Jump to content


Photo

Conan And Archery?


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#21 William Blake

William Blake

    Warrior

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:27 AM

It's really weird. I can't read new posts until I post something. The boards keep freezing on me.

#22 William Blake

William Blake

    Warrior

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:31 AM

I could see Conan with a two shotguns and full swat body armour.

I am not going to mess with a bow site. I saw one at a used store today. It looks like a pain. There are too many bells and whistles for compounds; besides I don't like the guy who runs the store. I think he is a sleazebag. I can usually hit what I am aiming at if it is a decent sized target with my bow without a site. I don't have any money anyway. I'm not going to mess with it. I saw a nice used Browning bow for ninety bucks but it was set around 75 or 80. I can draw it but I wouldn't want to shoot with it all day because I am just such a scrawny punk and all.

#23 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:45 AM

A little something from one of the Kern threads that seems pertinent here...

Quote

"Just out of curiousity.. what's the beef with Cimmerians using bows?"
--- Crom's Bones

Well, I guess it's because Conan had a beef with bows. In Queen of the Black Coast (CoCp.125), Conan says that the bow is not his "idea of a manly weapon" and that he "learned archery among the Hyrkanians". Would Conan grow up thinking archery was "unmanly" when he was surrounded by his fellow Cimmerian clansmen enthusiastically using bows and arrows on all their enemies foreign and domestic? Would he then decide to make up for lost time when he lived "among the Hyrkanians"? Honestly, can anyone see Conan not learning a weapon of war native to the Cimmerians while he was growing up? Posted Image


Quote

"I've seen that on the boards a few times now, and it doesn't make sense to me... since the invention of the bow, what civilization hasn't used one?
Not only that, but if Howard tells us that Cimmerians are advancing rapidly because of contact with more civilized nations (and more rapidly than the Picts, who eventually are wearing full armor), why would Cimmerians adopt culture and technology other than that which would be some of the most practical and functional they could possibly have.. i.e. the bow... of course adopting it from a civilized nation assumes they weren't using it in the first place, which with something as functional as a bow, doesn't make sense to me in the first place.
To me its like saying, "Cimmerians ate food? "



Actually, the majority of cultures throughout history ("civilized" or otherwise) have used the bow as a weapon of hunting. The use of the "war-bow" has been more limited. The Homeric/Mycenaen Greeks seem to have had little, if any, archer contingent. That was what made Paris' killing of Achilles so heinous, the fact that the Trojan used a bow to do so. The Macedonian army had very few bowmen and had to recruit mercenaries from Crete (who had been renowned for a millenium). The Romans also had essentially no native archers, later enlisting auxilliaries from Syria for the job. However, they seem to have preferred slingers from the Balearic Isles. In medieval Europe, bowmen were rare. There were good archers in Great Britain (but not Eire) and Scandinavia, but in most "civilized" kingdoms, "archers" actually used the arbalest/crossbow. Even Howard reflects this by having the Argosseans and Aquilonians use the arbalest (except for the Bossonians). The crossbow is a much easier weapon to learn than the war-bow. The warriors of the Aztec Empire (Triple Alliance) used atlatls, not bows. As you can see, "archery" and "successful military" don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. Hope that helps.

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#24 monk

monk

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,679 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:nymfc/negril

Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

maybe we are reading into it too much- he seems love the bow when he's pin cushioning hyenas. and he must have liked it enough to be able to drop corsairs at whim- even almost taking out belit til some whim shifted his shot. i took that line from QotBC to be laced with a touch of wit- after all, it is death from a distance you're not up close and personal, and that's sort of how I took his meaning when he says it's unmanly, maybe he was just reinforcing his top position in the crew as well.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#25 Boot

Boot

    Mauler of Shadizar

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 921 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:45 AM

maybe we are reading into it too much- he seems love the bow when he's pin cushioning hyenas. and he must have liked it enough to be able to drop corsairs at whim- even almost taking out belit til some whim shifted his shot.



I think Conan adapts, learns, grows, and changes behavior. The comment he makes about bows not being a "manly" weapon is what he learned as a young-un, back in Cimmeria. As Conan has traveled, his experiences have taught him organized modern warfare instead of the big-freakin'-horde method of fighting that he learned at Venarium. He's become good on a horse. He's learned the effectiveness of armor. And, he's learned to put away his Cimmerian prejudices and recognize the bow for the powerful weapon of war that it is.

