Medieval Mondays: Ballistas, Mangonels, and Trebuchets…Oh My!!!

Despite their immense size and solidity, castles were not impenetrable. Bombarding weaponry had to be pretty intense to breech the 10 foot thick walls of stone and the troops of soldiers that many Medieval fortresses employed.

Cue the Ballista, the Mangonel, and the Trebuchet…

Ballista

1) The Ballista: This weapon was first invented by the Greeks. It featured a huge crossbow which shot “bolts” or gigantic arrows across the sky.

Mangonel

2) The Mangonel: Shaped almost like a gigantic wooden spoon on wheels, the Mangonel fired huge boulders, dead animals, or severed heads over the outer wall.

Trebuchet

3) The Trebuchet: The most well known of the Medieval siege machines, this giant slingshot was countered with a weight (often a box of rocks) on the other end. Using this counterweight, it could shoot boulders extremely far and with intense force.

No fear! Those inside the castle were not without their defenses. Besides moats and drawbridges, archers were stationed in towers and on the battlements to protect their fortress at any cost.

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