Context: Two characters are teasing each other about what they view to be the "superior" form of ranged combat. One's from the Carolingian Empire (Lombardy region specifically), and the other is from Baghdad. In this situation they're hunting wolves, if that affects the context, but answers don't need to be tied specifically to animal hunting or anything like that!

Problem: I've been finding conflicting sources on the web, so was wondering if someone could help me out. I've seen that Islamic texts refer to the crossbow as the "Frankish bow" -- is that something they would have had in the 9th century? The present year is 813. Or could it be a composite vs self bow argument? Looking for fun little details the characters can argue over, but also any info, sources, or fun facts you have on weaponry at the time is welcome and appreciated!

Many thanks!

  • 3
    A good source could be two books: The Armies of Islam 7th-11th centuries by David Nicolle and Angus McBride and The Age of Charlemagne by David Nicolle and Angus McBride. Men-at-arms series, Osprey. According to them, the discussion was probably between the Turkish-Iranian composite bow used by the Khurasani horse-archers who had had a stellar performance during the Siege of Baghdad precisely the year of your action (812-813 AD) and the double convex composite bow the Frankish had adopted from the Romans and that would change into more simple bows during the second half of the 9th century. Mar 17 at 21:46
  • 1
    Ooh, those sound excellent! Thanks very much, will definitely check them out!
    – cboss
    Mar 18 at 14:09


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