Weapons of the Trojan War. Bow and Arrows (part six)

The bow is one of the earliest known weapons of war, and it was also the most convenient weapon the hunter. The use of simple wooden bows and arrows has been witnessed in Europe since the end of the Upper Paleolithic period (before 10550 BC). In Greece, the bow probably appeared during the Neolithic period, although it never reached here the value and distribution it had in Eastern societies. During the period of the Aegean world of bronze, two main types of onions became widespread: simple wooden onions, sometimes reinforced with tendons, to prevent breakage and increase the strength of the bow; and a composite bow, which combined four materials: wood, horn, animal tendons and glue. Even wood was sometimes taken from different trees with different ductility.


Weapons of the Trojan War. Bow and Arrows (part six)

Odysseus shoots from his famous bow. Shot from the film “Wanderings of Odyssey” (1954). As Odyssey Kirk Douglas.

Simple and compound bows can be divided into several types based on their shape: simple curved bow (Fig. A); double convex bow (fig.b); double concave bow (fig. с, d,); doubly concave bow (Fig. e); a triangular bow, largely characteristic of the Middle East and Egypt, as evidenced by the images on the frescoes (fig.f, g). Some other types of bows are identified with the population that used them. For example, the Scythian bow (Fig.h), used also in Greece by the Scythian mercenaries and the Greeks themselves.


Types of bows by their form.

One of the most perfect bows of the Trojan War era of interest to us was found in the tomb of Pharaoh Ramses II, who reigned from 1348 to 1281 BC. Wood, horn and tendons were used to make it, and outside it was varnished and gilded - a luxury, of course, worthy of the great Pharaoh!

It is believed that the bows of the two types mentioned above were used in the Trojan War: simple and composite bows of the eastern type (in this case, most likely of the Egyptian type). There will be nothing improbable in the fact that some bows entirely stood out from the horns. For example, in Egypt in Abydos, a bow of the First Dynasty was found, made of two horns of an oryx antelope and jointed with a wooden handle. Likewise, it can be assumed that the legendary bow of Odyssey, which could not be pulled by any of the ill-fated bridegrooms, could also be made using horn details.

Antinous tries to make the bow more pliable and holds it over the fire, the horn just becomes softer from heating. On the manufacture of such a bow could go horn plates, carved from the horns of a wild goat, abundant vodivshiysya while in Greece, and on the islands of the Aegean Sea. Known horns, which, being composed together, had about 120 cm, that is, it is quite enough to make two extremities of them.


Tip from Pylos (around 1370 BC)

Based on the large number of arrowheads found in Achaean graves, as well as based on artistic images, we can conclusively argue that archery was well known from the very beginning of the Mycenaean civilization and was used both in hunting and in war. Iconographic monuments also indicate that the bow was used by both infantry soldiers and warriors who fought in chariots. It is interesting that, judging by the texts of Homer, the archers did not fight alone, but were covered with huge rectangular shields or large round shields that were carried by special shield-bearers. The high prevalence of onions in the Achaean society also indicates the presence at that time of the relevant artisans who specialized in the manufacture of bows only and who received good “salary” for their work.


Mycenaean crater with archers (around 1300 - 1200 b. BC). Discovered in Tomb No. 45, Enkomi, Cyprus. (British museum)

The arrowheads, found both in the excavations on mainland Greece and on the islands of the Aegean Sea and in Asia Minor, are made of different materials and have a different design. Part of the tips made of flint or obsidian.

Obsidian heart shaped tips from Pylos (around 1370 BC). Judging by the shape of the recess, they could be mounted in the shaft of an arrow either with tendons or ... just with resin in a saw cut at the end. It is possible that such a form appeared specifically so that the tip breaks off easily and remains in the wound.

It is known that such tips, as well as bone-turned, were used in war and hunting for a very long time, since the metal was expensive and losing the tips, even if they hit the enemy, was an unacceptable luxury! It is known, for example, that the English archers in the era of the Hundred Years War in the battles of Crécy and Poitiers, at the first opportunity, ran out from behind their hedges and ran to pull out their arrows from the people and horses wounded by them, although they could probably replenish their ammunition. . But no - they did just that, and not only that “the stock does not rub the pocket,” but also because there was a problem with the metal, and the stock of arrows was rather limited.

As you know, there are two main types of arrows: vtulchatye and petiole. The first ones are usually cast in stone forms, and for their production, light-flowing bronze is used. Such tips, for example, acted Scythians at a later time.


Scythian arrowheads of the 8th century BC. - IV c. n e.

