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Old 08-05-2009, 11:55 AM
mitra mitra is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Milano
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Default Siege Artillery in XIII century

Various were the types of artillery employed during the XIII century:

petriere (from pietra = stone) and mangani are know from Carolingian era, but it is not clear what is the difference between the two, on know only that the mangano has a bigger power. On suppose the petriera is a torsion/tension machine like the roman onager, and the mangano a human traction machine.

Torsion/tension baliste are employed; they are a bigger version of crossbow, used for launch big arrow or small stones.

From the late XII century was developed the trabucco (trebuchet in french) a counterweight version of mangano, with a tremendous power. The weight can be in fixed position or be mobile, changing the balistic range of stone: linear and low with fixed, curved and high with mobile.

The weight of stones employed by trabucchi can be enormous arriving also to 200,300 or 500 kg.

Differently from roman artillery which was used as anti-personnel weapon, the traction/counterweight artillery is minus precise, and it is used for psycological effect or for create destruction in the internal buildings of fortification. The weight of stone can occasionally damage the walls or the doors of castle/city.
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