Summary of Jon Guttman’s “Stirrup and Lance”

Guttman’s article discussed both the use of the stirrup and it even went into more detail by discussing the importance of the lance. He discussed how horses have been used in army for a while and originally, horses were meant to be controlled with both hands when riding them. In the medieval times, they wanted to be able to use what was called a lance. Guttman described it as a long rod with a sharp metal tip. Instead of using a spear which was thrown, they used the lance to charge at enemies. The issue was that they needed to be able to control the horse and hold the lance at the same time. In order to do this, they had to use the stirrup which was invented between 500 and 700 B.C. This allowed for knights to control the horse with their feet and also hold the lance.The emergence of the stirrup helped other places also. For example Guttman says that the Asians would use it to be able to use a bow and arrow on a horse.

Later on in the reading, he goes into detail about the lance and how there have been many versions of it throughout the time period. First he discusses the classic medieval version which was a wooden rod about 10-12 feet long with a 2 inch diameter and a sharp metal spear tip. He said that Poland’s winged hussar’s used a lance that was longer but hollowed out towards the tip so that it was lighter. The lance eventually died out around world war 1 due to the advancements of firearms. However the stirrups are still currently used nowadays. This shows how innovative the stirrups are because they are so old, yet they are still being used in modern times.

For more information on the use of the stirrup visit the website in the link below

http://www.medievalchronicles.com/medieval-armour/stirrups/

For more information on the lance visit the website link below

http://www.lordsandladies.org/lance.htm

6 Replies to “Summary of Jon Guttman’s “Stirrup and Lance””

  1. Chris,
    Your summary does a great job of explaining the multiple advantages of the stirrup; whether it be the ability to use a lance or the ability to fire a bow while riding horseback. I also like that you pointed out that the stirrup continues to be used today while the lance died off due to the innovations and advancements of firearm technology. Great post!

    Best,
    Jordan

  2. Chris,

    Thank you for discussing the advantages of the stirrup, as well as how the stirrup is still used today. What a great way to connect technologies of the past to technologies still used in our world today.

    Emily

  3. Chris,

    Great job on summarizing Guttman’s work. Your discussion of the advantages of the stirrup and lance are outstanding. I like how you connected the past to the present by stating how the stirrup is still used today.

  4. Thank you for summarizing the article, I enjoyed your last paragraph that talked about some of the lance’s development and evolution. To list another advantage of the stirrup, since the stirrup allowed the rider to use his feet to control the horse that allowed for the rider to adopt a stance that focuses all the energy of the charge into a single point (e.g. the tip of his lance) making it more effective in battle. I also find it funny that the stirrup was invented for combat, yet people today use the stirrup for non-violent reasons.

  5. Chris,
    This was an excellent summary of Guttman’s article! I was always curious about how people in the past were able to control their horses while aiming a bow and arrow. The stirrups really were an important invention that changed battle on horseback. Although the lance is now obsolete, it is still an innovative weapon for its time. If I had to choose a weapon to ride into battle with during the medieval times, the lance would be one of my first choices.

  6. Chris,
    This was an excellent summary of Guttman’s article! I was always curious about how people in the past were able to control their horses while aiming a bow and arrow. The stirrups really were an important invention that changed battle on horseback. Although the lance is now obsolete, it is still an innovative weapon for its time. If I had to choose a weapon to ride into battle with during the medieval times, the lance would be one of my first choices.

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