Bronshtein wrote:Having worked for a year on research in a stately home and had to put up with guides talking bollocks to the punters I am less inclined than Khusrau to smile on folklore, but I can see the appeal of two fingered salutes, defensive spiral stairs, knights stranded like turtles on their backs and gentle parfait knights. But it's all wrong.
The two-fingered "Agincourt Salute" has always puzzled me, but it's easy to have that romanticised idea it originated at the battle itself, considering how vastly outnumbered Henry V's troops were. You could just imagine him bolstering his ranks of bowmen by spinning a bullshit yarn to them that they were so important that the French had threatened to cut off the two fingers of their hands if they were ever caught (in reality, they would have just been put to death. They weren't worth taking prisoner).
Or even years later, the English tormenting the French over the battle because it was essentially won by the bowmen, and using a two-fingered salute to symbolise that victory.
It's all lost in history. It's a shame the rank and file troops in the 15th century were mostly illiterate, or we'd have a better understanding of what went on at that time.