A Brief History of the Trebuchet

Man's history can be traced biblically and scientifically. The bible records the slaying of Abel by Cain. From that point we are able to trace the progress of our warring ancestors by studying their artifacts and the written records of the bible. As man became more and more proficient in making war, we also became wiser in the means of defense. The defenders built walls and eventually fortified towns, requiring the aggressors to expand the best of their troops in attempts to overcome these fortifications. As a result, siege warfare-the art of quickly reducing a fortified –town was begun and siege engines – the beginnings of what we call artillery-were formed. The purpose of these siege engines was simply to knock things down.
Defenders soon learned the advantages of war machines, as was evidenced during the siege of Syracuse in 212 BC with the aid of Archimedes, the Greek mathematician and inventor, the defenders of Syracuse reversed the usual procedure and used war machines against Roman besiegers. The trebuchet change the way that different countries and militaries of the medieval age attacked castles and rival countries.The trebuchet is an ancient siege engine used for throwing large rocks. It was invented in China in the 4th century BC, came to Europe in the 6th century AD, and did not become obsolete until the 16th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder. There are various kinds of trebuchets. The latest and best kind consist of a long pivoting beam, a very heavy counterweight swinging from a hinge at one end, and a sling with a big rock
hooked to the other. A frame holds it all together and there is a track on the ground. When released, the weight drops, the beam rotates, and the rock slides down the track in the sling. When free of the track the sling rotates very quickly up and over the beam and slips off the hook. The rock spills out of the sling and flies away.
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