The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa











































 -  And the mediaeval histories present some
remarkable feats of this kind. Thus, in the attack of Mortagne by the men - Page 320
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And The Mediaeval Histories Present Some Remarkable Feats Of This Kind.

Thus, in the attack of Mortagne by the men of Hainault and Valenciennes (1340), the latter had an engine

Which was a great annoyance to the garrison; there was a clever engineer in the garrison who set up another machine against it, and adjusted it so well that the first shot fell within 12 paces of the enemy's engine, the second fell near the box, and the third struck the shaft and split it in two.

Already in the first half of the 13th century, a French poet (quoted by Weber) looks forward with disgust to the supercession of the feats of chivalry by more mechanical methods of war: -

"Chevaliers sont esperdus, Cil ont auques leur tens perdus; Arbalestier et mineor Et perrier et engigneor Seront dorenavant plus chier."

When Ghazan Khan was about to besiege the castle of Damascus in 1300, so much importance was attached to this art that whilst his Engineer, a man of reputation therein, was engaged in preparing the machines, the Governor of the castle offered a reward of 1000 dinars for that personage's head. And one of the garrison was daring enough to enter the Mongol camp, stab the Engineer, and carry back his head into the castle!

Marino Sanudo, about the same time, speaks of the range of these engines with a prophetic sense of the importance of artillery in war: -

"On this subject (length of range) the engineers and experts of the army should employ their very sharpest wits.

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