Conan's comment is indicative of the time in his life that he said it.

#26 monk

monk

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,679 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:nymfc/negril

Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:31 AM

well he knew about armor from the jump boot.

think about it again- consider it from the perspective of a warrior in the kind of life conan was in.

in battle, wouldn't you prefer to be taken out mano a mano in the thick of melee where your life or death had a lot to do with you, or suddenly have an arrow sprout from your chest from out of nowhere while you are still downfield...or if you are fighting or chasing picts you catch a shaft out of the woods and you never even see the warrior who took you out.

a bow in and of itself is definitely not a manly or unmanly weapon due to anything intrinsic as you say- hell I'd like to see some 'men' even draw one lol. conan was often in the ranks of mercenary foot soldiers, spearmen, etc. to whom archery would have been a devastating bane, lots would be taken out before they could even close.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#27 Ironhand

Ironhand

    The Mad Playwright

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,858 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Saint Louis, MO, USA

Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:42 AM

I think that once Conan became a mercenary, and some of the archery was on HIS side, he saw the value of it - certainly when he stood singly against a horde of enemies. Even Conan would have wanted to reduce the numbers of his foes when they numbered 20 or 40.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#28 Boot

Boot

    Mauler of Shadizar

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 921 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:14 AM

I also think that Cimmerians will do anything, grab any weapon, to prevail in combat. That will to survive is one of the few things given them by Crom. Manly weapon or not, Conan will use every advantage at his disposal to defeat his enemy.

#29 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:22 PM


maybe we are reading into it too much- he seems love the bow when he's pin cushioning hyenas. and he must have liked it enough to be able to drop corsairs at whim- even almost taking out belit til some whim shifted his shot.



I think Conan adapts, learns, grows, and changes behavior. The comment he makes about bows not being a "manly" weapon is what he learned as a young-un, back in Cimmeria. As Conan has traveled, his experiences have taught him organized modern warfare instead of the big-freakin'-horde method of fighting that he learned at Venarium. He's become good on a horse. He's learned the effectiveness of armor. And, he's learned to put away his Cimmerian prejudices and recognize the bow for the powerful weapon of war that it is.


Good post, Boot. B) On the whole, I agree. Just a few points...

Robert E. Howard never wrote a yarn featuring a Gaelic archer. It doesn't exist. Not Conan of Eire-ann, not Cormac na Connacht, not Cormac Mac Art, not Turlogh Dubh (nor all the Gaels at the Battle of Clontarf). Not Cormac Fitzgeoffrey. CMA sailed around with bow-slingin' Danes for years and never became an archer. Just sayin' it appears that, in REH's mind, "Gaels/Cimmerians did not equal archery".

Also, in a letter to HP Lovecraft, Howard told the Man From Providence that the bow was a "non-Aryan" weapon. Apparently, REH felt that the bow was adopted from "Turanian/Asiatic" tribes. He makes a note of "Aryans" preferring up-close/hand-to-hand combat. This is echoed by O'Connell in his excellent, Of Arms and Men.

Outside of QotBC, we rarely see Conan using a bow.

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#30 Amra_the_Lion

Amra_the_Lion

    Free Companion Mercenary Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 677 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United States of America

Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:13 PM

Outside of QotBC, we rarely see Conan using a bow.


Zuagir Bow - A Witch Shall Be Born

Behind them swept a horde of horsemen yelling in a familiar tongue, waving red swords--the exiles, returned!
With them rode fifty black-bearded desert riders, and at their head a giant figure in black mail.

"Conan!" shrieked Valerius. "Conan!"

The giant yelled a command. Without checking their headlong pace, the desert men lifted their bows, drew and loosed. A cloud of arrows sang
across the square, over the seething heads of the multitudes, and sank feather-deep in the black monster.


Argossean Bow - Queen of the Black Coast

"Give me a bow," requested Conan. "It's not my idea of a manly weapon, but I learned archery among the Hyrkanians, and it will go hard if I can't feather a man or so on yonder deck."

Shemite Bow - Queen of the Black Coast

In his hand was a Shemite bow, such as Belit had taught her pirates to use. A heap of arrows lay at his feet, feathered ends toward him, as he rested on one knee.

