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.