The crossbow is a bow-like weapon, but with greater punch.

Already in ancient Greece, the original weapon of the crossbow was used. The Gastraphetes was a waist-high weapon that was already based on the principle of the permanently cocked crossbow. The Roman legions used some crossbows, but these were developed into large siege weapons such as the ballist or the Roman scorpion. Early forms of the crossbow could also be found in early China.


Die Gastraphetes

The Gastraphetes


In the course of the ninth century, the crossbow finally prevailed militarily through its mass use by the Normans. However, as the firing range of the crossbow was far below that of the long bow, battles continued to be increasingly focused on bows. Therefore, the crossbow was used more in urban militia, since the training and physical conditions were not as high as for an archer. This also developed the heavy wall crossbow, which was placed on the wall for defense.


mittelalterlicher Armbrustschütze

medieval crossbowman


mittelalterliche Pfeilspitzen

medieval arrowheads



In the late 15th century, the arkebuse (hook-box), which gradually replaced the bow and the crossbow as a long-range firearm until the middle of the 16th century, appeared more frequently.






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