Saracen Archers in Southern Italy


Erice - Norman castle in ItalySaracen Archers in Southern Italy

De Re Militari, June (2001)

Giovanni Amatuccio

During the first phase of their Southern Italian conquest, the Normans included archers in their troops; but such usage seems to have been sporadic and simple. The tactic calledfleindriva, of Viking origin, was employed in such battles as Civitate(1); but some records leave us to think that these were not professional archers. Instead it appears that they were simple foot soldiers recruited from the native populations and equipped [in case of necessity with...] with the necessary bows and arrows. This is confirmed by episodes at the Palermo siege and Battle of Durazzo. During the siege of Palermo (1071) Robert the Guiscard armed his infantrymen with bows and slings with which to shoot the Arabs that were attempting a sortie.(2) According to Anna Commena, the archers that accompanied the Norman expeditionary force in Epirus were just young striplings and decrepit old men, recruited from every part of Southern Italy, and they did not have any knowledge of handling a bow.(3)

In early twelfth century Southern Italy, as in the rest of the Continent, crossbowmen were being increasingly used in place of archers. But an important exception to this was represented by the presence of Muslims, whose culture contained a strong archery tradition, in the Norman-Swabian armies. The Normans, soon after the conquest of Sicily was complete(4), began using Sicilian Saracen mounted and foot archers as auxiliary troops: in 1076 they were included in the Guiscard army at the seizure of Salerno(5); in 1091, they followed Count Roger to besiege Cosenza; in 1094 to Castrovillari; in 1096 to that of Amalfi(6); in 1098 the strong army of the Count that crossed the Messina Strait was composed largely of Saracens.(7) From 1130 King Roger II used pedites saraceni in his Royal Guard during the fight against rebellious nobles, in order to sustain the foundation of his Regnum Siciliae.(8)

Fredrick II reinforced the use of Saracens in Southern Italian armies. After having put down the last of the rebellions in Sicily he deported to Lucera, in Puglia, the most troublesome Saracens who had refused to convert. Here the Emperor founded a flourishing Arab colony, which continued their traditions and customs for about a century, as well as the right to practice their own religion.(9)

In exchange for tolerance shown by the Emperor, the Lucera Saracens were engaged to furnish contingents for the imperial army. In September 1229 Fredrick directed his army of Saracens against Capua. It is likely that they also followed him to the Holy Land as his personal guard, but it was in the wars against the Northern Italian Guelfs that their employment became extensive according to the records. In September 1236, 7000 Saracen archers were concentrated near Mantova and they took part in the seizure of Montichiari castle.(10)  The year after they were in the army of the Emperor at the battle of Cortenuova (27th November 1237) against the Lombard League. The sources refer to 7000 – 10,000 troops, which intervened at the end of the battle – “emptying their quiver”, as quoted by Pier delle Vigne – and probably saved the army from a repeat of the defeat at Legnano.(11)  In 1248 they numbered 4000 as the army suffered a severe defeat at the siege of Parma.

After the Emperor’s death, Saracen archers continued to serve his son Manfred with the same devotion. They were present at the battle of Guardia dei Lombardi (1254) between the troops of the Pope and Manfred, where they forced Papists entrenched behind a curtain wall into the open field.(12) In that same year at San Germano the number of Saracens in Manfred’s service was 2000 – 3000. The city was captured thanks to a group of Saracen archers, who secretly entered the city, allowing the Prince to enter by the main gate.(13) In the battle of Montaperti, Manfred sent an army of 800 Swabian knights and numerous Saracen archers to help the Ghibellines of Siena, who were being pressed by the Count of San Severino.(14) On the 18th October 1264, they followed Manfred to the Marche.(15)

During the battle of Benevento (26th February 1266), between Manfred and Anjous troops, Saracen archers had a large role in the first phase. Saba Malaspina describes the this way:” … saraceni namque de Luceria, qui aliis armis, quam arcubus sunt accincti…” These Saracens, numbering 10,000 began the battle shooting arrows at the Anjous troops, but after the first clash the Saracen Anjous knights that turned the battle in favor of the Anjous dispersed formations. Saba Malaspine describes the effects of the Saracen arrows upon the French like this:

