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Encyclopedia > Mounted archer

A horse archer (or horsed archer, mounted archer) is a cavalryman armed with a bow. Because using a bow requires a horseman to let go of the reins with both hands, horse archers need superb equestrian skills. Horse archery is typically associated with equestrian nomads of the Eurasian steppe. Peoples known to have employed horse archers include the Scythians, Sarmatians, Parthians, Huns, Mongols, Turks, Armenians and Bulgars. In Japan mounted archery is called Yabusame. Italian cavalry officers practice their horsemanship in 1904 outside Rome. ... A bow is a weapon that shoots arrows powered by the elasticity of the bow and/or its string. ... Equestrianism relates to the riding of horses. ... A Horse people is a nomadic or semi-nomadic ethnicity, typically inhabiting the Eurasian steppes, with an emphasis on horse breeding and horse riding. ... African-Eurasian aspect of Earth Eurasia is the landmass composed of the continents of Europe and Asia. ... A steppe in Western Kazakhstan in early spring In physical geography, a steppe (from Russian step) is a plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes); it is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally reckoned as being dominated by tall grasses, while short grasses are... Scythia was an area in Eurasia inhabited in ancient times by an Indo-Aryans known as the Scythians. ... Sarmatian Cataphract from Tanais: compare Pausanias description of armor (text below) Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae (the second form is mostly used by the earlier Greek writers, the other by the later Greeks and the Romans) were a people whom Herodotus (4. ... Reproduction of a Parthian warrior as depicted on Trajans Column The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. Origins Bust of Parthian soldier, Esgh-abad Museum, Turkmenia. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Honorary guard of Mongolia. ... Bulgars (also Bolgars or proto-Bulgarians) a people of Central Asia, probably originally Pamirian, whose branches became Slavicized and Turkic over time. ... Yabusame Archer Yabusame (流鏑馬) is a type of Japanese archery, one that is performed while riding a horse. ...

Drawing a bow requires of an archer to put weight behind his bowarm i. e. standing still. Arrows however have a relatively low lethality, and are useless at close quarters. Foot archers were therefore highly vulnerable, especially against armoured opponents. Horse archers, with their weight resting on horseback could nock and loose arrows in motion. A famous tactic was the Parthian shot, turning away from an enemy while continuing shooting (for this reason, the term parthian arrow can also apply to a particularly nasty parting remark). Reproduction of a Parthian warrior as depicted on Trajans Column The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. Origins Bust of Parthian soldier, Esgh-abad Museum, Turkmenia. ...

The weapon of choice for horse archers was the recurve bow, because it was compact enough to shoot from a horse and retained sufficient range and penetrating power. The only threat to horse archers were arrows and they could wheel away out of bowshot after every attack. They therefore needed little or no armour and could ride light mounts such as ponies. This made them cheap to equip and increased their strategic mobility. A recurve bow is a bow that, in contrast to the simple bow longbow, has ends that curve away from the archer when the bow is held in shooting position. ...

A drawback of horse archers was that the movements of a running horse disturbed the accuracy of the shot. After the invention of the stirrup, horse archers would stand up in their stirrups to absorb the motion of the horse. Another method to facilitate accurate shooting was to time shots between the strides of the horse. Haniwa horse statuette, complete with saddle and stirrups, 6th century, Kofun period, Japan. ...

Horse archers played a pivotal role in the battles of Carrhae and Liegnitz. In both cases horse archers won the day because their opponents depended on direct contact. Horse archers were eventually made obsolete by the development of modern firearms. The Battle of Carrhae was a decisive battle fought in the year 53 BC near the town of Carrhae (now the present-day ruins of Harran, Turkey) between the Roman Republic under the Roman general Crassus and the Parthian Empire under the Parthian general Surena. ... Legnica (pronounce: [lεgniʦa], formerly Lignica, German Liegnitz) is a town in south-western Poland, with 108,000 inhabitants (1995). ... A firearm is a kinetic energy weapon that fires either a single or multiple projectiles propelled at high velocity by the gases produced by action of the rapid confined burning of a propellant. ...

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