In form, they resembled either a neat sheet, or resembled a trihedron in shape, but on the side they had a sharp spike, which did not allow to extract such a tip from a wound without significant damage to it. Petiolate - more characteristic of the Middle Ages. They were made of iron and were forged, and were attached with a hole in the shaft of the arrow, where their petiole was inserted and wound outside with tendons. Interestingly, the Eurasian steppes became the place of appearance of the vtalky arrowheads. They appeared around 2 of the millennium BC. e. in the Andronovo culture. Here both the petiole and the bronze-tipped bronze tips appeared at the same time. But petioled tips then did not receive wide distribution.


Bronze cast tips of stalked type from Santorini on the island of Crete (1500 BC)

Only in Central Asia and Kazakhstan with the beginning of the 1 of the millennium BC. e. they became the defining form. A distinctive feature of the Eurasian tips was the development of forms, allowing them to be easily classified. But the arrowheads of the Front and the entire Middle East are amorphous, which is explained by the different significance of this type of weapon for these regions.


Bronze arrowhead IV. BC e. Ointus, Chalkidika.

Another type of tip that was encountered on the territory of Greece in Mycenaean time was a clamping tip, similar in design to the most ancient spearheads (see previous material).


Fastening the tip of the clamping type.

It had a V-shape without a sleeve and without a stem and was inserted into the split of the pointed shaft of the arrow so that its pointed edges went out. After that, the splinter was wrapped with tendons, and ... the arrow was ready for use, and the metal itself was spent on the tip to a minimum.


Flat V-shaped tips from Knossos (1500 BC)

As already noted, bows were used not only by infantrymen, but also by chariots. The latter practiced archery in motion, in the direction of the target (and obviously also in the wind!), Which allowed increasing the range of the boom by as much as 20%. Even women and those at that time were shooting a bow, as indicated by the images on the seals.
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  1. Riv
    Riv 8 October 2015 09: 15 New
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    Wouldn't I start this time with a legend?

    Euryth, the bash of Oykhallia, knew how to shoot from a bow so that he was considered a disciple of Apollo himself. Allegedly, he received his bow as a gift from the teacher. It so happened that Eurithus did not get along with Hercules, and you know what ended up those with whom Hercules did not get along? Heuryth was no exception. He was succeeded by his son Ifit, also a good archer. He gave his father's bow to Autolycus, an ally of Hercules, and he bequeathed a weapon to his grandson, Odysseus. This legend is mentioned by Oldie in "Odysseus, the son of Laertes." In general, the Odysseus in the starting picture is holding a bow very, very difficult. So to estimate: the whole history took fifty years. For any weapon, half a century is a deadline.

    The bow of Hercules also participated in the siege of Troy. In general, they knew how to make weapons then, but only a few surviving samples have survived to this day. They can literally be counted on the fingers. Does this mean that bows in ancient times were extremely limited in combat? In the Iliad, after all, the fighters who considered the bow to be the main weapon are also hardly mentioned. Odysseus, Tevkr, Paris ... and that’s all. The list is complete.

    The reason most likely is that archery is an art. You need to train your whole life so as not to lose your skills and get where you need to. The shot of Odysseus, when he passed an arrow through twelve rings, is just an example of such skill. Where and when to train the peasant whom the leader took with him on a campaign? Well, with a sling he will still manage, but with a bow - hardly. The few guards of the leaders also preferred melee weapons. In general, the bow at that time was almost exclusively the weapon of the leader, and even then not everyone, and only to give it to the woman ... No, of course you can depict anything on print. Artemis, for example. But what is allowed to the goddess is not allowed to the ordinary human female.
    1. kalibr 8 October 2015 09: 30 New
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      Yes, that's right, the English archers, even the peasants, studied their skills for a very long time. The French peasants could not afford it, but this is another story. And so - yes indeed, that's right. Only about women. There are always exceptions to the rules. Known, for example, in Rome, women-gladiators, women - the commanders of knight troops. So someone could easily shoot a bow, not necessarily Artemis. Although it was hardly typical. In Athens, the women sat at home, and in Sparta, they ran half-naked together as boys and all the other Greeks condemned them.
      1. V.ic 8 October 2015 10: 11 New
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        Quote: kalibr
        Yes, that's right, the English archers, albeit peasants, studied their skills for a very long time.

