In this article we will be looking at several handbooks on archery written in both the Islamic world and in the West with the aim of determining which is the oldest useful manual on archery. Our investigation is guided with criteria in function of which materials were selected, such as availability of the text, the existence of an English version (original or in translation) and its comprehensiveness in covering archery techniques. On the basis of these criteria, it turned out that the oldest useful manual on archery is a book written around 1368 by Taybugha Al-Ashrafi Al-Baklamishi Al-Yunani, The Complete Manual of Archery for Cadets, known in the scholarship as Saracen Archery.
Who Wrote the First “Useful” Archery Manual?
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Figure 1. The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154, one of the most advanced ancient world maps. Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas. (Source)
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