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An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066
by Ian Heath


This man, from a ms. of c. 924, wears a short mail or scale corselet and a helmet with a nape-guard. Other sources show archers dressed identically to 48. It has often been suggested that such figures as this represent dismounted horsemen which, in view of the fact that horsemen had to provide a bow and one or more quivers of arrows as part of their equipment (see notes 52 and 55), is not impossible.

As we have seen, the bow was first adopted by the Franks in the 4th century, but it only became regulation equipment c. 802 when it was substituted for the applewood club described under 46. However it remained unpopular and archery was never a major element in Carolingian warfare.

The quiver could either hang at the right hip or across the back. Other mss. sometimes show archers with no quiver at all, the arrows being stuffed through their belts or held in the left hand with the bow. The majority of what few Carolingian archers there were would be identical to the Saxon described under 115.
[Based on the Armoured Foot Archers in the Leiden I Maccabees manuscript / Codex Per F 17, Folio 9r - Attack on Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes]

See also an Armoured Carolingian Foot Archer in the Stuttgart Psalter, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod.bibl.fol. 23, folio 12v.
Next: 51. CAROLINGIAN MUSICIAN, in Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath