouraged traditional martial skills among the samurai; towards the end of the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877, some rebels fell back on the use of bows and arrows. Archery remained an important part of the military examinations until 1894 in Korea and 1904 in China.
Within the steppe of Eurasia, archery continued to play an important part in warfare, although now restricted to mounted archery. The Ottoman Empire still fielded auxiliary cavalry which was noted for its use of bows from horseback. This practice was continued by the Ottoman subject nations, despite the Empire itself being a proponent of early firearms. The practice declined after the Crimean Khanate was absorbed by Russia; however mounted archers remained in the Ottoman order of battle until the post 1826 reforms to the Ottoman Army. The art of traditional archery remained in minority use for sport and for hunting in Turkey up until the 1820s, but the knowledge of constructing composite bows, fell out of use with the death of the last bowyer in the 1930s. The rest of the Middle East also lost the continuity of its archery tradition at this time.
An exception to this trend was the Comanche culture of North America, where mounted archery remained competitive with muzzle-loading guns. "After... about 1800, most Comanches began to discard muskets and pistols and to rely on their older weapons." Repeating firearms, however, were superior in turn, and the Comanches adopted them when they could. Bows remained effective hunting weapons for skilled horse archers, used to some extent by all Native Americans on the Great Plains to hunt buffalo as long as there were buffalo to hunt. The last Comanche hunt was in 1878, and it failed for lack of buffalo, not lack of appropriate weapons.
Ongoing use of bows and arrows was maintained in isolated cultures with little or no contact with the outside world. The use of traditional archery in some African conflicts has been reported in the 21st century, and the Sentinelese still use bows as part of a lifestyle scarcely touched by outside contact. A remote group in Brazil, recently photographed from the air, aimed bows at the aeroplane. Bows and arrows saw considerable use in the 2007–2008 Kenyan crisis.
The British initiated a major revival of archery as an upper-class pursuit from about 1780-1840. Early recreational archery societies included the Finsbury Archers and the Kilwinning Papingo, established in 1688. The latter held competitions in which the archers had to dislodge a wooden parrot from the top of an abbey tower. The Company of Scottish Archers was formed in 1676 and is one of the oldest sporting bodies in the world. It remained a small and scattered pastime, however, until the late 18th century when it experienced a fashionable revival among the aristocracy. Sir Ashton Lever, an antiquarian and collector, formed the Toxophilite Society in London in 1781, with the patronage of George, the Prince of Wales.
Archery societies were set up across the country, each with its own strict entry criteria and outlandish costumes. Recreational archery soon became extravagant social and ceremonial events for the nobility, complete with flags, music and 21 gun salutes for the competitors. The clubs were "the drawing rooms of the great country houses placed outside" and thus came to play an important role in the social networks of local elites. As well as its emphasis on display and status, the sport was notable for its popularity with females. Young women could not only compete in the contests but retain and show off their sexuality while doing so. Thus, archery came to act as a forum for introductions, flirtation and romance. It was often consciously styled in the manner of a Medieval tournament with titles and laurel wreaths being presented as a reward to the victor. General meetings were held from 1789, in which local lodges convened together to standardise the rules and ceremonies. Archery was also co-opted as a distinctively British tradition, dating back to the lore of Robin Hood and it served as a patriotic form of entertainment at a time of political tension in Europe. The societies were also elitist, and the new middle class bourgeoisie were excluded from the clubs due to their lack of social status.
After the Napoleonic Wars, the sport became increasingly popular among all classes, and it was framed as a nostalgic reimagining of the preindustrial rural Britain. Particularly influential was Sir Walter Scott's 1819 novel, Ivanhoe that depicted the heroic character Lockseley winning an archery tournament.
The 1840s saw the first attempts at turning the recreation into a modern sport. The first Grand National Archery Society meeting was held in York in 1844 and over the next decade the extravagant and festive practices of the past were gradually whittled away and the rules were standardised as the 'York Round' - a series of shoots at 60, 80, and 100 yards. Horace A. Ford helped to improve archery standards and pioneered new archery techniques. He won the Grand National 11 times in a row and published a highly influential guide to the sport in 1856.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the sport experienced declining participation as alternative sports such as croquet and tennis became more popular among the middle class. By 1889, just 50 archery clubs were left in Britain, but it was still included as a sport at the 1900 Paris Olympics.