Pictish Bow -Beyond the Black River

Not understanding, Balthus saw Conan take from his hand the bow he had picked up in the glade, and notch an arrow. The Pict had run his canoe in close to the shore, and staring up into the bushes, called out something. His answer came in the twang of the bowstring, the streaking flight of the arrow that sank to the feathers in his broad breast.

Aquilonian longbow - The Hour of the Dragon

"Give me that bow!" he gritted, indicating a longbow and quiver that hung from a tent-pole. "But Your Majesty!" cried the squire in great perturbation. "The battle is lost! It were the part of majesty to yield with the dignity becoming one of royal blood!" "I have no royal blood," ground Conan. "I am a barbarian and the son of a blacksmith." Wrenching away the bow and an arrow, he staggered toward the opening of the pavilion. So formidable was his appearance, naked but for short leather breeks and sleeveless shirt, open to reveal his great, hairy chest, with his huge limbs and his blue eyes blazing under his tangled black mane, that the squire shrank back, more afraid of his king than of the whole Nemedian host. Reeling on wide-braced legs Conan drunkenly tore the door-flap open and staggered out under the canopy. The king of Nemedia and his companions had dismounted, and they halted short, staring in wonder at the apparition confronting them. "Here I am, you jackals!" roared the Cimmerian. "I am the king! Death to you, dog-brothers!" He jerked the arrow to its head and loosed, and the shaft feathered itself in the breast of the knight who stood beside Tarascus. Conan hurled the bow at the king of Nemedia.

Obviously Conan is a proficient archer although he thinks it is an unmanly weapon. I would wager all my golden lunas that Conan has known of and seen archery since he was a youth in Cimmeria. Bordered by some of the Hyborian Age's best archers the Cimmerians have been fighting the Picts since their earliest legends and waging war with the Bossonians as they attempt to push the Aquilonian borders further into Cimmeria with the Gunderman and Aquilonians and during their own raids south into those Kingdoms and regions.

"An incessant hail of arrows of arrows rained against the stockade from the woods and the river. The deep twanging of bow-strings rose above the howling." - Picts in Beyond the Black River

"At the sight of their prey their screams rose to a devil's crescendo, and they raced toward the foot of the crag, loosing arrows as they came. The shafts showered about the man who doggedly climbed upward, and one stuck in the calf of his leg." -Picts in The Black Stranger

"That was true; the Bossonian Marches, with their fortified villages filled with determined bowmen, had long served Aquilonia as a buffer against the outlying barbarians." -Beyond the Black River

"'Now arrows fly between the hosts like stinging clouds that hide the sun. Ha! Well loosed, bowmen! The Bossonians have the better of it! Hark to them shout!'
Faintly in the ears of the king, above the din of trumpets and clanging steel, came the deep fierce shout of the Bossonians as they drew and loosed in perfect unison.
'Their archers seek to hold our in play while their knights ride into the river,' said the squire. 'The banks are not steep; they slope to the water's edge. The knights come on, they crash through the willows. By Mitra, the clothyard shafts find every crevice of their harness!'"
-The Hour of the Dragon

"And before the arbalesters could come within killing range, the arching shafts of the Bossonians were wreaking havoc in their ranks. A little of this, a futile attempt at exchanging fire, and the Nemedian bowmen began falling back in disorder. Their armor was light, their weapons no match for the Bossonian longbows." -The Hour of the Dragon

Conan besides having seen and likely fought against archers since he was young, probably saw and learned some of the rudiments of archery as a mercenary with the Corinthian army and I do not believe that archery was not to be found in the battle that left the plains strewn with bodies in The Fragment of Yaralet. Conan says himself that he "learned archery among the Hyrkanians", however the word among does not mean from the Hyrkanians. In Black Colossus the army of Khoraja under Conan's command uses archers. His enemies the Stygians and Shemite Asshuri used archery against him.

Conan's army

"Their main weapon was the terrible Shemitish bow, which could send a shaft five hundred paces." - Black Colossus

"Conan stood among the spearmen. He knew the invaders would not try to drive a chariot charge up the Pass in the teeth of the archers, but he grunted with surprize to see the riders dismounting." - Black Colossus

"As the horde entered the wide valley mouth the hillmen loosed their shafts. In spite of the protective formation, men dropped by dozens." -Black Colossus

Natohk's army

"Heavy bows were in their hands. No common archers, these, but nobles of the South, bred to war and the hunt, who were accustomed to bringing down lions with their arrows." - Black Colossus

"But the Shemites gave back the fire, and the clouds of arrows darkened the skies." - Black Colossus

"By the very numbers of their bows, they began to swamp the archers on the cliffs. Clouds of shafts sped upward, driving the hillmen to cover." - Black Colossus

In A Witch Shall be Born Conan among the Zuagirs uses archery. I would say that there definitely was archery used during their raids among the Turanians, a Hyrkanian people.

