History does not exactly tell us where and when the crossbow made its way into our civilization. However there is clear evidence this weapon was used during wartime as early as the end of the 4th century B.C. The first evidence of its use can be found with the Greeks followed by the Eurpoeans.
In the Greek world the crossbow emerged during the 5th century as a much larger version of the crossbow. It was called the gastraphetes or “belly-bow” because it was built to placed against the stomach of the archer. The manner of loading this bow resulted in more stored energy than the standard bows that were currently being used.
The gastraphetes ws improved upon. This led to the introduction of the ballista. Its use in war and against the enemies infantry resulted in very powerful bolts and larger ballistae. There was a smaller version of this crossbow called the Scorpio. This was used by snipers.
The Use of the Crossbow in
Crossbows were evident in Europe during the battle of
The first indication of crossbows in
Islam and the Crossbow
The Islamic armies adopted the use of this bow after first seeing and experiencing its effect first hand during the crusades. Muslims preferred the footstrap version of this bow during the wars in
From the Saracens, the Crusaders discovered a composite bow that had layers of different material glued together to increase the strength of the bow. The Eurpoeans adopted this idea for crossbow prods.
The Use of Crossbows in Modern Day
In today’s world the crossbow is used mostly for target shooting. There are still societies however that use it for hunting including
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