15 Legendary Archers In History & Myth – Backpackingman

    archery has been a part of ancient human history for millennia and these are some of the most legendary archers in history and mythology.

    I always enjoy learning about historical figures and some mythology from the places I travel to and archery has always been of interest to me.

    Reading: Best archers in history

    legendary archers from history

    nasu no yoichi

    of the legendary archers of japan, nasu no yoichi is one of the most famous. he was a samurai and lived between 1169-1232.

    during his life he fought in several battles, but the one that made him a legendary archer was the battle of yashima where with a single shot he knocked down a fan on a moving boat that the enemy had placed on a daring post. the minamoto clan, with whom he was fighting, to shoot.

    yue fei

    yue fei was a 12th century chinese general during the southern song dynasty and was known as a legendary archer among his troops.

    He was known as the “iron arm”.

    minamoto no tametomo

    minamoto no tametomo was a legendary samurai from japan in the 12th century. Legend has it that his left arm was a few inches longer than his right arm, which allowed him to have a more powerful shot from the bow.

    Another legend says that he sank a ship with a single arrow piercing the ship’s hull. these are all legends, of course.

    committed suicide by ritual suicide after losing a failed rebellion.

    English archers

    It’s not about one legendary archer in particular, but about an entire group.

    English archers were famous in medieval times for their deadly accuracy and rate of fire with the best bow and arrow in existence.

    The longbow could best be described as the “machine gun” of the middle ages. it was lethal.

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    One of the most famous examples was at the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years’ War, when English archers defeated a much larger enemy force.

    gave them legendary status in archery history.

    genghis khan and the mongols

    Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes!

    Although Genghis Khan himself is not known as a legendary archer, his Mongol tribes would go on to build the second largest empire the world had ever seen (the first being the British Empire).

    Part of that reason was the excellent archery skills they had when on horseback.

    legendary archers in legend

    robin hood

    robin hood is a legend of folklore in england, so it is natural to start this list of legendary archers. he is probably one of the most famous archers in fiction, but there is a possibility that his character was actually a combination of several real people from his time.

    He is famous as an archer.

    william tell

    the story of william tell is one of the most famous stories in the history of archery and legendary in Swiss folklore.

    He used a crossbow instead of a bow and arrow, and while his exploits could be seen as a real part of the story, the actual existence of William Tell is up for debate. he is mostly seen in folklore rather than as a real figure.

    archer gods & archers in mythology


    in ancient greek mythology, apollo is the… and out of the gods of archery, he figures prominently there, as he was known as a god of archery, among other things.


    appears as an Olympian deity in Greek and Roman mythology and religions.

    skaði (skadi)

    skaði is a goddess in Norse mythology, and of the many things she is known for, her bowhunting skills are the best.

    married the god odin and appears in the famous poetic edda poem.


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    another from Norse mythology is ullr, known as a Norse god and associated with winter activities such as skiing. however, the main thing he is known for is his archery skills.


    arjun is a skilled archer in hindu mythology and appears in the ancient epic texts of india, the mahabharata, as one of the main characters.


    Another famous archer in Hindu mythology is Rama, who is an important deity. he may be considered the “supreme being” in certain parts of Hinduism.

    The ancient epic text of India, the Ramayana, is where he appears as the main figure.

    hou yi

    hou yi is a divine archer in chinese mythology. He is also known as the “Lord Archer” and it is said that he came down from heaven to help humans on earth.

    Another famous archer in Chinese mythology is Feng Meng, who was Hou Yi’s apprentice and ended up killing him due to his envy of Hou Yi’s archery skills.


    Artemis is one of the most famous archers in mythology and is the Greek goddess of the hunt, among other things.

    being the goddess of hunting means she has excellent archery skills.


    Eros is the ancient Greek god of love and Cupid is known as the Roman god of love.

    both carry bow and arrows and it is said that whoever they hit with an arrow causes an uncontrollable desire for love and sex.

    legendary archers

    And those are some of the most famous legendary archers in history and mythology.

    for more history check out my guides to historic places.

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