This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,-- This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. ~~William Shakespeare, Richard III

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This Day in History...

August 20, 1146 - Pope Innocent II held a conference of European leaders and prelates in which they outlawed the use of the crossbow. In fact, it wasn't JUST the crossbow ("the dastard's weapon") they were outlawing, it was "the deadly and God-detested art of slingers and archers." They hoped that by banning the weapon, wars would eventually end for good (Why they thought this I don't know; man is still man and would fight a war with something else if need be). Despite this prohibition, crossbows continued to be used until the 1500s (however the English used the longbow much more often in battle which was much easier to use and more deadly as more bolts could be shot per minute), when they were replaced by firearms.

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