Bows and Arrows of Warby Rit Nosotro
Change Over Time essay
Describe how archery has evolved over the centuries and the impact it has had on warfare.
What does archery usually bring to mind? Maybe Robin Hood from old legends, or Legolas from The Lord of the Rings, or possibly even Jonathan from the Bible might come to mind first. Robin Hood, renowned for his skill with archery, stole from rich to give to the poor, while Legolas killed many enemies with his bow, and Jonathan saved his best friend’s life with the bow and arrow—“Then he shouted, ‘Hurry! Go quickly! Don't stop!’ The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. (The boy knew nothing of all this; only Jonathan and David knew.)” 1 Samuel 20:38-39. However, try thinking about what archery really means beyond the heroes and legends of old—a matter of life or death. Nowadays, archery generally only appears in competitions and pleasure hunting, but people once hunted and fought with bow and arrow in order to survive. Not only has the usage of archery changed, but the appearance and science of the bow and arrow have developed as well, from primitive resources to the best that money can buy. Ever since the bow and arrow first appeared, it has had a huge impact on warfare and survival in general. From the beginning of recorded history to today, archery has developed and grown, but it has retained much of its original design and intent.
Older versions of the equipment that archers used only included raw materials that the archer could find nearby. Therefore, bows used to consist of fexible woods while plant fiber or animal sinew made up the bowstring. In recent times, bows can use wood, but generally consist of fiberglass or carbon, while the modern bowstring includes nylon and synthetic materials. Archers used to have to cut and then carve pieces of wood or bamboo until straight to make the body of their arrows. Arrowheads could consist of bone, volcanic glass, stone, or the archer could make the end of the wooden arrow pointed and sharp. Modern day arrows follow the same basic design of the old ones, but generally have bodies of carbon fiber, aluminum, or fiberglass, with arrowheads of steel or metal. Also, pulley systems have come into existence to aid the modern archer in pulling back and holding the bowstring to take a comfortable aim.
Back when archery first came into use, the bow and arrow became a source of protection. Villagers walking in the wild could protect themselves from potentially dangerous wildlife. Soldiers could protect themselves from ambushes and attacks. Armies could use them to defend their home or to capture a desired fortress. As a matter of life and death, the bow and arrow could also serve as a hunting recourse. Less tedious than using animal traps, and probably more effective than using a slingshot, archery could somewhat accurately kill or at least injure a possible food source for an archer. In the Bible, found in Genesis chapter 27, Isaac told his son Esau to go out and hunt for food, “Now then, get your weapons—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.” More recently, some hunters do hunt using archery, but in a normal circumstance the hunt provides sport for the archer; the success of a hunt does not result in a life or death matter of hunger. Archery also does not currently appear in wars or battles between most countries, although a few tribes in areas such as Africa and South America still depend upon the bow and arrow for protection.
Over the years, especially more recently, archery has slowly become practically nonexistent in wars and battles. Today we use firearms and bombs instead of bow and arrow. However, archery revolutionized the battles fought long ago. Up to the point when archery came into use warriors used spears and slingshots which could only go as far as the man behind the weapon could wield it. With the help of a bow and a strong pull, an arrow could cover far more ground and hit with more deadly force than its predecessors. Archery has often struck fear into the hearts of the archer’s foe—as it says in Jeremiah 50: 29, “At the sound of horsemen and archer every town takes to flight. Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them.” Rationalizing the current warfare, archery was far more useful and logical than using most of the other weapons on hand at the time. Battles could be fought over longer distances instead of in hand-to-hand combat or short distance battle with spears or slingshots. Hebrews, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Africans, Chinese, Romans, Greeks, Goths, Huns, and Europeans all used archery as a battle weapon. Just about any army with archers had a better chance of winning against an army with only slingshots and spears.
Although archery has definitely changed since the people of the Bible first used it, without it history might have turned out much differently. Bows and arrows saved many people’s lives, and even do today. As a means of hunting animals for food, as a defensive or conquering weapon, or as an instrument in competition, the bow and arrow has impacted the world. Physically, the structure of archery has developed, the circumstances for which archers use their bow and arrow has changed drastically, and the way in which warfare utilized archery has nearly come to an end. Archery has etched and will continue to etch an imprint on the world’s mind—even if only in history, legends, and stories.
1. What has archery had a big effect upon?
a. Competitions and the Olympics
b. The rich and the poor people of Nottingham
c. Warfare and survival
d. The way civilizations treated one another
2. What were the tips of the arrows made of in the earlier years of archery?
a. Bone, volcanic glass, stone, or sharpened wood
b. Metal, iron, steel, or fiberglass
c. Feathers, rubber, suction cups, or foam
d. Leather, animal hides, or grass
3. Archery used to mainly be used for:
a. An art of strength and focus
b. A sport
c. Hunting and protection
d. A way to show off
4. Why was archery so much more useful than other weapons at the time it was
a. It looked more impressive than any other weapon
b. It traveled farther than most other weapons
c. Bows and arrows were easy to come by
d. Not all civilizations had the advantage of archery
1c 2a 3c 4b
“Archery.” Microsoft Encarta Encylopedia 2001 Standard.
Author Unknown. Archery <http://www.hickoksports.com/history/archery.shtml> 14 Jan. 2004.
“Bow and Arrow.” Microsoft Encarta Encylopedia 2001 Standard.
Additional information about <http://hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/cot/t0w10archery.htm>
The above essay was donated to hyperhistory.net.
of inaccuracies or plagiarism.
Post a link to this essay,
a great essay
on your blog or website :
|Comparative Essays||Biographies||Doc. Based Questions||Change Over Time|