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Henry Russell




Location: Buckinghamshire, UK
Joined: 29 Dec 2010

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 12:00 pm    Post subject: Early medieval/Norman crossbows?         Reply with quote

I was wondering if anyone had information on these early crossbows, particularly 1080 or earlier. I plan on starting an anglo-viking/Norman kit, and a crossbow would be fantastic.

Any pictures of archaeological finds, documents or modern reproductions would be great too!

Thanks

'Men should either be treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injures - for heavy ones they cannot.'
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Nick Esposito




Location: Northern Virgina, US
Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some links of Photographs of "early" crossbows. The Type you are looking for would probably have a wood or horn prod. But I am not a historical crossbow expert, so leave some margin that I may be Wrong.

Links with reproductions:

http://www.angevin.org/xbow0.htm

http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/topic/11332


This Older myArmoury Post deals with this very Issue:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=209075

Hope This Helps Happy
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Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastraphetes

I couldn't resist. Alexander had specialty crossbowmen; the Hellenistic Greeks developed both automatic repeaters and very heavy types by 280BC.

Sorry. probably not what you wanted....

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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Posts: 605

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can not find my references right now, but I did read once that the cross-bow was reintroduced to Europe via Scandinavia in the 9th-10th centuries. The Scandinavians adopted its use as a hunting tool from hunter-gatherers living in sub-arctic taiga-lands to the east. Some Chinese experts believe that the cross-bow was introduced into China from this same source thousands of years earlier. So while the cross-bow has an ancient history of widespread use as a hunting tool, it is only modified for military use when just the right military and socio-economic environment are present, such as ancient China, late 11th-12th C Europe or to a lesser extent Hellenistic Greece. I know this is all just hearsay without references, I promise I am not pulling your leg. Just because crossbows are not mentioned as weapons of war does not mean they don't exist. Look at the history of the bow in Europe. It mostly (with some exceptions) fell out of military use from the early bronze age until the middle ages, but never fell completely out of use as a hunting weapon, biding it's time until it could dominate the battle-field again. Oh yeah, you wanted a description of early crossbows. They usually have a rather large, heavy, all-wood bow, a simple, skinny stock and a notch and pin trigger system operated by a long lever lashed to a hole in the stock. I too kind of want to build one of these early crossbows for viking reenactment.
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Henry Russell




Location: Buckinghamshire, UK
Joined: 29 Dec 2010

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 31 Dec, 2010 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Nick, that past thread is very useful!

And yes, I know about hellenistic and chinese crossbow, very interesting, especially the ground cockign arbalests and repeaters.

'Men should either be treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injures - for heavy ones they cannot.'
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 04 Jan, 2011 2:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian G. Cameron wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastraphetes

I couldn't resist. Alexander had specialty crossbowmen; the Hellenistic Greeks developed both automatic repeaters and very heavy types by 280BC.


All these Macedonian and Hellenistic crossbows appear to have been siege weapons; accounts of their use, even in the rare occasions when they appeared in field battles, indicated that they had to be emplaced in a manner more consistent with light artillery pieces than personal missile weapons.
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Nick Esposito




Location: Northern Virgina, US
Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henry,

I have two more links here. One with the history of the crossbow and another with detailed photos of a replica "early" crossbow.
Look in the "bibliography"section of the Skane style bow page, it has his references which could also help you.

http://homepages.tesco.net/~tinyclanger/fitzg...ockbow.htm

http://homepages.tesco.net/~tinyclanger/fitzg...ssbows.htm

Enjoy!

-Nick
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