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.