Romanesque, early Gothic and late Gothic churches were all present on the landscape of medieval Latvia. Many of them have survived wars and fires and still make their mark on the surroundings. Constructed from the twelfth century onwards and rebuilt throughout their history, medieval churches offer a standing testimony to the malleability of history, a reminder of the instability, permeability of meaning. Burned to the four walls and erected once again (Krimulda Church), rebuilt to suit the latest tastes already in the Middle Ages (St. Peter’s Church), or ruined to the four shattered walls, plaintively exposed against the blue waters of the Daugava River (Ikshkile Church) – these are just a few examples of the still beautiful monuments of sacred history which have the power to take the visitors back in time.
St. Peter’s Church in Riga as printed in S. Munter’s Cosmography
Say ‘horseback archery’ and what would you think? Archaic, esoteric, oriental, arcane?
Indeed, horseback archery was and still is a vibrant tradition in Asia, from Iran and Turkey to Korea (home of the World Horseback Archer Federation) and Japan. More recently, however, horseback archery has crossed the east-west divide and is increasingly popular in Europe, the UK and the States.
The object is simple – to release arrows into a target while galloping. At the same time, there are infinite variations in rules, equipment and styles across schools and countries. You can release arrows, for instance, into a series of targets set alongside the track. Alternatively, you may be asked to shoot three arrows into the same target. Whatever the rules, speed and feeling are the key, in diference from the foot archery, where the archer has time to deliberate and aim.
Like all combined sports, horseback archery is a singularly difficult art to master. Combining two hard and rare skills, archery and riding, it is breathtakingly beautiful to watch and fascinating to practice.
Over the past couple of decades archery from the back of a horse has seen a revival as a sport and recreational activity. Countries all around the world, both those with and without a tradit…
Source: Horseback Archery In Korea: A Traditional Sport.
Today is the ‘Birthday of Latvia’, as my little son proudly announced to me coming from the kindergarten. Moreover, I was putting some spit and polish on my article about medieval castles in Latvia, so I found a collection of maps listing Latvian hillforts particularly useful.
While preparing my article on the early editions of the Welsh Arthurian material, I came across a passage from Loth’s French translation of the Welsh triads. And the first triads were, who would guess it, about horses.
Here they are, Horse triads from the Black Book of Caermarthen:
Posted in Arthurian Literature, equestrian history, Medieval animals, Medieval horses, Medieval Literature, Uncategorized
Tagged Arthurian Literature, horse, horse names, literature, Welsh literature, Welsh triads