In the United States, primitive archery was revived in the early 20th century. The last of the Yahi Indian tribe, a native known as Ishi, came out of hiding in California in 1911. His doctor, Saxton Pope, learned many of Ishi's traditional archery skills, and popularized them. The Pope and Young Club, founded in 1961 and named in honor of Pope and his friend, Arthur Young, became one of North America's leading bowhunting and conservation organizations. Founded as a nonprofit scientific organization, the Club was patterned after the prestigious Boone and Crockett Club and advocated responsible bowhunting by promoting quality, fair chase hunting, and sound conservation practices.
In Korea, the transformation of archery to a healthy pastime was led by Emperor Gojong, and is the basis of a popular modern sport. The Japanese continue to make and use their unique traditional equipment. Among the Cherokees, popular use of their traditional longbows never died out.
In China, at the beginning of the 21st century, there has been revival in interest among craftsmen looking to construct bows and arrows, as well as in practicing technique in the traditional Chinese style.
In modern times, mounted archery continues to be practiced as a popular competitive sport in modern Hungary and in some Asian countries but it is not recognized as an international competition. Archery is the national sport of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
From the 1920s, professional engineers took an interest in archery, previously the exclusive field of traditional craft experts. They led the commercial development of new forms of bow including the modern recurve and compound bow. These modern forms are now dominant in modern Western archery; traditional bows are in a minority. In the 1980s, the skills of traditional archery were revived by American enthusiasts, and combined with the new scientific understanding. Much of this expertise is available in the Traditional Bowyer's Bibles (see Further reading). Modern game archery owes much of its success to Fred Bear, an American bow hunter and bow manufacturer.
Arab archery is the traditional style of archery practiced by the Arab peoples of the Middle East and North Africa from ancient to modern times.Archery butt
A butt is an archery shooting field, with mounds of earth used for the targets. The name originally referred to the targets themselves, but over time came to mean the platforms that held the targets as well. For instance Othello, V,ii,267 mentions "Here is my journey's end, here is my butt". In medieval times, it was compulsory for all yeomen in England to learn archery; see for example An Act concerning shooting in Long Bows, passed in the 3rd year of Henry VIII.
Several English towns have districts called "The Butts", but they may not always take their names from archery. The Middle English word "butt" referred to an abutting strip of land, and is often associated with medieval field systems. An example is Newington Butts in south London where contrary to popular belief, the 1955 Survey of London published by London County Council could find no historical reference to archery butts. It concluded that the name probably derived from the triangle of land between the roads, as the word "butts" is used elsewhere in Surrey to refer to odd corners or ends of land.The word is also used today for the earthwork mounds on, or before, which targets are mounted on a rifle range, with the object of stopping the flight of bullets beyond the range.Battle of Crécy
The Battle of Crécy (26 August 1346), also spelled Cressy, took place in north-east France between a French army commanded by King Philip VI and an English army led by King Edward III. The French attacked the English army while it was traversing northern France during the Hundred Years' War. It resulted in an English victory and heavy loss of life among the French.
The English army had landed in the Cotentin Peninsula on 12 July. It had burnt a path of destruction through some of the richest lands in France to within 2 miles (3.2 km) of Paris, sacking a number of towns on the way. The English then marched north, hoping to link up with an allied Flemish army which had invaded from Flanders. Hearing that the Flemish had turned back, and having temporally outdistanced the pursuing French, Edward had his army prepare a defensive position on a hillside near Crécy-en-Ponthieu. Late on 26 August the French army, which greatly outnumbered the English, attacked.
During a brief archery duel a large force of French mercenary crossbowmen were routed by English longbowmen. The French then launched a number of cavalry charges by their mounted knights. These were disordered by their impromptu nature, by having to force their way through the fleeing crossbowmen, by the muddy ground, by having to charge uphill, and by the pits dug by the English. The attacks were further broken up by the effective fire from the English archers, which caused heavy casualties. The English men-at-arms had dismounted for the battle, and by the time they received the French charges they had lost much of their impetus. Nevertheless, the ensuing hand-to-hand combat was described as "murderous, without pity, cruel, and very horrible". The French charges continued into the night, all with the same result: fierce fighting followed by a French repulse.