“… Verum Saraceni de more, prius quam se jungant nor-maliter hostibus , ex pharetris tela promunt, et sagit-tandes subito ribaldos sine numero sauciant emissaeque plus, vel minus, prout ex lacertis fortioribus prodeunt post tergae sagittae, serpentis ad instar sibilant inter siccas stipulas et vimina gradientis, feriuntque inopina-tae ac irremediabililiter ex hoc in illum, velunt fulgura super terram. Et, dum frequentius emittentur, nonnullae in diversis corporum partibus violentae subsistunt; modo-que in capite, modo in facie geminae residentes, nova cornua configuant ac, affixae circum pectus et scapulas, siccos ramos aut ex traneas propaginum palmites metiuntur.”(16)

 

With the rise of the Anjous in the Neopolitan Realm, Lucera’s abnormal weapons were “normalized”, but they continued to use Saracen archers in their army: in the Balkan campaign; in the Tunisia Crusade; and in the War of Vespro, where they opposed Almugavers troops and marched up the peninsula in the service of Pedro d’Aragona. The Anjous also used Saracen archers as “foot-marines” for naval combat and for possible landings. On 16 April, 1273, the Royal Admiral Philippe de Toucy ordered to remove from each ship thesupersalientes (sailors intended for the shroud) and replace them with 10 Saracen archers.(17)

In truth, at this point the number of Saracen archers’ recruited decreases, and in fact in the Swabian force the number was reduced from thousands to a hundred men. We do not know if this decrease is caused directly by the Anjous rulers, wary towards those that had bravely defended the Swabian cause, or, more simply, the record keeping became more accurate in the numbering of troops furnished. Registers of the Anjous Chancellery during the Balkan Campaign (1280-81) and Vespro’s War (1282-84) furnished detailed figures concerning the recruitment and movement of Saracen archers.

SARACEN ARCHERS IN THE ANJOUS ARMIES

CAMPAIGN DATE MOUNTED FOOT
Balkan 30 April 1273

-

200 (18)

“”

27 April 1279

20

200 (19)

“”

28 June 1280

-

60 (20)

“”

19 September 1280

-

200 (21)

“”

24 July 1281

-

300 (22)

Vespro 3 June 1282

100

500 (23)

“”

10 March 1283

100

500 (24)

“”

8 April 1283

100

-  (25)

“”

27 April 1283

90

200 (26)

“”

12 March 1284

100

200

“”

15 May 1284

100

500 (27)

In order to make a fair comparison of these relative figures, we may assume some data derived from the same year (1283) concerning the recruitment of Italian soldiers. An order was given on 10 July to recruit 667 crossbowmen and 1333 spearmen from the entire continental kingdom.(28)

The study of these events introduces the emergence of certain technological advancements in weapons production in Southern Italy and the rest of Europe. It is difficult to establish how the composite bow reached Europe. Penetration probably came through a few channels in Eastern Europe (Avars, Magyars, and Uns), in Spain and in Italy. In Italy, a land with peculiar borders, the composite bow appears in many Renaissance art pieces (pollaiolo, Mantegna, etc.) and a few of these pieces are displayed in museums of Venice and Bologna. Yet they lack clear references to the previous period.

It can be hypothesized how the composite bow in the Medieval period was obtained by the Mariner Republics in their contacts with the populations of Asia. Yet more likely is the possibility that it was Byzantine influence, which had remained strong for many centuries on the peninsula. The Byzantines had adopted the composite bow from Asians whom they had come in contact with, and made it an important weapon in their own armies.

