The Conquering Trabuco

The Trabuco has a long and storied history of claiming battlefields for the side of the victor worldwide. Though the weapon bears a familial resemblance to the catapult, the latter weapon was never used, constructed, or diagrammed in ancient China, where the earliest form of the Trabuco, the balancing Trabuco, is believed by historians to have been developed sometime in the fourth century A.D.

The Balancing Trabuco made use of a firing beam, ended with a sling in which the weapon’s projectile would be loaded. The beam was constructed within the frame of the weapon and attached with a ropes which would be pulled by a team of men to launch the Trabuco’s missile.


The more popular and better functioning version of the weapon, the counterweight Trabuco, made use of a lever mechanism instead of the man power of the balancing former version. This not only freed up soldiers for infantry combat, but allowed the weapon to deliver it’s payload much further than it’s predecessor. The Counterweight Trabuco is believed to have been developed sometime in the sixth century A.D. after the nomadic Avars brought the weapon to the Middle East according to It was there that many historians claim Persian engineers developed the latter version of the Trabuco.

From it’s upgrade, the Trabuco would make it’s way into Europe where rival kingdoms would use the weapon extensively in land scrimmages, border wars, and takeovers. In France the Trabuco would take on the name of the Trebuchet, which it is still commonly known, and in Brazil the weapon was used in a primitive shotgun like fashion in which it was loaded with as many projectiles as possible and launched at the enemy. In the Crusades, the Trabuco served as one of the earliest forms of biological warfare when plague infected corpses were launched into enemy camps by both sides in hopes of infecting rival armies. The Trabuco had vanished from battlefields after the rise of gunpowder, with the cannon taking it’s place as the preferred siege engine. The weapon is commonly constructed in modern times by collectors, historians, and hobbyists.

Learn more about Trabuco: