Perhaps one of the weapons that instantly come to mind when a person discusses the Middle Ages is the crossbow. The past and technology of crossbows are as exciting as the legends and also historical accounts that feature this medieval weapon. Here are several useful facts about the weapon:
They’ve been with us since the fifth century B.C.
There is a general misunderstanding that the crossbow was invented during the Middle Ages. In fact, this specific weapon has been around since the fifth century B.C. in Western Europe. The Ancient Greek’s type on the crossbow was the gastraphetes and the “belly shooter”.
They’re simpler to use than long bows
Fundamentally, a crossbow refers to a bow which is attached to top of a wooden block. The block has a system which helps keep the bowstring in position and enables easier release. The special form of the crossbow made it easier to use compared to normal bows. Numerous European armies in the 12th and also 13th centuries switched to using them because of this benefit. Furthermore, it took decades for archers to learn the way to handle ordinary bows whereas proficiency with a crossbow can be learned in just a few weeks. However, the new style and design did not suggest that the crossbow was greater than longbows. In reality, in the Battle of Crecy in the fourteenth century, English archers outshot the Genoese crossbowmen of the French.
They stirred dispute with the Roman Catholic Church and professional warriors
Crossbows had been known as very fatal weapons to the position where the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages tried to ban the use of these weapons against Christians. Knights as well as many other specialist warriors also looked down on them since even a crossbowman having just a few weeks’ training and a cheap weapon might quickly destroy an experienced and also expensively-outfitted soldier.
They are often grouped into three forms
Crossbows have changed from basic weapons to more complicated gadgets perfect for piercing through plate armor. They are available in a wide variety of size and shapes but they could be categorized into 3 common styles. The 1st kind involves lighter variants of the weapon and also the ones that are easiest to handle as they might be loaded manually. This kind is quite similar to the Ancient Greek’s “belly shooters.” The second crossbow type is weightier and contains stirrups attached on the front. The crossbowman will put a foot in the stirrup and employ his upper physique to pull back the bow. The next form, that is oftentimes known as an arbalest, is the heaviest of all and has built-in or separate windlasses. Windlasses are employed to withdraw the bowstring thus changing the necessity for applying excessive muscle strength.
Their utilization started to decline in the mid-15th century
Crossbows started to become outdated with the development of gunpowder weaponry. The decline of the crossbow started when the matchlock musket was created in the fifteenth century, coincidentally occurring at the end of the Middle Ages.
While there are no more battles that employ the crossbow, this weapon remains in modern times particularly in sports and outdoor recreations like hunting.