). The bow used for shooting arrows. Two kinds
of bow were known to antiquity. One consisted of the two horns of the antelope, or an arm of
wood similarly shaped, joined by a bridge which served both as a hold for the hand and as a
rest for the arrow. The string, made of plaited horse-hair or twisted ox-gut, was fastened to
each end (fig. 1). The other, called the Scythian or Parthian bow, was made of a piece of
flexible wood, the ends of which were tipped with metal, and bent slightly upwards to hold the
string (fig. 2). The arrow (Gr. ὀϊστός
, or τόξευμα
; Lat. sagitta
) was made of a stem of
reed or light wood, one end furnished with a three-cornered point, sometimes simple and
sometimes barbed, the other end with feathers. A notch in the shaft served to place it on the
string. The arrows (and sometimes the bow) were kept in a quiver (φαρέτρη
) made of leather, wood, or metal,
fitted with a suspender, and sometimes open, sometimes having a lid. The quiver was worn
either on the back, according to the Greek manner, or in Oriental fash
Bows and Quivers.
ion, on the left hip. The Cretans had the reputation of being the best archers among
the Greeks. They generally served among the light-armed auxiliaries as a special corps.
Mounted bowmen were employed by the ancient Athenians (see Hippeis
); but it was not until after the Punic Wars that
Greek Bows. (Hamilton Vases.)
archers formed a regular part of the Roman army. They were then furnished by the
allies, or raised by recruiting, and were mostly taken from Crete and the Balearic Islands.