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Giant crossbow

Balestra gigante

As an engineer and designer of offensive and defensive war machines, Leonardo di not neglect to consider traditional weapons, such as crossbows and catapults. This crossbow was suggested as a major weapon of war and, in Leonardo's mind, it was to be employed for shooting large arrows against the enemy ranks and create havoc among them. In order to increase its flexibility and power, the gigantic bow was to be manufactured in several lamellar sections. The shooting rope was stretched with a mechanical device and was then released by percussion or through the action of a lever. The six carriage wheels could be inclined, so as to ensure greater firing stability.

Codex Atlanticus sheet 149a


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