        Read A. Conan Doyle's "White Squad" and your irony will fade somewhat.
        1. Riv
          Riv 8 October 2015 10: 43 New
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          Read, you know. Archer competition with a crossbowman and all that ... But you know, for example, that if you change the length of the bowstring by a couple of centimeters, will the bow beat in a completely different way? You have to get used to it again. And how many times will a shooter change a bow? Moreover, at one time I was not even able to bend dhanur so as to pull it. Then they showed how to do it. Estimate, what it is to change a bowstring in battle, under fire ...

          Women, say, with bows? Peasant snipers? Well, maybe somewhere there were such ... :)))
          1. kalibr 8 October 2015 11: 10 New
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            I did not say that snipers. But it was indicated to them to shoot regularly on Sundays, and the lads to hold the stone in their left hand, gradually longer and longer ... There are many interesting studies in the longbow in England, it is their ... the most that, I understand. And women .. I don’t really believe in popular articles about Amazons, but Scythian women and Sarmatians used bows and swords, this is evidence of historians of that era and archaeological finds.
            1. Riv
              Riv 8 October 2015 15: 03 New
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              Well, it’s a sport, on Sundays ... :) It’s like going to karate training once a week, or lifting the iron from the floor once a day.
              1. svd-xnumx 8 October 2015 21: 24 New
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                Well, it’s a sport, on Sundays ... :) It’s like going to karate training once a week, or lifting the iron from the floor once a day.
                In ancient times, they didn’t observe much “Sundays”, and the majority of people lived in hunting and gathering. And if you used to use onions from an early age, but in those days you went to the forest, then from a bow or from a sling into a man ” there were many craftsmen. Of course, in Greece or in Egypt where the people received civilization and the landowners hunt the hunters (excuse the pun) they recaptured their health, but the Scythians wandered and they hardly had enough horses to feed.
              2. kalibr 8 October 2015 22: 15 New
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                Obviously the same Edward I and Henry VIII believed that this was enough. Truth and the archers at the first was only ... 80 man! This is then to learn to shoot obliged all!
            2. gladcu2 8 October 2015 22: 18 New
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              This case of Franks with the Britons, when they used priority due to the long leverage of the bow, is probably an isolated one.

              I do not think that in that crowd the accuracy of the shot played a role. Take advantage of the range. That bow, due to its size, allowed potential energy to be quickly converted into kinetic. With a relatively small tensile force, i.e. pumping.

              Therefore, they took advantage of the peasants. Pull and shoot.

              If you pay attention to the schemes of all bows, then one principle is visible. Lengthen the levers of the onion, and reduce the onion itself, reduce in size. Therefore, all these bows in one way or another wavy.

              But the materials are of course important. Otherwise, the transition of potential into kinetics will not receive the necessary acceleration.
        2. kalibr 8 October 2015 11: 06 New
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          I read the White Detachment and from there I even have passages in the book "Knights of the Middle Ages" 1997. - "The book in the book." But I also read a number of studies by British historians on the longbow. And what exactly did you dislike about this passage?
    2. Orang 8 October 2015 13: 32 New
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      Quote: Riv
      Well, with a sling, he still can handle

      It is no easier than onion to master. Launch a stone in a crowd of enemies, you can probably quickly learn how to get into a running person, such as the Balearians, you need to learn from childhood.
      1. Riv
        Riv 8 October 2015 15: 01 New
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        Even learning is useless. It is not difficult to learn how to spin a sling at the same speed, but you can’t adjust the stones to a uniform size, each one flies out of the sling with a different moment of rotation and also flies in different ways.
        I somehow heard that in the army of Alexander the Great, calibrated lead balls were used as shells for a sling. With such a shell, you can probably hit very accurately. But I have little faith that someone would give an ancient slinger expensive metal for casting.
        1. Orang 8 October 2015 17: 33 New
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          Quote: Riv
          I somehow heard that in the army of Alexander the Great, calibrated lead balls were used as shells for a sling. With such a shell, you can probably hit very accurately. But I have little faith that someone would give an ancient slinger expensive metal for casting.

          I suspect there was more lead then and it was easier to mine. Not only for bullets, but also for construction was enough. Clay bullets were also used.
          Sling is in principle difficult to use. I in the country with a child tried to get an apple from a sling into a large box of steps from ten to fifteen. Uselessly. From a homemade onion (twig), in essence, no problem.
          1. kalibr 8 October 2015 21: 57 New
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            These were not balls! Lead bullets have a characteristic shape (and they were found!) Like a plum stone, only forms of rotation. And they were also cast mirrored inscriptions: reptile, pig, get ... and even "killed me."
            1. Glot 8 October 2015 23: 19 New
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              Lead sling bullets have a characteristic shape (and they were found!) Like plum stone


              Yes, yes, exactly, they look like bones. good
        2. Orang 8 October 2015 17: 42 New
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          Quote: Riv
          But I have little faith that someone would give an ancient slinger expensive metal for casting.

