technical military writing

technical military writing

Things Found in Footnotes

A silver coin with Athena seated on a throne holding a round shield with a word in Greek and a B-shaped bow behind her
Although the bow was rarely the most prestigious weapon in the Aegean, it was still an important part of life and warfare. Museum label: “Tetradrachm. Obv. Head of Philetairos right. Rev. Athena enthroned left with shield and spear, legend: ΦΙΛΕΤΑΙΡΟΥ, bow, ivy left, monogram. The Pergamene Kingdom. Attalos I Soter, 241-197 B.C. Silver, chasing. Provenance, 1952.” Photo by Sean Manning, September 2015, of an object in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

On New Years’ Day I was sorting through some old papers from my time in Calgary and found something which set me to cursing. I was looking for an article which I had ordered while I was writing my MA but never done much with. As it was delivered on paper, and I never typed up the citation, I did not have it in Innsbruck and could not find it again. A.D.H. Bivar’s “Cavalry Equipment and Tactics on the Euphrates Frontier” mentions in passing that:

There is support for the general hypothesis that the so-called “Mongolian draw” was used by the Huns, and from them taken up by the Byzantines, in a passage from the anonymous sixth-century chapter on archery, περὶ τοξείας. (p. 284)

He cited a German translation and commentary with the Greek text attached. I was intrigued because the sources on archery in the Mediterranean which are most often used are written in Arabic and date between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. I now have it in arm’s reach, and it is indeed a treatise on archery, and it does date to the first millennium CE.

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