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    About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

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    HeroSK
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    About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by HeroSK on Fri May 09, 2014 1:23 am

    Hi all,

    Below French content is translation of from book of Al-Tarsusi who wrote an Arabic book for Saladin mentioning a large crossbow stock and lock mechanism. I tried to use Google Translate but the result was awfully distorted. I tried to ask about it here since only proper translation could be done by someone knowing mechanics of crossbows.

    If anyone could translate or sum up what the text is about, I would greatly appreciate it.





    Thanks in advance.

    jeep
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    Re: About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by jeep on Fri May 09, 2014 6:34 am

    I agree with google giving completely distorted translation, but here  nothing better can be done....The text you show is itself totally distorted and hardly mean anything clear. You don't need translation but interpretation....It seem describing a windlass crossbow, but in Saladin Time (12th century)it wasn't invented yet....Maybe you can show figure n° 1,2,3 mentioned in the text it will help.

    mac
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    Re: About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by mac on Fri May 09, 2014 7:19 am

    Has someone got a trick for pasting this into Google translator?  I have tried a couple of things, but I can't seem to just copy and paste from here.

    Hero,

    I hate to even say it, but I fear that what you really need is a crossbow expert who can read medieval Arabic to look at the original.  Even the best translations of technical topics are only as good as the expertise of the translator.  There's no telling what assumptions the French translator has already made.

    Mac

    HeroSK
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    Re: About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by HeroSK on Fri May 09, 2014 8:47 am

    This passage belongs to famous orientalist Claude Cahen about Al-Tarsusi's Manual written for Saladin. Even though he was good with Arabic, I think expertize in such technical matter needed to understand what was the real.  The images available are not providing anything about stock and lock but only front view and a compound windlass. Here it is. 



    This is image scan of a pdf thus there is no way to copy paste. I tried Free OCR(optical character recognition) softwares but resulting text is useless. Thus, I am now trying to write it somewhere with a French keyboard.

    There were large selection of crossbows from small qaws al rijl to huge qaws al ziyar in times of Saladin but If you meant western type windlass crossbow, I agree with you about being a late invention. Above text is description of stock and windlass mechanism I think.  After I finish copying it I will post it here too.

    HeroSK
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    Re: About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by HeroSK on Fri May 09, 2014 12:10 pm

    Here, I tried to copy the section about stock and lock mechanism.

    Original;
    Code:
    Description du conduit (majrât)

    Prends un conduit caché proportionné à l'arc et dont la longueur soit de deux fois celle de la flèche :
    qu'il soit à l'endroit où arrive la corde (watar) lorsqu'est fermé (?) le verrou dans lequel elle est placée : 
    verrou travaillé en fer et en cuivre et qui doit être proportionné à la plus ou moins grande raille de l'arc ;


    il est percé au millieu de sa largeur d'un trou où est introduit un clou fixé aux deux côtés de la fente faite
    dans le conduit ; enfin que le crochet puisse jouer dans l'espace du conduit en montant et en descendant :
    lorsqu'on la retire, le verrou est laissé descendre, et la corde (Watar) est relâchée, la fléche envoyée, et elle
    sort en proportion de la tension de le corde.

    Qu'on mette au verrou sa clé, qui doit être dressée [et it est dit dans (mot incompris)?] qu'elle doit avoir une
    longueur de cinq coudées ou plus :  tout ce qui l'allonge facilite son retrait [du verrou?] car il revient comme
    la bascule, et it devient plus aisé de donner la traction qui le retire du crochet et s'il tarde à côte, un miqât(7)
     avec lequel on tire en cas de besoin pour relâcher la fléche.  Que ve verrou soit percé dans le sens de la largeur,
    et qu'on y place un poinçon de fer fixé dans le conduit.

    La fléche doit être proportionnée à l'arc et à sa grosseur. Il en est qui sont longues d'une coundée ,
    avec l'épaisseur d'une lance, et dont le fer pèse jusqu'à un ratl d'Egypte,  on plus, ou moins selon l'arc.
    La fléche est placée dans le conduit en un lieu ménagé pour elle en face dela corde (watar). Voici le dessin de
    cet arc : (fig. 1)

    Et si tu désires placer sur la traverse médiane trois arcs de la méme manière, ménage en face de chacun d'eux une
    ouverture pour la sortie de la fléche, selon ce modéle : (fig. 2)

    La corde (watar) de l'arc es tendue avec un tour, maneuvré par un seul homme, tour dont voici le description.
    Google Translate;

    Code:
    Description conduit (majrât)
    Take a concealed conduit proportioned arc whose length is twice that of the arrow (?)
    It is where the rope (watar) arrives lorsqu'est closed lock in which it is placed: lock worked iron and copper
    which must be proportionate to the greater or less mocks the arc;

    it is pierced at its middle with a hole width is introduced where a nail fixed to both sides of the slit made
    ??in the conduit; Finally, the hook can play in space leads uphill and downhill when removed, the lock is left
    down and the rope (Watar) is released, the arrow sent, and she goes in proportion to the tension of the rope.


    We put her key in the lock, which must be drawn that it must have a length of five cubits or more [and it is said
    in (misunderstood word)?] ​​Everything that extends facilitates its removal [lock ?] because it returns as the scale,
     and it becomes easier to give traction which removes the hook and if slow side, a Miqat (7) with which one takes
    when needed to release the arrow. That ve lock is drilled in the width direction, and which places a fixed iron
    punch in the duct.

    The arrow must be proportionate to the arc and its size. There are those who are long a coundée with the thickness
    of a spear, and with iron weighs up a ratl Egypt, is more or less along the arc. The arrow is placed in the conduit
    provided a place for her in front beyond string (watar). Here is the drawing of the arc (Fig. 1)

    And if you wish to place it on the middle three arches crosses Similarly, household opposite each opening for
     the release of the arrow, according to this model (Fig. 2)

    Rope (watar) of the arc are stretched with a turn maneuver by one man, whose round here the description.

    Since rest of text is about compound pulley system I omit those parts. 

    @Master Mac, You are undoubtedly  right about translations but I am afraid finding an Arabic translator is much harder to find more common French language. That why I asked about French translation.

    kenh
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    Re: About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by kenh on Fri May 09, 2014 2:12 pm

    I might suggest that you ask this question over at the Asian Traditional Archery Research Network -- www.ATARN.net  there are a number of people there who read old Arabic as well as old French, and they may be able to help you.  These are also people who are very knowledgeable about archery in all its guises.

    HeroSK
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    Re: About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by HeroSK on Sat May 10, 2014 12:04 pm

    Thanks to all posters for your efforts. I can't say I am hopeful about Arabic text since it is also not better than French translation but I will try ATARN.

    Thanks again.

    HeroSK
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    Re: About Large Medieval Crossbow Stock (French Translation Needed)

    Post by HeroSK on Tue May 13, 2014 4:41 pm

    Hey there, with the help of some kind audience I have found the what I am looking for!  Very Happy You can find the related posts in below thread. In the text, Tarsusi is describing a claw and hand lock of ancient Greek origin.

    http://www.romanarmytalk.com/17-roman-military-history-a-archaeology/322140-medieval-torsion-catapults.html?start=60#354884

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