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Within the ancient walls of Gubbio an uninterrupted tradition is preserved: the Racing silk of the Crossbow. This contest of arms dating back to the XII century, is still celebrated between blasts of bugles and fluttering of flags in the evocative square Piazza Grande, beautiful with its palaces of the XIV century and crowded of people which clap the hands to every shot of crossbow.

The crossbow or "Balista", cited officially for the first time in Italy in the documents of the second Lateran Council in year 1139, in which it was defined "deadly", was prohibited by the popes and the bishop Ubaldo.
Queen among the crews, it appeared on the scenes of the battles at the end of feudal institutions.
This arm is composed of an arc fixed to the top of wood handle. The latter allows to rigidly hold the rope and to free it to shoot an arrow instantaneously.
With the improvement of the arms the arc made of horn was replaced with wood and then definitively replaced with the stronger and more elastic steel arc.
This arm, the most dangerous one until the '400s, carried on a specialization in the army determining a greater efficiency of the infantry. Every free commun had its own standard team of crossbowmen, plus a special one to escort and defend the city magistrates.
In such, the Society of the Crossbowmen was risen, regulated by laws still actual today, on whose ability the outcome of the battle often depended.
When the fire-crews took definitively over the crossbow, the latter survived as an ideal reason and noble memory of the city glories. Today the ritual Middle Age tournement between the old Biturgio (Sansepolcro) and Gubbio is renewed periodically when, at the end of the bloomed May, the crossbowmen of Biturgo, accept the challenge of Gubbio and cross the doors of the city in order to compete and win.

Date
Last May sunday
Frequency
Yearly
Address
Piazza Grande

 

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Obsessed Huntress
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5,583 Posts
WOW Ivan!!! How interesting! Just hearing crossbow and noble in the same story is wonderful. Makes me extra special proud today to be a crossbow shooter. Thank you for this information. Great post!
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Obsessed Huntress
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Excellent! Love the dramatic music too!
For other viewers, it's not a very long video, and worth watching. It's like a movie trailer.
 

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Banned
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1,256 Posts
No not "Men in Tights" ! LOL :D
 
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