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THE BOW

translated and ajusted by Codruta aka Padure
"There is no one among the Sarmatians and the Getae who doesn't wear a scabbard with a bow and arrows dipped in adder blood", Ovidius: Trist; IV;1;78
"the Getae, neighbours of the Scythians, use the same weapons as these do, they are all horsemen and archers", Tucidide;II;c.96
"the bow, the string and the arrow is a complicated mechanism, whose invention involved a long experience and a very creative spirit, altogether with the deep knowledge of other inventions ", Fr Engels; Family origins; page 23


As soon as they could carry a weapon men would participate in battles, usually within the family or the tribe they belonged to. Depending on the characteristics of the tribe or the social status of the person, he could be foot or horseman. In both cases the individual was a skilled archer, as archery was learnt during the military practice, hunting or during frequent military clashes.
A high degree of ability with the bow was achieved within the Dacianarmy. Due to the fact that it was a basic weapon, the manufacture techniques (choosing the wood, its boiling in order to make it bent) were highly developed. The bow was a long-distance weapon and its roots are unknown and very old; it was made by the warriors themselves or by skilled craftsmen.
Some bows were made of animal horns, tied together in the middle by a straight piece, others were made of cornel tree wood, larch wood, hazel, hornbeam, ash or elm wood. The strings were made of flax, hemp, animal bowels, horse or cattle veins. In rainy weather the warriors wore the bows unstrained not to lose its flexibility. When they walked, the warriors hung it on their shoulder, held it in their hands or in special cases. A medium bow could fire arrows as far as 200 meters.
It was used as an attack weapon: in static attacks by the foot soldiers and in quick ones by horsemen. The Dacian horsemen frequently wore armor, as Sarmatians did, and they were named "catafractari", able to use the bow from horseback.
The arrows made of wood or occasionally of cane were 0,80-0,90 m long andhad pointed metallic heads. The heads could be manufactured with 3 edges, with 2, or some of them were conic, also having a "thorne". A skilled archer could fire 12 arrows a minute. These arrows were kept in cases, between 16-24 in number. They were beautifully designed and painted but also dipped in poison. When the supply of arrows ran out,arrows from the battlefield or prisoners would be used.
At first the design of arrowsreplicated those of stone and bone ones. Those made of bronze and iron started to be manufactured only in the VII and VI the centuries BC, when the Scythians began to raid Dacian territory. The long pyramidal shaped, three edged heads, first used by the Scythians, were commonly used by the Dacian's too. Arrows with a tube and two thorns are, however, a particular characteristic of the Dacian's.