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Long before missiles and James Bond gadgets, our ancestors had to be truly creative to defend their homes and lives. On their quest for protection our ancestors showed quite a knack for creating cruel and inventive ways to kill. Many of our modern weapons are merely a more sophisticated variation of these originals. Without further ado, the top 5 cruelest ancient weapons

5. Arbalest
This large deadly older brother of the crossbow was known as the Arbalest. Bigger than the modern cross bow and fitted with a steel “bow,” the Arbalest struck fear into the hearts of many. The Arbalest could shoot two bolts a minute and was accurate for up to 500m! Arbalests become infamous for being an unfair weapon because even an inexperienced crossbowman could take out a warrior who had a lifetime of proper training. The Arbalast, as the cause of many deaths, was hated by the church and the pope passed a motion to ban its use in 1139.

4. Morning Star
The morning star was a club-like weapon with many sharp spikes poking out of it. The longest were built over six feet long. Although, initially thought of as a poor man’s weapon, the rich soon caught on and began producing and utilizing them as well. One legend has it that King John of Bohemia was blind, and during battle would simply ride around swinging his morning star until he hit someone(fingers crossed it was an enemy).

3. Trebuchet
The Trebuchet was the name given to high powered catapults. The Trebuchet was invented during the 4th century in China and revolutionized the weaponry at the time. From then on in times of warfare, it was popular for citizens to launch people and animals that had died. The Trebuchet made its debut in Europe in the 6th century, and surprisingly it didn’t die out until the mid-16th century.The Trebuchet was quite accurate and could fling items over half a mile.

2. Flaming Arrows
Widely used by the Greeks and the Chinese during sieges, the flaming arrow was simple yet fiercely effective. After they had pillaged a village, it was a common practice for archers to shower the enemy’s towns with a wave of flaming arrows and set it ablaze. Many buildings back then were built from wood and had hay roofs, as you can imagine the city would burn to the ground in just a few hours.

1. Greek Fire
Sometime in 670 AD, it was not uncommon for your crew to be relaxing on your ship at sea when suddenly it would be raining fire. The Greeks began this new practice of setting their enemies ships on fire when engaged in naval warfare! Through the use of a siphon, the greeks would spray the enemy boat with a special blend of nearly unstoppable fire. Still a secret recipe to this day, the Greek fire would apparently keep burning for some time even after the vessel was completely submerged.

Sources and Citations:
http://www.ancientmilitary.com/ancient-weapons.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Ancient_weapons
http://www.cracked.com/article_18687_6-amazingly-high-tech-ancient-weapons.html

Top 10 Badass Ancient Weapons


http://www.spike.com/articles/wnyrgd/deadliest-warrior-top-10-deadliest-ancient-weapons?page=2
http://www.legendsandchronicles.com/ancient-weapons/