Yet we have archer figures taking quite a significant part in Pictish art - http://fanad.net/csana00.pdf cites several instances, whether or not we find the article's conclusions compelling, and whether or not we too see the V-rod as a broken arrow. It would be difficult to see this appearance of archers in Pictish art as a response to the introduction of bows and arrows by Vikings, especially as the Pictish bows recall late Roman crossbows rather than the Vikings' longbows.
From: Old-Irish-L [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Candon McLean
Sent: 10 February 2016 16:54
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OLD-IRISH-L] arrow
John Koch goes over this a bit in his handout on "Celtic from the West"
(available from his page on Academia.com) when speaking about Celtic in the Iberian Peninsula.
"the common Palaeohispanic name Arquius and the regional survival of archery from the Beaker Copper Age ‘The name Arquius probably meant one who had to do with a bow, that is to say, an archer, and was derived from a Celtic word cognate with Latin arquus and arcus, a bow or arch’ (1891–4, 106). ‘we have probably a trace of the word [for bow] in welsh arffed, “the lap or abdomen”, cf. German Schambug’ (Ib., FN 7). Rhŷs, J. 1891–94 ‘The Celts and the other aryans of the P and Q groups’, Transactions of the Philological Society, 1891–94, 104–31. < Nw IE *haérku̯os ‘bow and/or arrow’; Latin arcus, earlier arquus; Gothic arƕazna ‘arrow’, OE earh. Cf.
Trawsganu Cynan Garwyn: cant armell ym arffet ‘a hundred arm rings in my lap’ ; Latin arcuātus ‘bent like a bow’ (Spanish arqueado ‘curved’) ~ PC
*arku̯eto- ‘(human body) flexed like a bow’ The word does not otherwise survive in Goidelic or Brythonic; MIr. boga and welsh bwa from Old Norse, OIr. saiget ‘arrow’, welsh saeth from Latin."
and further in the handout:
"Arrows and archery wrist guards were essential to the Beaker package everywhere. After the Early Bronze Age, there is little trace of archery in later prehistoric Britain, Ireland, or NW France. Loanwords predominate in the attested Insular Celtic languages: MIr. boga and Welsh bwa from Old Norse, OIr. saiget ‘arrow’, Welsh saeth from Latin. Breton gwarek ‘bow’ is a deverbative formation. Parker Pearson (2005, 28) explains this gap with the rise of the ‘pan-European warrior cult’ (during the Middle Bronze Age), which valued hand-to-hand engagements between high-status combatants and equipment suitable for such activity: leather shields, leather armour, spears, rapiers later swords.
Thus exceptionally, in the Iberian Peninsula, bows and arrows are one of the recurrent motifs of the Late Bronze age warrior stelae, where they occur together with other items of the high-status warrior’s panoply:
shields, spears, swords, helmets, chariots, brooches, mirrors, combs (Harrison 2004, 144, 146). Harrison, R. J. 2004 Symbols and Warriors:
Images of the European Bronze Age. Bristol, western academic & Specialist Press."
All the best,
On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 8:01 PM, Helen McKay <[log in to unmask]>
> Hi all
> Wonder if I could ask a question here for a moment? Its about the word
> for 'arrow'. DIL says that saiget dil.ie/35949 derives from Latin.
> Which is weird to begin with, because such a basic word that has been
> in the language for millennia, and one that the Romans didn't put high
> status on anyway, why would the old Irish change to this Latin word?
> But its extra weird as the same root word is found in so many countries
> over Europe and the western world as applied to an arrow. "Unknown
> etymology. Probably from a pre-Latin Mediterranean language", according to
> Wiktionary. So its not Latin to begin with either?
> To then explain the widespread use of the saiget/sagitta word for
> arrow Mallory & Adams p252 claim that the words for bow and arrow
> suffered a ‘severe attrition’ in the Bronze Age and Iron Age in some
> areas where archery was limited or abandoned, and then the saiget root must have
> re-spread all over. I don't know of any archaeology that makes this claim
> that archery was abandoned to the point where the words associated
> with it were irretrievably lost. Does anyone here know about this claim? seems a
> bit illogical to me. I can understand that the sword and spear had higher
> status, we can easily see that in the myths, but people without swords
> (the majority of people) would still have had bows and arrows to hunt
> with, and the idea of archery and its relation to yew is still there,
> its not abandoned.
> So could saiget just be a 'Celtic' or IE word after all? Any thoughts?