“We’ve contented ourselves, so far, with raids on the Turanian outposts and the city-states to the west.” – A Witch Shall Be Born

As demonstrated by the Zuagirs using them in siege of Khauran.

"Arrows flew in clouds between the hosts and the nomads wavered." -A Witch Shall be Born

"...the desert-men feather us with arrows. I -ahhh!" - A Witch Shall be Born

"With them rode fifty black-bearded desert-riders, and at their head a giant figure in black mail. 'Conan!'shrieked Valerius. 'Conan!' The giant yelled a command. Without checking their headlong pace, the desert men lifted their bows, drew and loosed. A cloud of arrows sang across the square, over the seething heads of the multitude, and sank feather-deep in the black monster. It halted, wavered, reared, a black blot against the marble pillars. Again the sharp cloud sang, and yet again, and the horror collapsed and rolled down the steps, as dead as the witch who had summoned it out of the night of ages." A Witch Shall be Born

After the kingdom was re-won Conan leads the Zuagir against Hyrkanian kingdom of Turan once again. That is what he meant when he said he learned among the Hyrkanians, when he was feathering them with arrows from horseback!

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#31 Boot

Boot

    Mauler of Shadizar

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 921 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

REH felt that the bow was adopted from "Turanian/Asiatic" tribes. He makes a note of "Aryans" preferring up-close/hand-to-hand combat.


I have no trouble at all buying that.

Outside of QotBC, we rarely see Conan using a bow.


Sure. I think that thought is preserved in most of the pastiches, too. Conan always seems to default to his sword or axe before using a bow. But, when he does use a bow (as he did in QotBC), he's quite effective. Which means he's experienced with the weapon.

#32 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:20 PM


REH felt that the bow was adopted from "Turanian/Asiatic" tribes. He makes a note of "Aryans" preferring up-close/hand-to-hand combat.


I have no trouble at all buying that.

Outside of QotBC, we rarely see Conan using a bow.


Sure. I think that thought is preserved in most of the pastiches, too. Conan always seems to default to his sword or axe before using a bow. But, when he does use a bow (as he did in QotBC), he's quite effective. Which means he's experienced with the weapon.


Actually, Conan is a master of said weapon (not saying you disagree). As Dale Rippke has pointed out, hitting targets upon the open ocean is no mean feat. I'm saying (as Conan seemed to say) that he learned the use of the bow from the "Hyrkanians" (Turanians?) and learned it VERY well (as always).

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#33 monk

monk

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,679 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:nymfc/negril

Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:15 AM


Outside of QotBC, we rarely see Conan using a bow.


Zuagir Bow - A Witch Shall Be Born

Behind them swept a horde of horsemen yelling in a familiar tongue, waving red swords--the exiles, returned!
With them rode fifty black-bearded desert riders, and at their head a giant figure in black mail.

"Conan!" shrieked Valerius. "Conan!"

The giant yelled a command. Without checking their headlong pace, the desert men lifted their bows, drew and loosed. A cloud of arrows sang
across the square, over the seething heads of the multitudes, and sank feather-deep in the black monster.


Argossean Bow - Queen of the Black Coast

"Give me a bow," requested Conan. "It's not my idea of a manly weapon, but I learned archery among the Hyrkanians, and it will go hard if I can't feather a man or so on yonder deck."

Shemite Bow - Queen of the Black Coast

In his hand was a Shemite bow, such as Belit had taught her pirates to use. A heap of arrows lay at his feet, feathered ends toward him, as he rested on one knee.

Pictish Bow -Beyond the Black River

Not understanding, Balthus saw Conan take from his hand the bow he had picked up in the glade, and notch an arrow. The Pict had run his canoe in close to the shore, and staring up into the bushes, called out something. His answer came in the twang of the bowstring, the streaking flight of the arrow that sank to the feathers in his broad breast.

