IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 718: Military Skills and Martial Pleasures, III: Archery and Jousts in War and in Literature

Tuesday 2 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Laura Crombie, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Moderator/Chair:Mark Whelan, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London
Paper 718-aContesting the Chivalric Ideal and Crusading Ethos: Tournaments, Tithes, and Contingents in Late Medieval Scottish Statecraft, 1248-1270
(Language: English)
Katherine Eleutheria Basanti, School of Divinity, History & Philosophy, University of Aberdeen
Index terms: Crusades, Military History, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy, Rhetoric
Paper 718-bHunting, Shooting, and Showing Off: Archery as a Gentry Pastime in Medieval Welsh Literature
(Language: English)
Jenny Day, Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Index terms: Language and Literature - Celtic, Mentalities, Military History, Social History
Paper 718-cThe Reforms in the Byzantine Army of the 10th Century and the Operational Role of the Archers: Tactical Innovation or Adaptation to the Strategic Reality in the East?
(Language: English)
Georgios Theotokis, Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Military History, Technology

As war evolved, so too did styles and purposes of military skills. Tournaments can be seen as training for war, and fighting-manuals (fechtb├╝cher) as distillation of Western Martial Arts, but a nuanced approach to their relation to war is needed. In late medieval Welsh poetry, archery in hunting and target-shooting is praiseworthy for the gentry, yet there is little indication that poets saw this as a preparation for war. In 10th-century Byzantine armies archery was a military necessity, in a mini-tactical revolution archers were incorporated into the heavy infantry and trained hard to shoot in unison for maximum psychological impact.