Why Was the Crossbow Banned?

Crossbows banned by Church in 1139 to minimize deaths among Christian armies from all missile-based weaponry. Consequently, Pope Innocent III attempted to boycott the utilization of arrow-based weaponry against Christians at the second chamber of Lateran in 1139.

‘We prohibit under anathema that murderous art of crossbowmen and archers, which is hateful to God, to be employed against Christians and Catholics.’

–– Second Lateran Council, Canon 29

It wasn’t explicitly crossbows that were prohibited, yet archery overall- and just against certain groups of Christians and Catholics. The Pope’s thinking appears to be clear. At that point, bows and arrows were the most productive strategy for killing enormous quantities of individuals, and the Pope thought it was unjustified for Christians to utilize it to target other Christians.

The leaders of Europe disregarded him. The ‘boycott’ didn’t have the smallest effect on how fighting was directed in Europe. In addition, by 1300, the crossbow had generally uprooted the longbow on European war zones, regardless of being restricted in 1139 by the Pope as ‘haunting and disdainful to God and unsuitable to be utilized by Christians.’