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Re: VMs: crossbow Sagittarius
At 01:53 14/12/2003 +0100, Rafal Prinke wrote:
I have found (finally!) some examples of Sagittarius
as crossbow man. Some of the German calendars reproduced
on the site of Herzog August Bibliothec display such
"icon" when showing the sign in which the Moon would
be on a given date. <...>
Unfortunately, they are admittedly very simplistic
and all are quite late for the estimated VMS date,
but still they point to an iconographic tradition
of such representation - in Germany.
Great, thanks - the only question I have is (as they are so simplistic)
whether they stylistically represent a man aiming a bow (which fires
arrows?) or a crossbow (which fires bolts?)
However, given that I know nothing about toxophily (beyond its Greek
etymology), this may of course be a stupid question. :-)
Looking again at the VMs Sagittarius crossbowman, perhaps we should to try
to understand the history of the crossbow. Here are some sites to get
started on (though there are plenty to choose from)...
The Internet Archery Society (which seems to be the centre of the modern
archery universe), and some of their pages on the crossbow:-
The Journal of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries has some articles online,
plus an extensive bibliography (but which seems to have been subsumed by
the next website):-
TheBeckoning website has a lot more details on (and references to) crossbows:-
The expert referred to here is Jens Sensfelder (
mailto:Jens.Sensfelder@xxxxxxxxxxx ) - whom I've emailed a picture of the
VMs crossbow man... we'll see what he can tell us about it (fingers
Here's a (very) short list of crossbow-related articles and papers, if you
happen to be going past a library and want to read more:-
* Foley, V., Palmer, G., & Soedel, W., 'The Crossbow', Scientific American,
* Harmuth, E., Die Armbrust [The Crossbow], Graz, Austria, 1975.
* Payne-Gallwey, Sir R., The Crossbow, Medieval and Modern Military and
Sporting. Its Construction, History and Management, with a treatise on the
Balista and Catapult of the Ancients, London, 1958.
* Alm, Josef, European Crossbows, Royal Armouries, London 1994
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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