          Why? In those days, it was not only enough for bullets. but also for construction. There was clearly more lead. Bullets for a sling were also made of clay, stones were probably processed for better geometry and the same weight. Among archaeological finds there are such shells.
        3. Orang 8 October 2015 17: 49 New
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          Quote: Riv
          But I have little faith that someone would give an ancient slinger expensive metal for casting.

          Why? There was enough lead even for construction. Bullets for the sling were also made of clay, the stones were probably processed for better geometry. Similar shells are in archaeological finds.
        4. Aljavad 8 October 2015 21: 39 New
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          I somehow heard that in the army of Alexander the Great, calibrated lead balls were used as shells for a sling. With such a shell, you can probably hit very accurately. But I have little faith that someone would give an ancient slinger expensive metal for casting.


          Alexander was rich, but not stingy! I saw in the museum (damn sclerosis! In Moscow? Kerch? Sevastopol?) Ceramic "bullets for the sling.
        5. gladcu2 8 October 2015 22: 29 New
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          Riv

          You are so logically contradicting the generally accepted story in Hollywood films that by captivity you believe in a liberal supplement. It seems that deceiving, in history has already begun from the period of the Middle Ages.

          But when the school taught the transition to manufactories, the emergence of a new class, the bourgeoisie. Exalted as positive progress. Something seems to me that the collapse of the USSR was laid in the subconscious even earlier than the 80s.

          Sorry for getting away from the topic. Just reasoning in the ear.
        6. Glot 8 October 2015 23: 17 New
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          I somehow heard that in the army of Alexander the Great, calibrated lead balls were used as shells for a sling.


          So it was, and not only spherical in shape. Once he twisted in his hands a lead bullet from the time of A.M. from around Tire. Oval, with cone-shaped edges, depicting a scorpion and keravna. Such a large, heavy contraption. smile
          It was evident that the production of these bullets was well placed. In principle, they often come across, different.
    3. brn521 8 October 2015 14: 11 New
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      Quote: Riv
      Where and when to train the peasant whom the leader took with him on a campaign? Well, with a sling he will still manage, but with a bow - hardly.

      A sling is harder to handle than a bow. True, the cost of manufacturing and operating slings is incomparably lower than in the case of onions.
      It is strange only that I do not recall evidence of the effective use of slingers in antiquity. Despite the fact that there were, for example, Roman lead ammunition, just for this purpose, a medical treatise on how to remove them from the body with a penetrating wound. Well, the remarks of the reenactors that an experienced slinger is able to give such pigs energy comparable to the energy of a musket bullet.
      1. otto meer 8 October 2015 16: 02 New
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        Quote: kalibr
        Yes, that's right, the English archers, albeit peasants, studied their skills for a very long time.

        I don’t agree! The British fired from the bow in volleys over squares, preferring mounted fire. Individual units were not targeted by anyone. Therefore, the "integrity" of an individual archer is greatly exaggerated. The rate of fire and endurance was important. And often, "firing" from an onion, "Vaughn that way!", A healthy, physically strong peasant is not at all difficult to learn and not for long. Although of course I do not argue, there were some masters but, I repeat, they crushed the "mass".
        1. Aljavad 8 October 2015 21: 44 New
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          The British fired from the bow in volleys over squares, preferring mounted fire.

          This is you "Braveheart" seen enough. By attacking knights, yes mounted fire? Directly MLRS some!

          Read about the centennial war primary sources, but look at the pictures.
          1. kalibr 8 October 2015 22: 03 New
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            That's just the sources of the Hundred Years War say that they shot a volley and on the squares. Otherwise, why did horses have armor on their withers and on the rump? Croup something about what! And the arrow falling from above terribly hit the horse! Horses fell, lay down, threw horsemen. To the knight himself such a bombardment was a little scary - the helmet was pointed - they only needed to tilt their head forward and that was all! True, there were reports that arrows shot through the hips to the knights and nailed them to the saddles! We have about this in Russian available to the book D. Nicolas "French army in the Hundred Years War".
        2. kalibr 8 October 2015 22: 12 New
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          Yes, everything is so, and then they ran to the "heap is small" of knights and horses, pulled out living arrows from them, and who were moving, they beat their beaters at the Bosko with lead beaters. Even helmets did not save! And then they ran back behind the stakes and fired again.
      2. gladcu2 8 October 2015 22: 36 New
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        brn525

