Medieval Technology, Cannon

The primary use of early cannon were as bombards to knock down the walls of besieged castles. The earliest success at this came in 1377 at the siege of Odruik when cannon firing 200 pound balls breached the walls of the castle. The Cannon underwent rapid evolution in both size and construction.

They quickly became large and almost as quickly became small, evolving into hand weapons as well.

The invention of the cannon is not a clear known story, although the approximate dates are clear. The dates, places of the inventions of gunpowder and the cannon cannot be determined, because the invention was not a simple act. Gunpowder had to be invented first, but even here gunpowder is not one substance, but many, of differing properties.

Gunpowder depends on the availability of pure nitrates or saltpetre, which does not occur naturally, and will not be found by accident. Therefore, the origin of cannon begins with a question of chemical engineering. The best chemical theories of the time, around AD 1000, were in all respects those of antiquity and utterly futile in the solution of this problem.

For some time it was widely believed that gunpowder was invented by the German monk Berthold Schwartz of Freiberg sometime in the early 14th century, however modern research has proved that the apparent evidence is in fact a renaissance addition to the original Ghent Memorial book manu.

A more plausible claim to the invention is in a letter dated to between 1249 and 1267 by the English scientist Roger Bacon. Although written in a code, it clearly describes experiments with the ingredients of gunpowder namely saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal.

Many claims also suggest China as an origin for gunpowder, and there still remains a possibility that the recipes were transmitted to Europe via the moslems. In the Arabian colonies of Africa, saltpetre was known as "Chinese snow" and in Persia as "Chinese salt" and one 13th century manuscript refers to a substance causing "Heaven shaking thunder!" It should be pointed out however that actual firearms in the far-east were developed at around the same time as in the west and the early use of gunpowder was probably limited to fireworks

Cannon Law
Cannon Law has nothing to do with cannons,

The old joke.
The first principle of Canon Law is, Don't stand in front of the cannon.

The earlier meaning of the word "canon" is actually rule or guideline, You might already be familiar with this term from Art History where they talk about 'the canon of forms'. In the course of time, the word "canon" came to be used in the world of law to refer to church related issues.

Eventually the term included all of the ecclesiastical laws, regulations, papal letters and encyclicals ? the medieval legal scholar, Gratian of Bologna, used the word canon in this sense in his famous work, the Decretum, written about 1140. People who study canon law are called "canonists." The word "canon" is also used to refer to a person who holds a certain type of office in the church.

See also Brass Monkey :)- See Also Humpty Dumpty

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