It is clear that the bow used by the Italian Saracens were composite, as with their Ultramarine brothers. The textual references are faulty but there is sufficient evidence in the Anjous Curia documents of the Thirteenth Century to confirm this. Document charts include arcu de corno (horn bows), which were certainly composite bows. There are some references toarcu de osso (bone bows), which likely means the same type of bow.(29)

It is during the Anjous period that we find more obvious records of the activities of Lucera’s Saracens, both as archers and as manufacturers of bows, crossbows, arrows, and war engines. Registers of the Anjous Curia provide us numerous records of a Lucera Chazena, for example, a farm where Saracen artisans fabricated bows, crossbows, arrows, and also siege engines and iron weapons.(30) Such records are useful in identifying the attitude of Italian Saracens concerning the usage and construction of composite bows.

During Fredrick II’s reign, we have news of an imperial order sent on the 21st of February, 1240, making reference to carpenters, tarisiatores (armory and siege engine artisans), and Saracen Magistri that were in the pay of the Imperial Curia in Melfi, Canosa, and Lucera.(31)

These sources also speak of large quantities of animal nerves purchased for the Magistri Arcarii of the Chazena and others.(32)  These nerves and sinews were perhaps used more for the production of the bows than for the bowstrings, since the back of the composite bows were strengthened with animal tendons. In fact, the string of such bows and crossbows in the middle ages were as often made not of animal sinew, but hemp or silk.(33)

In the treasure room of the Castle at Lucera there are many weapons, among which were a large quantity of bows. The treasure room came first into Manfred’s possession and then, after the Battle of Benevento, into the possession of Prince Charles of Anjou.

Of course bows, arrows and bolts were also manufactured in other areas of the Kingdom. For instance, in Messina was the gazena fleckiorum, i.e. an arrow factory.(34) During the year 1270 they manufactured throwing weapons and engines of war in the Castel Capuano of Naples.(35) In the Principality of Salerno they produced a great quantity of crossbow bolts. In times of need, such as Vespro’s war, composite bows were purchased from Corfu and Arezzo.(36)

Unfortunately none of these bows or arrow artifacts has survived to further confirm this hypothesis concerning the use of composite bows. However, We can produce comparisons with the coexistent iconography of both southern and northern Europe. First we have numerous representations that clearly, as shown by their curvature, are bows of Eastern derivation. Remember the Norman-Byzantine mosaics of Palermo. Also the bronze door panels of Barisano of Trani (an Apulian sculptor of the Twelfth Century) where is represented some archers clearly using composite bows since the rigid ears (in Arabic, sihyat) of the composite bow are clearly seen.(37)  One other important iconographic source for our study is the plates of Liber an Honorem Augusti, an illuminated manuscript of the Twelfth Century that illustrates events occurring in the transitional period between the Hauteville and Hoenstauffen dynasties.(38)  In a detailed analysis of the representation of bows and archers in the Liber’s plates, we observe the characteristic shape of bows considerably curved, with tips that are straight and rigid that look like the “ears”.

Opposing this we have North-European iconography, where the bows are represented straight, without the characteristic curvatures of composite bows. These appear to be bows solely made from a single piece of wood.

Events in Southern Italy confirm the general European trend of the increasing use of the crossbow. The Catalogus Baronus, a documentary source from the Twelfth Century that lists the number of milites from each Neopolitan Kingdom, records only ballistarii and no Sagittarius.(39)  The records of the Thirteenth Century speak often of crossbowmen but indicate the presence of archers only when there are Sicilian or Apulian Saracens.

The difference in the use of the crossbow and bow during the Anjous period can be seen in one order sent on the occasion of the campaign in the Balkans, in which is listed the quantities of bolts and bow arrows produced by each province in the Kingdom.

REGION BOLTS
“ad unum pedem”
BOLTS
“ad duos pedes”
ARROWS
Sicilia Ultra 60,000 15,000

-

Sicilia 400,000 100,000 25,000
Terra di Lavoro e Molise 120,000 30,000

-

Principato e Benevento 40,000 10,000

-

Capitanata 20,000 5,000 25,000
Basillicata 40,000 10,000

-

Crati e Valle Giodana 40,000 10,000

-

Calabria 40,000 10,000

-

In summation we have 790,000 crossbow bolts ad unum pedem, 190,000 crossbow bolts ad duos pedes, and just 50,000 arrows. It is interesting to observe that these last were produced in just Western Sicily, where there remained a heavy Muslim presence, and in Capitanata, which is the Lucera region. This data provides us clear evidence that among the Anjous troops, both French and Italian, the crossbow had become predominant, while the bow remained the weapon of choice for the Italian Saracens.

