Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Ballistics in Renaissance Science

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_902-1


This entry discusses the historical legacy in innovations of ballistics as they relate to warfare in Europe between 1300 and 1700. It primarily deals with the problems of smoothbore gunpowder weapons (both artillery and small arms) and the ways in which commanders and artillerists adjusted their strategies and tactics to account for the limitations of accuracy and unreliability of these weapons. Also discussed are modern comparative studies of early modern gunpowder small arms and early modern scientific and mathematical studies of the trajectory of gunpowder weapons.


Gunpowder Weapons Early Modern Modern Comparative Studies Vegetius Militari 
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Primary Literature

  1. Anonymous. Feuerwerkbuch. Munich. Bayerische Staatsbibiliothek. Cod. germ. 600. Ca. 1400–1420Google Scholar
  2. Fronsperger, Leonhard. 1573. Kriegsbuch. Vol. 3. Frankfurt: Feyerabend.Google Scholar
  3. Galilei, Galileo. 1638. Discorsi E Dimonstrazioni Matematiche: intorno à due nuoue scineze Attenenti alla Mecanica & i Movimenti Locali. Leiden: Elsevirius.Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Ekholm, Karin. 2010. Tartaglia’s ragioni: A maestro d’abaco’s mixed approach to the bombardier’s problem. The British Journal for the History of Science 43 (2): 181–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hall, Bert. 1997. Weapons and warfare in renaissance Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola University MarylandBaltimoreUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Matteo Valleriani
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany