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The English Longbow: A Revolution In Technology?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the facts behind myths that have grown up concerning the medieval longbow. It provides a brief survey of the arguments and debates that surround this evocative weapon, the way it was used, and how effective it proved to be. The chapter looks at what exactly a longbow is, demonstrating that this fundamental question is not as straightforward as some might think. It considers the weapon?s history and its evolution over a considerable length of time, exceeding the traditional boundaries of the Middle Ages. The chapter examines the other components of the ?longbow system? including not only the all-important arrow, but also the most critical part of the weapon system?the archer himself. It discusses the particular social conditions that contributed to the weapon?s popularity throughout the British Isles.

Keywords: British Isles; evocative weapon; longbow system; Middle Ages



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