Crossbow, a weapon used in the Middle Age, consisted of a tiller, made of wood and often decorated with horn ivory or bone, to one end of which was attached a short bow.
Initially, this was just made from wood, like the ordinary bow, but was replaced by stronger and more powerful composite bows made from several layers of horn and sinew glued together.
The bolt or sometimes referred as quarrel rests along the shelf, a flat section of wood with a groove. The strings to launch the bolt are made from hemps, strong and resilient fibers.
Uses of Crossbows
The medieval crossbow was an important weapon in the medieval combat environment. It was primarily used for military purposes. The weapon was used by armies all over the world and dramatically changed the way battles were fought.
However, in modern days, crossbows are mostly used for target shooting and recreation. In some countries, they are still used for hunting, such as in several states within the USA, parts of Asia and Australia, or Africa.
Some researchers use special projectiles to take blubber biopsy samples for whales without harming the whales.
There is a significant amount of disagreement among historians concerning the origination of the crossbow, but it is clear that it was used for military purposes from the second half of the 4th century BC onwards.
The crossbow possibly descended from the ancient Greek gastraphretes and was also used both in Rome and China. However, it does not seem to have become popular in Western Europe until the eleventh century, though some historians have argued that the crossbow was used, albeit infrequently, by the Franks throughout the early Middle Ages.
Types of Crossbow
Crossbows vary according to size, degree of automation, and acceleration system. Each crossbow is designed for a particular use. The notable types include compound crossbow, repeating crossbows, recurve crossbows, pistol crossbows, rifle crossbows, and bullet crossbows. Rifle crossbows are one of the more sophisticated models.
It is true that a longbow had greater range, and could attain comparable accuracy and faster shooting rate than the wooden or composite crossbow, but crossbows could release more kinetic energy and be used properly after a week of training.
Crossbows were simpler to aim than short bows or longbows. Even an untrained soldier could operate crossbows effectively.
Banning on Crossbow
Of all the weapons used in the Middle Ages the crossbow was quarantined for particular condemnation by the church, which prohibited its use on the grounds of its violence and power, first in 1096–1097 and later by the Second Lateran Council in 1139.
Medieval Weapons - Facts and Information
Crossbow is one of the type of weapons that was used by feudal armies during the Middle Ages. All men in The Middle Ages were expected to know how to fight. They were expected to be readily available when called to fight for the king. Their lives were organized and structured to have military training incorporated in their daily lives.
Expertise in the use of medieval weapon such as Crossbow and understanding the strategy of Middle Age warfare was crucial and played an important part in Medieval Life. Crossbow training include practicing new moves, accuracy, defending, and managing battles including close contact fights using Crossbow .