Aquilonian longbow - The Hour of the Dragon

"Give me that bow!" he gritted, indicating a longbow and quiver that hung from a tent-pole. "But Your Majesty!" cried the squire in great perturbation. "The battle is lost! It were the part of majesty to yield with the dignity becoming one of royal blood!" "I have no royal blood," ground Conan. "I am a barbarian and the son of a blacksmith." Wrenching away the bow and an arrow, he staggered toward the opening of the pavilion. So formidable was his appearance, naked but for short leather breeks and sleeveless shirt, open to reveal his great, hairy chest, with his huge limbs and his blue eyes blazing under his tangled black mane, that the squire shrank back, more afraid of his king than of the whole Nemedian host. Reeling on wide-braced legs Conan drunkenly tore the door-flap open and staggered out under the canopy. The king of Nemedia and his companions had dismounted, and they halted short, staring in wonder at the apparition confronting them. "Here I am, you jackals!" roared the Cimmerian. "I am the king! Death to you, dog-brothers!" He jerked the arrow to its head and loosed, and the shaft feathered itself in the breast of the knight who stood beside Tarascus. Conan hurled the bow at the king of Nemedia.

Obviously Conan is a proficient archer although he thinks it is an unmanly weapon. I would wager all my golden lunas that Conan has known of and seen archery since he was a youth in Cimmeria. Bordered by some of the Hyborian Age's best archers the Cimmerians have been fighting the Picts since their earliest legends and waging war with the Bossonians as they attempt to push the Aquilonian borders further into Cimmeria with the Gunderman and Aquilonians and during their own raids south into those Kingdoms and regions.

"An incessant hail of arrows of arrows rained against the stockade from the woods and the river. The deep twanging of bow-strings rose above the howling." - Picts in Beyond the Black River

"At the sight of their prey their screams rose to a devil's crescendo, and they raced toward the foot of the crag, loosing arrows as they came. The shafts showered about the man who doggedly climbed upward, and one stuck in the calf of his leg." -Picts in The Black Stranger

"That was true; the Bossonian Marches, with their fortified villages filled with determined bowmen, had long served Aquilonia as a buffer against the outlying barbarians." -Beyond the Black River

"'Now arrows fly between the hosts like stinging clouds that hide the sun. Ha! Well loosed, bowmen! The Bossonians have the better of it! Hark to them shout!'
Faintly in the ears of the king, above the din of trumpets and clanging steel, came the deep fierce shout of the Bossonians as they drew and loosed in perfect unison.
'Their archers seek to hold our in play while their knights ride into the river,' said the squire. 'The banks are not steep; they slope to the water's edge. The knights come on, they crash through the willows. By Mitra, the clothyard shafts find every crevice of their harness!'"
-The Hour of the Dragon

"And before the arbalesters could come within killing range, the arching shafts of the Bossonians were wreaking havoc in their ranks. A little of this, a futile attempt at exchanging fire, and the Nemedian bowmen began falling back in disorder. Their armor was light, their weapons no match for the Bossonian longbows." -The Hour of the Dragon

Conan besides having seen and likely fought against archers since he was young, probably saw and learned some of the rudiments of archery as a mercenary with the Corinthian army and I do not believe that archery was not to be found in the battle that left the plains strewn with bodies in The Fragment of Yaralet. Conan says himself that he "learned archery among the Hyrkanians", however the word among does not mean from the Hyrkanians. In Black Colossus the army of Khoraja under Conan's command uses archers. His enemies the Stygians and Shemite Asshuri used archery against him.

Conan's army

"Their main weapon was the terrible Shemitish bow, which could send a shaft five hundred paces." - Black Colossus

"Conan stood among the spearmen. He knew the invaders would not try to drive a chariot charge up the Pass in the teeth of the archers, but he grunted with surprize to see the riders dismounting." - Black Colossus

"As the horde entered the wide valley mouth the hillmen loosed their shafts. In spite of the protective formation, men dropped by dozens." -Black Colossus

Natohk's army

"Heavy bows were in their hands. No common archers, these, but nobles of the South, bred to war and the hunt, who were accustomed to bringing down lions with their arrows." - Black Colossus

"But the Shemites gave back the fire, and the clouds of arrows darkened the skies." - Black Colossus

"By the very numbers of their bows, they began to swamp the archers on the cliffs. Clouds of shafts sped upward, driving the hillmen to cover." - Black Colossus

In A Witch Shall be Born Conan among the Zuagirs uses archery. I would say that there definitely was archery used during their raids among the Turanians, a Hyrkanian people.

