Call for the cavalry!

By Rob Morgan

This was an article in Minerva, the archaeological journal (often with a
decent nugget or two for the ancient and classical wargamer) in the May/June 2016 issue (pp. 8-11) in its Roman Military History series, in this case on the cavalry of Late Rome and in particular it deals with horse archers in Roman service. It has some lovely colour illustrations and photographs of re-enactors, valuable for painting detail.

The author Jon Coulston provides some interesting material from sound sources to illustrate the skill of Roman horse archers, many from the Balkan provinces interestingly, but …

“This,” he says,” is reminiscent of the speed and accuracy of the Native
American archery on the Great Plains. Where mounted archers accurately loosed twenty (20) arrows at short range for the one shot fired back by a frontiersman with his smoothbore musket.”

Hm? Now 20 arrows seems a substantial amount, and would seem to indicate a very large number of shafts carried. I wondered if anyone had any ideas or further information on this suggestion?

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