Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cross Bow

Cross Bow was a bow fixed upon a stock, and the string in its rebound struck a small bolt, arrow, or quarrel, a trigger holding the bow at its required tension till the moment of discharge. The bolt sometimes passed along a groove, sometimes along a barrel. The cross-bow was a formidable weapon of mediaeval warfare, and was sometimes of such strength that mechanical contrivances were required to bend it. Pollaiuolo's picture in the National Gallery of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian presents some striking examples of handling the cross-bow. The arbalest or arbalete was a favourite weapon of the Low Countries, and its memory is kept green by the Jardin des Arbaletriers at Antwerp, while in the neighbourhood of that town the weapon is still used in competitions, and examples of it may be seen in which a small steel bow is fitted to a polished stock closely resembling that of a gun or rifle.