“We’ve contented ourselves, so far, with raids on the Turanian outposts and the city-states to the west.” – A Witch Shall Be Born

As demonstrated by the Zuagirs using them in siege of Khauran.

"Arrows flew in clouds between the hosts and the nomads wavered." -A Witch Shall be Born

"...the desert-men feather us with arrows. I -ahhh!" - A Witch Shall be Born

"With them rode fifty black-bearded desert-riders, and at their head a giant figure in black mail. 'Conan!'shrieked Valerius. 'Conan!' The giant yelled a command. Without checking their headlong pace, the desert men lifted their bows, drew and loosed. A cloud of arrows sang across the square, over the seething heads of the multitude, and sank feather-deep in the black monster. It halted, wavered, reared, a black blot against the marble pillars. Again the sharp cloud sang, and yet again, and the horror collapsed and rolled down the steps, as dead as the witch who had summoned it out of the night of ages." A Witch Shall be Born

After the kingdom was re-won Conan leads the Zuagir against Hyrkanian kingdom of Turan once again. That is what he meant when he said he learned among the Hyrkanians, when he was feathering them with arrows from horseback!


thats a pretty good list.

boot what makes you think conan did not know tactics or armor or archery coming out of cimmeria? i do think his experience in cimmeria fighting picts influenced his quip on the argus, but for different reasons.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#34 Buxom Sorceress

Buxom Sorceress

    She awakens...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,268 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The Ebone Tower

Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:27 AM


Outside of QotBC, we rarely see Conan using a bow.


Zuagir Bow - A Witch Shall Be Born

Behind them swept a horde of horsemen yelling in a familiar tongue, waving red swords--the exiles, returned!
With them rode fifty black-bearded desert riders, and at their head a giant figure in black mail.

"Conan!" shrieked Valerius. "Conan!"

The giant yelled a command. Without checking their headlong pace, the desert men lifted their bows, drew and loosed. A cloud of arrows sang
across the square, over the seething heads of the multitudes, and sank feather-deep in the black monster.


Argossean Bow - Queen of the Black Coast

"Give me a bow," requested Conan. "It's not my idea of a manly weapon, but I learned archery among the Hyrkanians, and it will go hard if I can't feather a man or so on yonder deck."

Shemite Bow - Queen of the Black Coast

In his hand was a Shemite bow, such as Belit had taught her pirates to use. A heap of arrows lay at his feet, feathered ends toward him, as he rested on one knee.

Pictish Bow -Beyond the Black River

Not understanding, Balthus saw Conan take from his hand the bow he had picked up in the glade, and notch an arrow. The Pict had run his canoe in close to the shore, and staring up into the bushes, called out something. His answer came in the twang of the bowstring, the streaking flight of the arrow that sank to the feathers in his broad breast.

Aquilonian longbow - The Hour of the Dragon

"Give me that bow!" he gritted, indicating a longbow and quiver that hung from a tent-pole. "But Your Majesty!" cried the squire in great perturbation. "The battle is lost! It were the part of majesty to yield with the dignity becoming one of royal blood!" "I have no royal blood," ground Conan. "I am a barbarian and the son of a blacksmith." Wrenching away the bow and an arrow, he staggered toward the opening of the pavilion. So formidable was his appearance, naked but for short leather breeks and sleeveless shirt, open to reveal his great, hairy chest, with his huge limbs and his blue eyes blazing under his tangled black mane, that the squire shrank back, more afraid of his king than of the whole Nemedian host. Reeling on wide-braced legs Conan drunkenly tore the door-flap open and staggered out under the canopy. The king of Nemedia and his companions had dismounted, and they halted short, staring in wonder at the apparition confronting them. "Here I am, you jackals!" roared the Cimmerian. "I am the king! Death to you, dog-brothers!" He jerked the arrow to its head and loosed, and the shaft feathered itself in the breast of the knight who stood beside Tarascus. Conan hurled the bow at the king of Nemedia.

Obviously Conan is a proficient archer although he thinks it is an unmanly weapon. I would wager all my golden lunas that Conan has known of and seen archery since he was a youth in Cimmeria. Bordered by some of the Hyborian Age's best archers the Cimmerians have been fighting the Picts since their earliest legends and waging war with the Bossonians as they attempt to push the Aquilonian borders further into Cimmeria with the Gunderman and Aquilonians and during their own raids south into those Kingdoms and regions.

