Archer's Bow in the Homeric Poems
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Om Archer's Bow in the Homeric Poems
Whilst the greatest effort has been made to ensure the quality of this text, due to the historical nature of this content, in some rare cases there may be minor issues with legibility. When I was paid the very high compliment of being invited by the Council of this Society to deliver the Huxley lecture for this year, my thoughts naturally turned to the great scientist in whose honour this annual lectureship was established. A giant among the older biologists, he was characterized by his broad outlook and by the wide range of his scientific pursuits. As a leader in several sciences, he could evaluate facts from a variety of points of view, and was thus peculiarly able to see the bearing of special items upon the more general and important problems.
In these days of ever-increasing specialization, a danger arises from the difficulty of collating the innumerable facts and observations which have been collected by researchers. Generalists in science are growing scarcer, and it will become increasingly difficult to bring together into their true relationship the scattered threads spun by specialists and weave them into a compact and substantial fabric.
In admiring recognition of the brilliant versatility of Thomas Huxley, I am venturing, as a very humble disciple, to contribute towards the solution of a time-honoured problem, by bringing together evidence derived from zoological, archaeological and ethnological sources. Incidentally, since the importance of the application of anthropological methods to the study of the classics is becoming more widely recognized, I have been tempted, as an anthropologist, to intervene in the interpretation of certain interesting and picturesque though obscure passages in the Homeric texts.
In offering an essay upon the bow as described by Homer, I am fully aware that many may regard my theme as a somewhat hackneyed one. Attempts to diagnose the Homerie bows have been numerous and have been made from a variety of points of view, chiefly archaeological and ethnological; but there still remains much to be said, if we are finally to arrive at a satisfactory diagnosis