2024 Olympic Games, Archery, Vatican -

Pope Francis Gives Thumbs Up to Host 2024 Olympic Games at The Vatican

The Vatican gardens could be the venue for the 2024 Olympic Games featuring both Archery and Football if the Vatican and Pope Francis win the bid to host the 2024 Games. With the big guy on their side they probably have a good chance.

Portuguese cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins was quoted as telling the Quotidiano Nazionale daily's Monday edition it's never been done but sounds like an excellent idea. Martins said the Church has always encouraged sport as a vehicle for healthy values and archery could be held in the Vatican's gardens or in the little-used expanses at the Pope's summer residence at Castelgandolfo, to the south east of Rome.

History of Archery in Rome

The Roman army relied heavily on neighboring native chieftains and their cavalry for their archery needs and rarely found the need for it unless traveling or battling in mountainous areas. There is limited evidence of the Roman army using full sized arrows unless in circumstances when going up against an opponent where it made sense, but the Roman army preferred to use the pilum over arrows for many reasons. Romans surrounded the opposing army, used hand to hand combat and brute force. The pilum was about 2 metres in length, weighed between 2 and 5 Kg. with a range of up to 100' allowing for penetration through shields and other armor which arrows could not do.

In addition to full sized arrows, Roman archers would also fire small arrows or darts down a channel called a sôlênarion. Such darts have about double the range of a full sized arrow and are harder to see. They were used as harassing fire against approaching formations. While a dart would rarely cause fatal injury, striking a man or horse in the face or eye would be a serious discouragement and help to break up a formation.

 Wherever the 2024 Olympic Games are ultimately held, I'm sure we'll all be watching our favorite sport! 


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