        Well then. Famous case. David and Goliath.
      3. kalibr 9 October 2015 08: 02 New
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        Well, how? Xenophon ... "The retreat of the 10000 Greeks" ... He writes about the great losses from Persian slingers!
        1. otto meer 9 October 2015 10: 33 New
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          Dear Caliber, thank you for your support in our ungrateful work). I'll add more. When shooting the Angles lined up in chains. On the flanks of the chains stood the most experienced shooters who set the elevation angle. The sergeant stood on one of the flanks facing the flank and using the extreme flanking as markers checked the elevation along the entire chain. So they achieved accuracy. I hope I have clearly described it. I saw such a reception at the reenactors from Bremen. And they dug in some kind of instructions.
        2. brn521 9 October 2015 11: 33 New
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          Quote: gladcu2
          David and Goliath.

          There we are talking about the chosen hero and his exploits. Those. not really that.
          However, from the same source, “Benjamin's Left-Handed Slingers (Book of Judges) inflicted heavy losses on the Israelites, and David had selected soldiers who“ threw stones with their right and left hands ”(Chronicles).” - Manfred Korfmann.
          Quote: kalibr
          Well, how? Xenophon ... "The retreat of the 10000 Greeks" ... He writes about the great losses from Persian slingers!

          Thank. And then I only read Xenophon in a free translation abstract.
          As a result, Google leads to the most appropriate link on the issue http://www.xlegio.ru/ancient-armies/missile-weapons/the-sling-as-a-weapon/.
  2. Reptiloid 8 October 2015 10: 36 New
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    Thanks for the article, Vyacheslav. I learn new things for myself.
  3. abrakadabre 8 October 2015 14: 54 New
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    As always, it is very interesting and informative. Thank you for the article.
    It would be worthwhile to clarify in the figure with the types of bows that they mainly depict bows in a tense state. And so should be depicted with a bowstring.
    When not taut, most bows are very different in shape from the one shown.
    1. kalibr 8 October 2015 22: 04 New
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      Yes, you are right, it did not occur to me, although something "not that" seemed all the time ... Well, I did not understand. And I do not know how to draw.
  4. chelovektapok 8 October 2015 17: 09 New
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    The article is good, but the "depth of centuries" is not as far away as it seems. Indigenous Siberian ethnic groups in the late 19th and early 20th centuries widely used onions in everyday life. Also, arrowheads were divided into:
    - fishing for furs. So that the "skin does not sport the blunt end with sufficient tip weight,
    - on ungulates, for an extensive wound with maximum loss of blood. Wide tips with sharp edges.
    - combat (armor-piercing) narrow of iron and steel. For breaking through leather clothes and protection applied by the enemy.
    The bow is free from the flaws of a gunshot. It does not have a characteristic sound when sending a cartridge into the chamber, or clicks when cocking the trigger. That is, it will not disturb the target in preparation for the shooting. With a relatively lower range, it is very effective in the forest, where trees and branches level any "long-range" to about 25 meters.
    1. brn521 9 October 2015 11: 04 New
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      Quote: chelovektapok
      The bow is free from the flaws of a gunshot.

      And the crossbow is devoid of the imperfections of the bow. While in Europe the bow was pretty quickly supplanted by a firearm, the crossbow was still nearby for a long time as a hunting weapon. They even tried to drag him into the cavalry, but the pistols that appeared appeared to be more effective.
  5. Bully 8 October 2015 17: 56 New
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    In Russia, archers called masters making bows. Warriors using bow were called archers. In chronicles when describing battles, archers are often mentioned. By the way, the name of the zodiac sign speaks for itself.
  6. unknown 9 October 2015 10: 19 New
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    "The depth of centuries is not so far."
    Rather, quite close.
    Phantom Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
    Real Byzantium with the era of civil wars, reflected in history as the Turkish invasion. Three hundred knights with St. Omer in Thermopylae. And this is the fifteenth century, even according to traditional chronology.
    And in what language are the sources of the so-called Hundred Years War written?
    The English language was created together with the Shakespeare project, and this is the second half of the fifteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century?
  7. Ivan Ring 19 October 2015 22: 50 New
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    In principle, in principle - a general educational article.
    Unfortunately, tactical techniques for using a bow on the battlefield of that time were not indicated. Flanks, center, through the heads of the attacking phalanx? It would be interesting to hear these additions.