The Middle Ages ( 500-1500a.d ) Essay

1239 Words Mar 9th, 2016 5 Pages
The Middle Ages (500-1500A.D.), commonly referred to as the Dark Ages or the Medieval Times, was an era of growth, art, architecture, Church dominance, and a feudalistic society. Innovation and development were major aspects of this time period. Major steps were developed in the fields of warfare and medicine that drastically changed the course of history. More well-known medieval inventions and developments include the printing press and the adoption of gunpowder. However, this paper focuses on three other developments of equal importance, but lesser fame: the longbow and crossbow, metal stirrups, and quarantine.
The longbow and crossbow, or arbalest, were small and transportable, but lethal weapons used during war and were potentially the most effective. Longbows had an upper and lower wooden limb strung with hemp and were drawn by hand. Javelins or bolts were nocked above the hand and were shot long distances with great accuracy. Crossbows were derived from the longbow, were more developed, and required much less upper body strength. The Chinese originally created the weapon around 600BC, but the use of the arbalest was spread to Europe by the Normans in 1066. The weapon included a steel limb identical to the shape of a longbow, but a tiller or stock and hook was added to ease the strength needed to draw back heavier strings. A sight was added to the front of the stock to aid the archer in his aiming. Crossbows were held parallel to the ground, unlike the…

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