Thursday, September 18, 2014

Manjaniq (Early) # 4

Manjaniq (Early) # 3

Manjaniq (Early) # 2

Rear View showing the sack of rocks that is the weapon's counterwieght.
Note the crossbow fastened to the rear of the weapon, used for the
return of the weapon to "firing" battery.

Manjaniq (Early) # 1

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Earliest Form of a Counterwieght; "Manjaniq," as described by al Tarsusi

Pyrotechnic Weapon; Greek Fire Syphon

The hypothetical reconstruction is based upon written descriptions
and one surviving illustration.  A vertical brass pump provides air
pressure via a bronze-bound leather hose to the main tank
consisting of two pieces of copper sheeting soldered together.
Underneath is a small brazier  and a pair of bellows.  Another hose
 takes the heated liquid to the  nozzle.

Redrawn and Enhanced  by Marcus Audens.

Reference: D. Nicolle, "Medieval Soege Weapons (2)," Osprey, 2003, New Vanguard 69.

Torsion-Powered Engine - Byzantine "alakation or ballista"

This weapon is probably a simplified version of a weapon common
during the Roman period.  The weapon could be aimed up and
down and side to side.  It had two separate bow arms  (oak) and
twisted skiens stretched across a wooden frame.  A crosspiece of
iron with a claw is held in place by two staples nailed to the stock.
An iron "key" with a length of rope served as a release mechanism.

Redrawn ad Enhanced - Marcus Audens

Reference: D. Nicolle, "Medieval Siege Weapons (2)," Osprey, 2003, N.V. 69

Torsion-Powered Engine; "Qaws ziyar" by al Tarsusi

The frame of this equipment is unseasoned oak, put together with
half-butt joints, and large iron nails.  Each piece of wood used in
the construction of this weapon was approximately one span (20 cm)
square while the vertical timber at the front of the weapon
was two spans across with bronze plates around both sides
of an arch shaped hole through which the arrow / dart was shot.
Twisted skiens of horsehair and silk were looped around the frame.
In the above drawing the bowstring has been pulled back into a slot
cut into a groove across the top of the horizontal stock.  The oak
trigger pushed up a pin releasing the bowstring.

Redrawn and Enhanced  by Marcus Audens.

Reference; D. Nicolle, "Medieval Siege Weapons (2)." Osprey, 2003, N.V. 69  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shabakah - 4

Shabakah -3, Back Side

The rear panels of heavy cloth and raw wool has been removed to provide a view of
the rope net  under the over- layers 

Shabakah 2 - End View

Shabakah 1

The above is a screen which was used to protect siege workers from
darts and arrows launched from special catapult siege machines.
 It was designed to stop and hold such missiles.

Da Vinci Catapult, End View - 2

Da Vinci Catapult, End View

Da Vinci Catapult, Front View

Da Vinci Catapult

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pyrotechnic Weapons -- Naft Zarraga

The above conjectural drawing is a reconstruction of a portable Greek Fire
siphon from a number of written descriptions plus highly stylized
illustrations in Byzantine and Islamic military manuals.  An airtight
 copper "box" (tank) containing inflammable liquid is mounted
above a hand-held siphon.


D. Nicolle, et al, "Medieval Siege Weapons (2)," New Vanguard 69, Osprey, Oxford, UK, 2003

Pyrotecnic Weapons, Hand-gun late 14th century

Unfortunately, the very worn Arabic inscription on the rear of the portion
of the Islamic Gun (1) has yet to be interpreted.  The massive late medieval
iron arrow (2) found in the citadel of Damascus and now in the Musee del'
Armee in Paris was probably fired from such a gun.

D. Nicolle et al, "Medieval Siege Weapons (2)," New Vanguard 69, Osprey, page 45

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Baghdad; Round City and section through gate - Abbasid, Iraq

Baghdad, of course remains the most famous memorial to the Abbasids, 
although nothing remains of the fortified Round City built for the Caliph
 Mansur (754 - 775).  Its purpose was to serve as an administrative capital, 
a Caliphal palace, and a place to settle thousands of Khurasani-Arab troops.  
The location of Baghdad was also particularly good for communications.  
Militarily it housed a large army at the center of the state; these forces 
included regular troops, the Caliph's own guard, the city's shurta police 
and haras internal security force, as well as Baghdad's own paramilitary 
militia.  The great majority of the population, which may have reached 
as many as a half-million by the year 800, lived in sprawlingsuburbs 
around the Round City, some of which had been built by Khurasani 

military chiefs to house their own followers.


D. Niccole and Angus McBride(illus.), "Armies of the Muslim Conquest," Men-At-Arms 225, Osprey Pub., 1993, Pages 23-24.

Respectfully Submitted;

Marcus Audens

Friday, June 20, 2014

Atshan, Umayyad, Iraq

Qasr al Hayr, al Ghure, Umayyad, Iraq

Qasr Hallabat, Umayyad, Jordan

Harunlye, Abbasid, Turkey

The Gate diagram of Ukhaydir, Umayyad, Iraq

Qala'at Rustaq, Early Islamic Oman

The 'later tower' means that sometime since the fortification was 
constructed, a tower was added  to the curtain wall.  It was
 well known that as european forces came into contact with 
muslim forces at a fortification, the Muslim engineers, borrowed 
the technology that they saw in the improvements of their 
opponent's fortifications . 

Muslim State at the Death of Muhammad in 632 CE


D. Nicolle, et al, "Armies of the Muslim Conquest," Men-At-Arms 225, Osprey, 1993, P. 4

Monday, April 7, 2014

"Ship's Prow Tortoise" #7

This view of the machine shows it right side up.  Note the two iron plates for shunting aside any flamable material or logs used against the machine In the top vee of the angle one can see the hinge assembly for the main brace timber.

"Ship's Prow Tortoise" #6

This view of the tortoise shows the machine upside down, showing the wheels, axles and crossbrace.

"Ship's Prow Tortoise" #5

The hieght of the two wings from the ground was about seven feet, which was enough to protect the workers behind the tortoise wings.

"Ship's Prow Tortoise" #4

"Ship's Prow Tortoise" #3

"Ship's Prow Tortoise" #2

This picture shows the Tortoise lying on it's side showing the four wheels, two axles, and the brace timber.

"Ship's Prow Tortoise" #1

This is a picture of the Tortoise upside down showing the four wheels which enabled the workers in the field to move the tortoise around.  This siege machine was used to protect workers, on a slope, from materials that might have been rolled down the slope such as barrels, logs, etc.  The Tortoise had two iron plates on the sharp end of the prow to shunt aside any burning materials such a a wagon load of hay, a flaming barel of oil, etc.  The sharp end of the Tortoise (prow) was always pointed up-slope and the large timber in the middle was the brace that held the tortoise in place.  The center brace and both ends of the tortoise were held in place by heavy stakes pounded deep into the grond.

Friday, March 21, 2014