"An incessant hail of arrows of arrows rained against the stockade from the woods and the river. The deep twanging of bow-strings rose above the howling." - Picts in Beyond the Black River

"At the sight of their prey their screams rose to a devil's crescendo, and they raced toward the foot of the crag, loosing arrows as they came. The shafts showered about the man who doggedly climbed upward, and one stuck in the calf of his leg." -Picts in The Black Stranger

"That was true; the Bossonian Marches, with their fortified villages filled with determined bowmen, had long served Aquilonia as a buffer against the outlying barbarians." -Beyond the Black River

"'Now arrows fly between the hosts like stinging clouds that hide the sun. Ha! Well loosed, bowmen! The Bossonians have the better of it! Hark to them shout!'
Faintly in the ears of the king, above the din of trumpets and clanging steel, came the deep fierce shout of the Bossonians as they drew and loosed in perfect unison.
'Their archers seek to hold our in play while their knights ride into the river,' said the squire. 'The banks are not steep; they slope to the water's edge. The knights come on, they crash through the willows. By Mitra, the clothyard shafts find every crevice of their harness!'"
-The Hour of the Dragon

"And before the arbalesters could come within killing range, the arching shafts of the Bossonians were wreaking havoc in their ranks. A little of this, a futile attempt at exchanging fire, and the Nemedian bowmen began falling back in disorder. Their armor was light, their weapons no match for the Bossonian longbows." -The Hour of the Dragon

Conan besides having seen and likely fought against archers since he was young, probably saw and learned some of the rudiments of archery as a mercenary with the Corinthian army and I do not believe that archery was not to be found in the battle that left the plains strewn with bodies in The Fragment of Yaralet. Conan says himself that he "learned archery among the Hyrkanians", however the word among does not mean from the Hyrkanians. In Black Colossus the army of Khoraja under Conan's command uses archers. His enemies the Stygians and Shemite Asshuri used archery against him.

Conan's army

"Their main weapon was the terrible Shemitish bow, which could send a shaft five hundred paces." - Black Colossus

"Conan stood among the spearmen. He knew the invaders would not try to drive a chariot charge up the Pass in the teeth of the archers, but he grunted with surprize to see the riders dismounting." - Black Colossus

"As the horde entered the wide valley mouth the hillmen loosed their shafts. In spite of the protective formation, men dropped by dozens." -Black Colossus

Natohk's army

"Heavy bows were in their hands. No common archers, these, but nobles of the South, bred to war and the hunt, who were accustomed to bringing down lions with their arrows." - Black Colossus

"But the Shemites gave back the fire, and the clouds of arrows darkened the skies." - Black Colossus

"By the very numbers of their bows, they began to swamp the archers on the cliffs. Clouds of shafts sped upward, driving the hillmen to cover." - Black Colossus

In A Witch Shall be Born Conan among the Zuagirs uses archery. I would say that there definitely was archery used during their raids among the Turanians, a Hyrkanian people.

“We’ve contented ourselves, so far, with raids on the Turanian outposts and the city-states to the west.” – A Witch Shall Be Born

As demonstrated by the Zuagirs using them in siege of Khauran.

"Arrows flew in clouds between the hosts and the nomads wavered." -A Witch Shall be Born

"...the desert-men feather us with arrows. I -ahhh!" - A Witch Shall be Born

"With them rode fifty black-bearded desert-riders, and at their head a giant figure in black mail. 'Conan!'shrieked Valerius. 'Conan!' The giant yelled a command. Without checking their headlong pace, the desert men lifted their bows, drew and loosed. A cloud of arrows sang across the square, over the seething heads of the multitude, and sank feather-deep in the black monster. It halted, wavered, reared, a black blot against the marble pillars. Again the sharp cloud sang, and yet again, and the horror collapsed and rolled down the steps, as dead as the witch who had summoned it out of the night of ages." A Witch Shall be Born

After the kingdom was re-won Conan leads the Zuagir against Hyrkanian kingdom of Turan once again. That is what he meant when he said he learned among the Hyrkanians, when he was feathering them with arrows from horseback!

