Trabuco: The Artillery Of Ancient Warfare

Spears, bows, arrows – – modern man imagines these are the only weapons the ancients used in warfare. This idea is far from the truth! The fact is ancient man developed large and sophisticated machines to use in warfare. A good example of that is the trabuco.

The History of the Trabuco

Early in the history of warfare according to, soldiers realized they needed a way to breach the walls besieged cities. The first crude method was the use of a large log carried by several soldiers to batter down the wooden gates of the walled city. This proved a dangerous tactic. Soldiers manning the battering ram risked injury or death by projectiles shot from the gates protecting towers. Armies needed a way to attack those city walls from a safer distance. Ancient Chinese soldiers found an answer to this in the form of the trabuco (also known as the trebuchet).

The trabuco consisted of a large lever mounted upon a timber frame. The lever pivoted on an axle high off the ground. At the lever’s long end hung a large leather pouch that could be filled with stones, metal projectiles or fiery bombs. At the lever’s short end, a heavy counterweight was attached. This counterweight was winched to a great height by a group of men. When released the weight would activate the lever and throw the projectile against the city walls. The Chinese originated the trabuco’s use around 300 B.C. Those first versions were powered by a team of soldiers who pulled on ropes attached to the shorter end of the lever. The Avars imported the trabuco to the west around 500 A.D. The Crusaders later improved the trabuco by replacing the rope power with the heavy counterweight. European armies used trabucos widely until the invention of cannons.

The Power of the Trabuco

Trabucos towered to a height of 30 meters. Built mainly of wood, some trabucos could launch a 1500 kg stone. Normally, they shot stone that weighed from 50-100 kg as far as 300 meters. Modern engineers have built trabucos that have proven these historical records. The largest is at Warwick Castle, England on It can throw a 36 kg weight up to 300 meters. In 2013 a trabuco constructed for the pumpkin throwing contest in Sussex County, Delaware threw a pumpkin weighing approximately ten pounds almost 865 meters.

According to, The Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu warned generals in 400 B.C. that “…the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.” The invention of the great ancient war machine of the trabuco changed all that.

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Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s Noble Act of Charity

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, two journalists and co-founders of Village media and Phoenix New Times, have received a $3.75 million settlement as a result of their unlawful arrest on October 18, 2007. They were arrested by Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff, in the wee hours of the night in their homes after they revealed that there were grand jury proceedings which sort notes by reporters on the Sheriff.

On top of that, the grand jury demanded that the identity of individuals who read the online stories by New Times be revealed. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey decided to sue the county and eventually prevailed, after nine attempts, in the United States Court of Appeal.

They decided to dedicate their settlement to funding organizations in Arizona which fought for migrant rights. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund will be directed towards the support of groups that fight for freedom of speech, civic participation in all of Arizona, human, civil and migrant rights.

One of the initiatives that has assisted migrants in the United States is the Arizona State University (ASU) College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). Every year, thirty-five students are picked, from the migrant and seasonal farmworker community in Arizona, to take part in the program. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: and

Its applicants must be citizens of the United States and must also be permanent residents. CAMP believes that individuals from the migrant community can achieve anything they put their mind to and its aim is to assist them to take the first step towards achieving their dreams. The program began in 1972 and is federally funded. It was started at Arizona State University in 2016.

CAMP’s aim is to be a home for migrant students. Through its recruiter and family engagement coordinator, the program ensures that the students have a sense of belonging at the university. This program also equips the students with the essentials they need for them to graduate from ASU.

CAMP has campus tours for both the students and their families so as to introduce the students to university life. Students also meet face-to-face with other migrant students who are already studying at the university.

CAMP has forums which enlighten the students on finding funds, choosing a major which is in line with their choice of career and, in general, prepares them for college. Students are guided on how to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid and ASU application.

After the students join the university, they get assistance in coming up with a study plan, choosing courses, choosing a major, exploring internship and career opportunities, setting goals and facing college life challenges. The program also assists students to secure scholarships and internships while at the university.

Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a neurosurgeon who was once an undocumented farmworker, and Jose Hernandez, an astronaut whose parents had to travel back and forth between the US and Mexico, leaving him to homeschool himself, are proof that migrants have a bright future. All they need is the opportunity to turn their dreams into reality.

Read more: Jim Larkin | and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase