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5 posters

    Double prod crossbow in Europe?

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    HeroSK
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    Double prod crossbow in Europe? Empty Double prod crossbow in Europe?

    Post by HeroSK Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:44 am

    Hi all,

    I saw below reconstruction from a book "The crossbow in Europe and Serbia". When I asked about any historical base for it, writer pointed me out to Milemete manuscript dated to 1326-27. What is your opinions about with interpretation and reconstruction?

    Page from the book; The crossbow in Europe and Serbia

    Double prod crossbow in Europe? 17799410
    Drawing from the Milemete manuscript, 1326-27

    Double prod crossbow in Europe? 10459111
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    Post by mac Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:54 am

    I do not think that is a what's happening in the manuscript.  There clearly is a sort of stick bound in with the bow, but there is no indication that it is meant to be a secondary bow or spring.   There are no cords depicted to connect it to the bow, the stick is too short to serve as a secondary bow, and the stick is not tapered like it would need to be.

    Now, that said, I a glad to have someone point out the "stick".  I don't understand what it is doing there, but now I will begin looking for other examples. 

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    Post by mac Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:07 am

    Here is a color detail folio 86v from the manuscripthttp://viewer.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/christchurch/page.php?book=ms._92&page=143

    Double prod crossbow in Europe? 68v11



    ....and here is the other siege crossbow from the same MS  (69v)  http://viewer.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/christchurch/page.php?book=ms._92&page=144
    Double prod crossbow in Europe? 69v10
    The entire manuscript can be found here http://viewer.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/christchurch/thumbs.php?book=ms._92&page=1
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    Post by HeroSK Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:56 am

    Many thanks Master Mac, I agree about no connections between the rod and prod. Apparently, the rod is fixed to stock and prod tied to it. What would be the advantages of having such a setup? Second crossbow has no such rod but still looks quite functional.

    Like all technical drawings this also need great care to judge if such a device were actually used. This manuscript also have some quite imaginative projects to stimulate creativeness of targeted audience and this crossbow could be also such a drawing.

    I have never met such a design with a stick but I wish you good luck with your search Master Mac. Smile
    Thanks in advance.
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    Post by hullutiedemies Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:00 am

    The stick could be just a "safety bar". Keeping the limbs from hitting obstacles when the bow used in confined space like a castle.

    Biggest crossbow I have made has 2 meter prod. And problem shooting it was that there always seemed to be trees or buildings catching the limbs.


    Or the bow limbs are spliced from two shorter staves and the bar is strenghtening the splice. It is much easier to find good quality timber in pieces shorter than the 2-3 m that seems to be there.
    ( my mega bow was spliced from two 140cm yew saplings )
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    Post by mac Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:37 am

    I'm intrigued by the idea of splicing the limbs.  It seems like some sort of reinforcement in the middle would have to be used.   Of course, it would not have to stick out as far as the "stick" we see in the illustration. 

    A thing that we can see in the color pic that was not visible in the B/W is that the "stick" is painted a blue-grey color.  I wonder if we are supposed to understand it as iron/steel....?

    These early illustrations are a blessing and a curse.  Without them we have nothing, but the artists were just not working within conventions that inform us on the technical points we want to understand.  I've spent a certain amount of time trying to understand what is going on with the blue  ropes(?) that go from the limb tips to the gold pulleys(?) and then (apparently) to the shaft of the windlass. Is he trying to show us a system whereby the limbs are drawn back by these ropes, and not by the bow cord? 

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    Post by HeroSK Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:37 pm

    @hullutiedemies, great theory about splicing limbs, this could be the reason for all that huge bundle of ropes used to affix limbs to stock.

    @Master Mac, I agree about blue ropes were used to bend the prod since there is no connection between bow string and windlass. Limbs pulled back till bow string is read to locked by trigger. I remember about some theories of using a bastard spring for drawing on high poundage torsion powered springalds for protecting actual string. This could be a similar case.  

    For the "stick", while thinking about this, I though the "stick" could be a safety precaution against sallies of besieged garrison. In the second drawing enemy soldier with his falchion severely damages prod of crossbow but if there is a "stick" in front of the prod this could save precious heavy prod. Also note that over the rope bindings there is a protective large part presumably serving as a screen and groove for the bolt.
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    Post by arbalest Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:49 am

    The top picture showing the secondary limb attached to the main limb is very similar to the Penobscot Indian bow.

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    Post by kenh Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:29 pm

    The top picture (the reconstruction sketch) does appear similar to a Penobscot bow -- perhaps because the artist was familiar with that design.  The manuscript pictures, however, do not show any connections between what is obviously the prod and the unknown transverse bar.

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