Great list, Amra.
Thanks very much. :)

AVATARS GALORE
HYBORIAN Limericks + Rhymes
Lots of FUN and serious new RHYMING Hyborian/Fantasy poetry.

"So I took to a life of adventure and daring
leaving most warriors drooling and staring.
After I danced with my exotic flesh baring
I would vanish into the new Sunrise glaring."

#35 monk

monk

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,679 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:nymfc/negril

Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:57 AM

I think Conan adapts, learns, grows, and changes behavior. The comment he makes about bows not being a "manly" weapon is what he learned as a young-un, back in Cimmeria. As Conan has traveled, his experiences have taught him organized modern warfare instead of the big-freakin'-horde method of fighting that he learned at Venarium. He's become good on a horse. He's learned the effectiveness of armor. And, he's learned to put away his Cimmerian prejudices and recognize the bow for the powerful weapon of war that it is.

Conan's comment is indicative of the time in his life that he said it.


just wanted to point this out...

Both were tall men, built like tigers. Their shields were gone, their
corselets battered and dinted. Blood dried on their mail; their swords
were stained red. Their horned helmets showed the marks of fierce
strokes. One was beardless and black­maned. The locks and beard of
the other were red as the blood on the sunlit snow.

"Man," said he, "tell me your name, so that my brothers in Vanaheim
may know who was the last of Wulfhere's band to fall before the sword
of Heimdul."

"Not in Vanaheim," growled the black-haired warrior, "but in Valhalla
will you tell your brothers that you met Conan of Cimmeria."


"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#36 Boot

Boot

    Mauler of Shadizar

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 921 posts

Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:41 AM

boot what makes you think conan did not know tactics or armor or archery coming out of cimmeria? i do think his experience in cimmeria fighting picts influenced his quip on the argus, but for different reasons.


I guess I subsribe to the popular belief in such things. Granted, this isn't 100% REH inspired, but I tend not to disregard Conan stories just because REH didn't write them. I think other authors have made fine contributions to the long list of Conan tales.

Call it a preference.

For example, many believe that Cimmerian smiths are well known as being master steel craftsmen. Many people subscribe to that aspect of Cimmerians. The purists disregard that aspect because it's not REH inspired (rather, it came from the first Conan movie, I think, and repeated in the recent Conan movie). REH inspired or not, it's a cool concept that gives these fictional people a little more depth than they had before this aspect came about. In the Conan universe that swirls around in my head, I have no problem thinking this way.

An REH purist (Deuce, I'm sure), would have a big problem with that.

I figure...subscribe to what you enjoy.

Back to the original question--

Venarium has often been portrayed as a win for the Cimmerians not because of tactics, but because of sheer numbers. I actually liked Turtledove's book, Conan of Venarium, and how he described the loose tactics the Cimmerians used to swarm over the place. That image of them suits their barbarian backgrounds.

I don't picture a vast number of Cimmerian warriors to be lined up in tight lines, discliplined, orderly, and "soldierly". It's easier for me to believe that they're this scream horde of bloodthristy savages, pissed off, ready to taste blood. Turtledove shows an example where the order was given to hold back and advance together, yet one tribe, hell bent on getting some Aquilonian meat under their feet, disregarded the order and charged ahead.

Yeah, I can see that happening among Cimmerians.

Conan probably saw how effective the Aquilonians were using cavalry and defending more with less, and maybe he learned a bit from it. Cerainly he did when serving with the Hyrkanians/Turanians.





As for armor, I don't think the Cimmerians have made long strides into the art of mining. I think they bog mine, river mine, and surface mine for the ore they need to make steel. They also trade for it, I would suppose. I don't think there's a huge, deep iron ore mine hidden somewhere in Cimmeria.

I think primarly, most Cimmerian clans are a step above hunter gatherers. I think that they're raiders, stealing from their neighbors, and they supplement this with some lite farming.

And, I think they look at too much armor as being "unmanly", as they do the bow. A helm. A shield--OK. But mobility is he key. Running, Dodging, yelling, screaming. That's the way a Cimmerian fights--not in an ordered, armored line.

So, I think armormiths are rare among the Cimmerians. Plus, it's so cold in Cimmeria that, with the thick protection they wear from the elements, they haven't figured out how to encumber themselves further with armor the way the Vanir and Aesir have.

Maybe some of their disdain of armor is because the Vanir do wear it.



Anyway, that's my take, for better or worst, REH inspired or not.