The English promptly laid siege to the port of Calais. The battle crippled the French army's ability to relieve the siege, and the town fell to the English the following year and remained under English rule for over two centuries, until 1558. The battle established the effectiveness of the longbow as the dominant weapon on the Western European battlefield.English longbow
The English longbow was a powerful medieval type of longbow (a tall bow for archery) about 6 ft (1.8 m) long used by the English and Welsh for hunting and as a weapon in medieval warfare. English use of longbows was effective against the French during the Hundred Years' War, particularly at the start of the war in the battles of Sluys (1340), Crécy (1346), and Poitiers (1356), and perhaps most famously at the Battle of Agincourt (1415). They were less successful after this, with longbowmen having their lines broken at the Battle of Verneuil (1424), and being completely routed at the Battle of Patay (1429) when they were charged before they had set up their defensive position.
The earliest longbow known, from what is now England, found at Ashcott Heath, Somerset, is dated to 2665 BC, but no longbows survive from the period when the longbow was dominant (c. 1250–1450 AD), probably because bows became weaker, broke and were replaced, rather than being handed down through generations. More than 130 bows survive from the Renaissance period, however. More than 3,500 arrows and 137 whole longbows were recovered from the Mary Rose, a ship of Henry VIII's navy that sank at Portsmouth in 1545.Gorytos
A gorytos (Ancient Greek: γωρυτός, Latin: gorytus) designated in Antiquity a bow-case for a short recurve, or Scythian, bow. Usually, the gorytos would allow to store the full quiver, with bow and arrows. Many gorytos were highly decorated. Some have been found in Macedonian tombs, such as the so-called "Tomb of Philip" in Vergina of the 2nd half of the 4th century BCE. They were also used by the Persians. Indo-Greeks adopted the recurve bow and the gorytos as part of their horse-fighting equipment from around 100 BCE, as can be seen on their coins.Mongol bow
The Mongol bow is a type of recurved composite bow used in Mongolia. "Mongol bow" can refer to two types of bow. From the 17th century onward, most of the traditional bows in Mongolia were replaced with the similar Manchu bow which is primarily distinguished by larger siyahs and the presence of prominent string bridges.Mounted archery
A horse archer is a cavalryman armed with a bow, able to shoot while riding from horseback. Archery has occasionally been used from the backs of other riding animals. In large open areas, it was a highly successful technique for hunting, for protecting the herds, and for war. It was a defining characteristic of the Eurasian nomads during antiquity and the medieval period, as well as the Iranian peoples, (Alans, Scythians, Sarmatians, Parthians, Sassanid Persians) and Indians in antiquity, and by the Hungarians, Mongols and the Turkic peoples during the Middle Ages.
By the expansion of these peoples, the practice also spread to Eastern Europe (via the Sarmatians and the Huns), Mesopotamia, and East Asia. In East Asia, horse archery came to be particularly honored in the samurai tradition of Japan, where horse archery is called Yabusame.
The term mounted archer occurs in medieval English sources to describe a soldier who rode to battle but who dismounted to shoot. 'Horse archer' is the term used more specifically to describe a warrior who shoots from the saddle at the gallop. Another term, 'horseback archery', has crept into modern use.
Horse archery developed separately among the peoples of the South American pampas and the North American prairies; the Comanches were especially skilled.Pítati
The Pítati (pí-ta-ti) were a contingent of archers of ancient Egypt that were often requested and dispatched to support Egyptian vassals in Canaan. They are recorded in the correspondence of the 1350 BC Amarna letters, and were often requested to defend against the Habiru, also rogue vassal-kings and foreign troops of neighboring kingdoms (for example, Hatti), who were on the attack.
The vassal cities and "city-states" were constantly requesting the services-(protection) of the Pharaoh's armies, by means of this "archer-army" force, basically garrison forces. A request for lodging, and preparations of food, drink, straw, and other supplies required, is often demanded by the pharaoh, for a small, or a large contingent.
The pítati archer force were mercenaries from the southern Egyptian "land of Kush"-(named Kaša, or Kaši in the letters).
The first use of Nubian mercenaries was by Weni of the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt during the Old Kingdom of Egypt, about 2300 BC.Shooting an apple off one's child's head
Shooting an apple off one's child's head, also known as apple-shot (from German Apfelschuss) is a feat of marksmanship with a bow or crossbow that occurs as a motif in a number of legends in Germanic folklore (and has been connected with non-European folklore). In the Stith Thompson Motif Index it is F661.3, described as "Skillful marksman shoots apple from man's head" or "apple shot from man's head", though it always occurs in the form of the marksman being ordered to shoot an apple (or occasionally another smaller object) off his own son's head. It is best known as William Tell's feat.St Mary's Butts
St Mary's Butts is a thoroughfare in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. On its west side is the Broad Street Mall. It is connected to the north with Broad Street, the pedestrianised primary high street of Reading. St Mary's Church and Butts are where the town of Reading originally grew from.To the south, St Mary's Butts reaches a cross-roads, where it meets Gun Street (the western continuation of Minster Street) to the east, Castle Street to the west, and Bridge Street to the south.Stone wrist-guard
Early Bronze Age stone wrist-guards are found across Europe from around 2400-1900 BC and are closely associated with the Beaker culture and Unetice culture. In the past they have been variously known as stone bracers, stone arm-guards and armlets, although "stone wrist-guard" is currently the favoured terminology; and it's no longer thought that they were functional archer's bracers.The Witchery of Archery
The Witchery of Archery, written by Maurice Thompson in 1878, was the first book in English about hunting with a bow ever published. Its full title is The Witchery of Archery: A Complete Manual of Archery. With Many Chapters of Adventures by Field and Flood, and an Appendix Containing Practical Directions for the Manufacture and Use of Archery Implements. It was the first important book about archery written in English since Toxophilus, which was written in 1545. It was said that Witchery "...has as much effect on archery as Uncle Tom's Cabin had on the Civil War.Thumb ring
A thumb ring is a piece of equipment designed to protect the thumb during archery. This is a ring of leather, stone, horn, wood, bone, antler, ivory, metal, ceramics, plastic, or glass which fits over the end of the thumb, coming to rest at the outer edge of the outer joint. Typically a flat area extends from the ring to protect the pad of the thumb from the bowstring; this may be supplemented by a leather extension.Toxophilus
Toxophilus is a book about longbow archery by Roger Ascham, first published in London in 1545. Dedicated to King Henry VIII, it is the first book on archery written in English.
Ascham was a keen archer and a lecturer at St John's College, Cambridge, and wrote Toxophilus or the Schole or Partitions of Shooting to defend archery against claims that it was a sport unbefitting a scholar.Toxophilus is written in the form of a dialogue between two characters, Philologus ("a lover of study") and Toxophilus ("a lover of the bow"), who is also a scholar and defends archery as a noble pastime.
Ascham prefixed his work with an elaborate dedication to Henry VIII, who approved of the book and granted Ascham a pension of £10 a year, which was confirmed and augmented by Edward VI.Turkish archery
Turkish archery is a tradition of archery which became highly developed in the Ottoman Empire, although its origins date back to the Eurasian Steppe in the second millennium BC.Tōshiya
The Tōshiya (通し矢, とおしや, "passing arrow") or the arrows which hit the target, was an archery exhibition contest held on the west veranda of Sanjūsangen-dō temple in Kyoto, Japan.William Tell
William Tell (in the four languages of Switzerland: German: Wilhelm Tell; French: Guillaume Tell; Italian: Guglielmo Tell; Romansh: Guglielm Tell) is a folk hero of Switzerland.
According to the legend, Tell was an expert marksman with the crossbow who assassinated Albrecht Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of the Austrian dukes of the House of Habsburg positioned in Altdorf, in the canton of Uri. Tell's defiance and tyrannicide encouraged the population to open rebellion and a pact against the foreign rulers with neighbouring Schwyz and Unterwalden, marking the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy.
Set in the early 14th century (traditional date 1307, during the rule of Albert of Habsburg), the first written records of the legend date to the latter part of the 15th century, when the Swiss Confederacy was gaining military and political influence.
Tell is a central figure in Swiss national historiography, along with Arnold von Winkelried the hero of Sempach (1386). He was important as a symbol during the formative stage of modern Switzerland in the 19th century, known as the period of Restoration and Regeneration, as well as in the wider history of 18th- to 19th-century Europe as a symbol of resistance against aristocratic rule, especially in the Revolutions of 1848 against the House of Habsburg which still ruled Austria five hundred years later.Yabusame
Yabusame (流鏑馬) is a type of mounted archery in traditional Japanese archery. An archer on a running horse shoots three special "turnip-headed" arrows successively at three wooden targets.
This style of archery has its origins at the beginning of the Kamakura period. Minamoto no Yoritomo became alarmed at the lack of archery skills his samurai had. He organized yabusame as a form of practice.
Nowadays, the best places to see yabusame performed are at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū in Kamakura and Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto (during Aoi Matsuri in early May). It is also performed in Samukawa and on the beach at Zushi, as well as other locations.Yeoman
A yeoman was a member of a social class in England and the United States. It is also a military term.