Medieval Sieges

Essay by iamfat352 April 2004

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Fiery arrows fly through the sky, trying to hit the large wooden sculpture and the men wielding it. "Fire" yelled a man from inside the castle, hundreds of arrows flew, the only sound was the screams of the hit men, their skin aflame their flesh bleeding and burning. The wooden sculpture through a large stone into the castle wall. The stone crumbled and many men fell from their posts on the wall into the sharp, hard rubble of what was called a castle. Men ran into the castles some stealing from the archers as the went. The trebuchet could not be defeated.

The trebuchet was a medieval siege weapon. Built from wood and stone it through heavy rocks and boulders to crush castles and kill opponents. It is known for it's weighting system. A rock or boulder would be held on one side of the gigantic trebuchet, while a heaver weight was attached to the other.

When the rock was released the counterweight would through it high into the air. None would want to be around when it landed.

The rock would lie in a pouch with a string attached to both ends, one of the strings would attach to the trebuchet while the other would be loosely tied to a piece of would or stone jutting out from the tip of the trebuchet at an angle. When the rock was released the string would come off of the jutting wood propelled by the counterweight, this would through the stone great distances.

Some castles were built with trebuchet sieges in mind. These castles would be surrounded by a moat or they would be on top of a hill, somewhere high where a trebuchet would have trouble reaching. Another attribute of a defending castles were small slits in the...