~ Medieval Weapons ~
- Crossbows -
The first crossbows were fairly plain in design and the prod, the bow
of the crossbow, would have been made of plain wood, usually ash or
yew, although in the 14th century laminated wood and even metal was
used. Draw weights were also a feature of later Medieval crossbows,
which, when combined with a metal prod, produced greater reliability.
When a crossbowman in battle wanted to span his crossbow, that is pull
back the string and hook it in place ready for shooting, in safety,
he would have used a pavise. A pavise was a curved shield which was
self-supporting and large enough for hiding behind on the battlefield.
The one- or two-foot crossbow was so-called because one would use one
or two feet to place the bow over so one could span the crossbow
prior to its release by a trigger, the tiller. The projectile would
either be a bolt, a kind of short arrow, or a quarrel, another term
for a bolt but one which was square-headed. The wielder of the crossbow
would use the point of the bolt or quarrel as a guide for aiming.
Crossbows - continued