The first illustration of a cannon in Europe can be dated quite precisely to 1326. This book explores the development of gunpowder, the earliest appearance of cast-bronze cannon in Western Europe, followed by the design and development of the wrought-iron cannon. The wrought-iron hoop-and-stave method of barrel construction was a system that came to dominate medieval artillery design both large and small until the end of the 15th century, and saw the cannon used not only as a prestige weapon, but start to be used as a practical and terrifying weapon on the medieval battlefield. In 1453, the Ottomans' conquest of Constantinople, with their extensive artillery, marked the triumph of medieval firepower.
The book will focus on the technology and tactics of early European artillery on both sea and land, and assess its impact on medieval warfare.
About the Author.
Jonathan Davies read history at Cambridge before a long career in teaching, primarily in Tudor institutions. He has followed the route of the First Crusade in an ambulance, completed the Pilgrimage to Santiago twice and for the past 20 years has led a re-enactment group specializing in siege artillery. A prolific author and journalist he has written widely on aspects of medieval and Tudor military and civilian life. His next project is to build an early 16th-century bronze cannon. He is survived by a frustrated wife, a bemused daughter and a bewildered son.