The number of Saracen soldiers is large. Lucera had a population of 35,000-40,000, which would allow for probably 5,000-6,000 combatants. Of course not all of the Saracen troops were archers. Some of them were certainly spearmen and cavalry. Yet the sources only mention the archers, clearly indicating that the bow was still their overwhelming weapon of choice.

It is common to find within great Imperial armies the different people rely on the weapons that are prevalent within their cultures rather than adopting an Imperial standard. Staying in this period this practice is seen within the Byzantine foederati. The case of the Italian Saracen is no different. The Normans, Sawbians, and finally the Anjous employed them not as generic troops but made a point to call upon their talents as archers.

In the original sources we find that those archers were both mounted and on foot. Yet it is clear that even when they fought on foot they used horses for transportation. In fact the Sicilian Saracen mode of combat relied on great masses of infantry (among them archers) and light cavalry armed with sword and spear. Thus they used Fatimit type tactics as opposed to Turkish or Mameluk, both of which relied primarily on horse archers. But it should be noted that the sources do distinguish between the mounted and un-mounted archers, both in recruitment and pay. This would lead us to believe that there was some difference in how they were employed.

Their tactical use was as support for heavy cavalry. In both the Norman and the Hohenstaufen armies there appears to be very little in the way of an infantry line (pike men and spearmen). Instead the army was organized into a strong core of mounted knights supported by these marksmen. Within the Swabian army there was again a strong core of knights, which would charge the enemy after the archers had disrupted the enemy ranks with their rapid firing. During this same period the Arab archers of Saladin, in Palestine, fought while standing in front of the infantry lines. After they had discharged their arrows they returned to the back ranks.(40)

Was this the same for our Italian Moslems? We do not know, but we may presume this. Certainly their roles in the battles did not appear decisive. The accounts of some battles, like Parma, Cortenuova, or Benevento, show that their contributions were marginal. In almost all cases there is a point made about their lack of discipline and order. At Parma, a citizen infantry defeated them after they had left their camp, unarmed, to enter and plunder the city. At Cortenuova they entered the combat right at then end of the battle and it is clear their role was not determined. At Benevento their lack of cohesion is evident when they attacked the French “ribaldi.”

Generally, the effect of shooting arrows at mailed men in the Middle Ages has vexed scholars. It is the same for our case, and it remains a problem to determine if the Saracen arrows were capable of piercing their enemy’s armor. Each archer was armed with a bow and a bow case with twenty-five arrows.(41) Their only defensive armor consisted of spaulders, a mail shirt, and roella (buckler).

In regards to the archery supplies, the documents contain very few terms, most of which are difficult to interpret, since the originals are not available and we must rely on the transcriptions done by the Regesta’s authors. In a few transcriptions the Latin terms used are coccaris and argagiis or arcariis.(42)  These terms have been translated by some as “knocks” and “quivers.” But they do not appear in the Ducange and we are only able to risk a guess. We should reject translating the coccarii as simply as “knocks” since knocks are specific parts of the arrows. If this were true the text would also likely refer to the feathers and tips being delivered to the archers as well. We can hypothesize then that the termcocariis might refer to the quiver. Quivers were referred to in ancient French as coccures, in addition to the more common term carquois. Both terms derived from the Francon kukur, which in Greek-Byzantine had replaced the classical pharetra becoming kukuron.(43)  The term arcagiis, instead, could be interpreted as the bow case.

