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Academic, conservative, lacking contemporary sources...
on 9 March 2016
This is a very academic, conservative account of Attila the Hun and his history, lacking contemporary sources. For a start he spends a whole chapter telling the reader what scholars apparently do not know. What he fails to mention is that horseback archery was commonly used by the Persians/Parthians (the 'parting shot' derivers from 'the Parthian shot' whereby a Parthian horseback archer would stand up in his stirrups(yes they had those at least 500 years before Medieval Europe) and shoot backwards at a pursuing mounted enemy. The Romans were well familiar with horseback archery from their Persian campaigning since 53BC (Battle of Carrhae) so about 400 years before Attila. The possibility of Hunnic-Persian collusion interaction is not mentioned. Given that the Romans were obliged to abandon their Persian campaign to deal with the Hunnic threat this kind of joint stratagem is at least possible. However what I find most bizarre is that, given this book was written in 2015, the author fails to mention a most significant source of contemporary information on horseback archery. He goes to lengths to tell us what little can be gleaned from ancient sources about the Hunnic bow and its use. What he omits is any reference to the Hungarian Lajos Kassai and his Horseback Archery revival, dating from the 1980s. His school of horseback archery is now established as a living contemporary version of ancient/medieval archery. His achievements are on You Tube and in the Guinness book of records. H knows from practice more about horseback archery than anyone since the medieval era. Yet the book contains no reference to him.
However another author John Man makes specific reference to Lajos. So I would recommend John Man's version over this.