29 December 2019

An Armenian Artilleryman of the Crusades

Real Crusades History #41

In this video, we take a look at an obscure figure from the Crusades: Havedic, an Armenian artillery expert who participated in the Siege of Tyre in 1124. What can we learn about him from William of Tyre's brief comments concerning his endeavors. The William of Tyre quote used in this video: 

“Presently the Christians noticed that a machine within the city of Tyre was aiming enormous stones so accurately against our siege towers that both were being seriously injured. Since there was no one in camp who possessed the expert skill necessary for aiming and hurling the mighty missiles, they sent to Antioch for a certain Armenian named Havedic, who was said to be very proficient in that art. He came immediately and displayed so much skill in directing the machines and hurling great stone missiles that whatever was assigned to him as a target was at once destroyed without difficulty. As soon as he reached the army, he was granted an honorable salary from the public treasury, so that he might maintain himself in his customary magnificence. He applied himself earnestly to the work for which he had been summoned and showed so much skill that the war seemed to be carried on with renewed strength. In fact, it assumed the aspect of a new war in the eyes of the Tyrians, whose woes were greatly increased by his coming.” -William of Tyre, vol. II, p. 15-16.

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