The monthly income of the archers amounted to nine tari and fifteen grains of gold for each foot soldier, and nineteen tari and ten grains of gold for each mounted archer. Christian soldiers in the same army received two ounces of gold a month (squires and mounted crossbowmen) or twelve tari (French crossbowmen). It is interesting to note that from the pay was subtracted the cost of the bow, which the men returned at the end of the war.(44)

I would like to conclude this paper by answering some of the questions that have emerged. Why during almost three centuries of living together in the same kingdom and in the same army was there not an integration of the weapons system? Why, if the crossbow was more effective than the bow, did not the Italian Moslems adopt it? If the composite bow was more effective why did the Italians not adopt it? These are some of the questions posed by Verbruggen concerning the English longbow(45), but here they are even more puzzling because the people live in the same kingdom.

It is my opinion that the reasons in this frontier for a people choosing a weapon system was motivated by ideological factors. The Italian Saracens, like all people of the Muslim religion, had always made an art of archery. Muslim literature is thick with inscriptions and manuals treating the use, training, and production of bows.(46) We do not find as much record in Arab-Sicilian literature, but it is easy to see how these Italian Moslems were as attached to the weapon as were their brothers overseas.

We can also observe how the Moslem use of archery is attached to their tradition. They possessed a specialized technology when it comes to the production of the composite bow, to combine with a spiritual belief in archery. They had the ability to combine horn, sinew and wood to produce an effective weapon, strong enough to compete with the crossbow on the battlefield.

More importantly, however, was the spiritual motivation. For Moslems archery practice constituted a fard kifayah, a religious task proscribed by the Koran and a collection of holy writings that affected not just a single person but also the entire community. This collection was the Prophet’s forty ahadith, concerning the excellence and qualities of archery and how it was a necessary art for all believers.(47) The ahadith demonstrate that beyond the religious concerns there are benefits coming from the social and “sport” use of the bow. To teach archery to children, to practice it constantly, etc. bring out the benefits of both the mind and body.

Oddly, this Muslim situation eliminated any chance of prejudice against archers, as existed in the West. For the Christians the ars sagittaria was cowardly or odibilem. For the Moslems it was holy and recommended. Still, we have to add that despite the Moslem knowledge of the use of the crossbow they still preferred the bow for technical and spiritual reasons. We know the Moslems were also familiar with the construction of the crossbow. In fact, according to Imperial records, the Sicilian Kingdom was famous for the construction of crossbows.(48) A Medieval Arab treaty on the crossbow attributes the crossbow more power than the bow, but dictates that its use was deplorable because it reminds one of the Christian cross.(49)

It is clear that the deep-rooted tradition resulted in the acceptance of the constant practice and drilling with the bow. In the Muslim world archery was practiced at all times and in all places in order to prepare for war. So in summary we can speak of a virtuous circle consisting of the weapon efficiency, drilling, and ideological factors that played on one another. This use of the bow in Southern Italy did not mean the use of the crossbow did not expand, however. As in Europe, where there was no ideological motivation or technological skill to maintain the archery tradition, the bow eventually had to yield to the more effective and easier to use crossbow.



  1. For fleindriva see L. Musset, Problémes militaires du monde scandinave, in Ordinamenti militari in occidente nell’AltoMedioevo, Spoleto 1968, p.240. The battle of Civitate (1053) saw the Normans against an army gathered by Pope Leo IX, composed of Germans and Italians, and clearly marked the Norman supremacy in the South. See, among others, GUGLIELMUS APULIENSIS, La geste de Robert Guiscard, French ed. by M. Mathieu, Palermo 1961, II.155-257.
  2. Ibid, II.260
  3. ANNA COMMENA, Alexiades, French ed. by B. Leib, Paris 1967, I.14.1
  4. A classic work about the history of Muslim Sicily is M. Amari, Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia, 3 vol., Catania 1933-39.
  5. AMATO DI MONTECASSINO, Storia dei Normanni volgarizzata in antico francese, ed. by V. De Bartholomaeis, Roma 1935, VIII.14
  6. GAUFRIDUS MALATERRA, De rebus gestis Rogerii Calabriae et Siciliae comitis et Roberti Guiscardi ducis fratris eius, ed. by E. Pontieri, in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores , vol.V, part I, Bologna 1927-28, IV.26
  7. LUPUS PROTOSPATARIUS, Rerum in Regno Neapolitano gestarum breve chronicon o Annales , ed. by G.H. Pertz, in Monumenta Germanie Historica, SS V, Hannover 1884, ad anno 1908.
  8. According to Romualdo Guarna (Chronicon, in Del Re, cit., p.7) in 1128 they took part in the siege of an unidentified castle of Obman. In 1132 and 1134 they fought with the King on the Sarno river, against the Prince of Capua (FALCONIS BENEVENTANI Chronicon de rebus aetatis sua gestis, in Del Re, I, pp.212 and 226). In May 1133, 6000 Saracen archers were among King suite directed from Sicily to Puglia, where they fought at the siege of Montepeloso (ALEXANDRI TELESINI De rebus gestis Rogerii Siciliae regis libri IV, in Del Re, vol.I, II.43).
  9. For a history of Lucera’s Saracen Colony, see P. Egidi, La colonia saracena di Lucera e la sua distruzione, in “Archivio Storico per le province napoletane”, XXXIII-XXXVI, Napoli 1911-1915. For a general regard to his military history see, P. Pieri, I Saraceni di Lucera nella storia militare medievale, in “Archivio Storico Pugliese”, VI, 1953
  10. PIER DELLE VIGNE, Lettera enciclica, in J.L.A. Huillard Breholles, Historia diplomatica Frederici II, Paris 1852, vol.V, p.139; PARISIO DA CERETA, Annales Veronenses, in MGH, SS, XIX, p. 10
  11. Ibid, p. 35
  12. NICOLAUS DE JAMSILLA, De rebus gestis Frederici II imperatoris ejusque filiorum Conradi et Manfred Apuliae et Siciliae regum, in Del Re, II, III.5
  13. SABA MALASPINA, Rerum Sicularum Historia, in Del Re, II, p.151
  14. On the battle of Montaperti, see the study by E. Salvini, Montaperti 1260. Un problema di datazione, in “Archivio Storico Italiano”, CXLVIII, 1990, p.298
  15. MATTEO SPINELLI, in Del RE, p.642 and passim
  16. SABA MALASPINA., cit., III.10
  17. 6th April 1273, ibidem, t. XXII, disp. Iv, p.18.
  18. C. Minieri Riccio, Il Regno di Carlo d’Angiò dal 2 gennaio 1273 al 5 gennaio 1285, in “Archivio Storico Italiano”, 1875-1881, S.III. T.XXII, IV DISP. 1875, p.25.
  19. Ibid, t.II, disp.vi, 1878. p.354
  20. Ibid, anno 1879, t.III, disp.I, p.22
  21. Ibid, disp. II, p.35
  22. Ibid, t.IV, disp.IV, p.153
  23. C. Minieri Riccio, Memorie della Guerra di Sicilia negli anni 1282-1283-1284 tratte da’ registri angioini dell’Archivio di Stato di Napoli, in “Archivio Storico per le Province Napoletane” 1876, I, p.87
  24. Ibid, p.278
    .
  25. C.Minieri Riccio, Il Regno…, cit.,
  26. Ibid, a.1880, t.V, disp.II, p.181
  27. C. Minieri Riccio, Memorie…, p.311
  28. C. Minieri Riccio, Il Regno…, t.V, disp.iii, 1880, p.353
  29. See the same orders quoted before: 27th April 1279, 3th Juin 1282, 12th March 1284; and one other order in 30th April 1273 (C. Minieri Riccio, Il Regno…, t.XXII, iv disp. 1875, p.25 .
  30. In 12th November 1282 it was ordered that the Saracen miles Riccardo of Lucera manufacture 60,000 arrows (G. Minieri Riccio, Memorie…, cit., p.98); while on 17 April 1284 the Prince of Salerno was ordered to manufacture bolts, arrows and bows for Saracen militias directed torward Sicily (ibidem, p.151)
  31. J.L.A. Huillards-Breholles, Historia diplomatica friderici secundi, 6 voll., Paris 1852-61, vol.V, II, p.764
  32. In a previous order in 10 October 1239, it is provided the purchase of glue and tendons for Magistri working in Canosa ( ibidem, p.241). In 1267 the Magister Sandalus of Lucera’s Chazena, acquired 1981 cow tendons (G. Del Giudice, Codice diplomatico del regno di carlo I e Carlo II d’Angiò dal 1256 al 1309, Napoli 1863-1902, II.10). In the same year Magister Leo obtained a sum of money to purchase tendons of deer and buck (C. Minieri Riccio, Saggio di un codice diplomatico formato sulle antiche scritture dell’Archivio di Stato di Napoli, Napoli 1878-83, vol.I, p.40).
  33. In fact, in one other order (28 October 1281) they were required 300 cantaia of hemp spun for siege engines and 10 cantaia for crossbow strings (G. minieri Riccio, Il regno…, cit., year 1879, t.IV, disp. IV).
  1. Huillard-Breholles, cit., vol.V, I, p.587
  2. An act of 30 November, lists the manufacturing workers employed in the castle: among them there are a bolts sharper, a fletcher (payed 12 grana each day) and four arrows makers (payed 14 grana each day). (RA, VII, n.124, pp.30-31) (C. Minieri Riccio, Alcuni fatti riguardanti Carlo I d’Angiò dal 6 di agosto 1252 al 30 dicembre 1270, in 2archivio Storico italiano”, Napoli 1874, IV, I, p. 139).
  3. On 12 October 1284, it was ordered to buy 300 arcu de corno in Corfù which at that time belonged to Anjou (C. Carucci, Codice Diplomatico Salernitano, Subiaco 1932, vol.II, p.42). In 29 January 1284 it is ordered to a Lucca’s merchant to buy in Arezzo 300 bows “de cornu cum eorum cordis necessariis faretris, arcariis et sagittis” (Ibidem, p.132)
  4. The Barisano’s bronze doors are in the Chatedrals of Ravello (SA) , Trani (BA) and Monreale (PA).
  5. PIETRO da EBOLI, Liber ad honorem Augusti sive de rebus Siculis, ed. by T. K”lzer- M. St„hli – G. Becht J”rdans, Sigmaringen 1994, plates V, XVI, XXII and passim.
  6. E. Cuozzo, Catalogus Baronum. Commentario, Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, Fonti per la Storia d’Italia, 101, Roma 1984, passim.
  7. C. Cahen, Un traité d’armurie composé pour Saladin, in “Bullettin d’études orientales”, 12(1948), pp.103-165, p. 148.
  8. 30th April 1273, see supra, note …
  9. Ivi.
  10. C.Battisti, I nomi longobardi delle armi e la loro sopravvi-venza nella lingua e nei dialetti italiani, in Ordinamenti militari in Occidente nell’Alto Medio Evo, Settimane di studio sull’Alto Medio Evo, Spoleto 1968, v.II, pp.1068-1099.
  11. 27th April 1279, C. Minieri Riccio, Il Regno…,cit., t.II, disp.vi, 1878, p.354.
  12. J.F. Verbruggen, The art of warfare in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, second ed. a c. di S. Willard and R.W. Southern, Bury St. Edmunds 1997, p. 120.
  13. Among the others: J.D Latham- R.N. Paterson, Saracen Archery, London 1970; N.A Faris – R.P Elmer, Arab Archery, Princeton 1945.
  14. For the ahadith see Fazlur Rahman Boqi, Kitabu fada’il ir-ramyi fi sabili’llah, in “Islamic Culture”, XXXIV, n.3, July 1960, p.200.
  15. In a Frederick order (30th March 1240) is stated a Magister balistarius, Symone de Syria, which worked for imperial Curia (Huill.Breh., vol.V, ii, p.868); as well as in the same period in England worked another crossbow-maker callled Peter the Saracen (R. Payne Galleway, The crossbow, 9th ed. London 1990, p.62).
  16. M. Reinaud, De l’art militaire chez les Arabes, in “Journal Asiatique”, Septembre 1848, pp.193-225, p.216.

© De Re Militari  (June 2001)


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