Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Larry Simon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study investigates the engineering and use of a proposed type of trebuchet in the Middle Ages. A study by a prominent historian has suggested the existence of a type of siege weapon that made use of both human and gravitational forces to fire its projectile. My research will investigate this claim by examining select sources, reviewing the engineering principles involved, and determining the viability of such a machine.

After dealing with this theory I will offer my own new interpretation made from the sources. This interpretation will center on the application of ancient technology to make trebuchets more efficient. The theory involves the idea of counterpoising the mass of the components and projectiles with the use of a small weight. Much of the prior work on this subject has been speculative and based upon unclear primary sources. My research will offer a more solid basis for interpretation based upon work in physical principles as well as historical sources.

Included in

History Commons