The Mangonel Catapult

Of all medieval weaponry, the mangonel catapult is probably the one that most people picture. The siege weapon consisted of a bucket on the end of an arm and it sent missiles in a looping arc at the enemy. The missiles used were everything from stones to whatever was available including wooden poles, burning tar, quicklime and all manner of dead, rotting and diseased organic matter.

The word mangonel comes from the Latin word manganon which meand “an engine of war”. The mangonel catapult was invented by the Romans in around 400BC as a more mobile alternative to the massive crossbow-like trebuchet catapult.

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