Online Exhibits > Leonardo and the Engineers of the Renaissance > Models

Trebuchet

Dimensions: 332x211x165 cm
Materials: durmast, beech, chestnut, metal
Constructor: Falegnameria S.A.R.I. e Mariani, Firenze
Date: 1991

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Working model after Taccola, Cod. Lat. Monacensis 197 II (BSBM), fol. 39v

The trebuchet, a siege weapon invented in the Middle Ages, was designed to hurl heavy stones to breach the walls of the enemy fortress. The rotating beam held a sling carrying the projectile at one end, and two stone-laden crates as counterweights at the other end. The beam was swung sharply by lowering the counterweights, releasing the projectile. The device was loaded by means of the hoist.

The drawing by Taccola on which this model is based gives the trebuchet's precise dimensions. The actual machine would have stood at least 15 meters (50 feet) tall, by no means an uncommon height for a trebuchet.

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