Artillery, the cannon employed in war, and the troops organized to use them. The Chinese as early as A. D. 969; under the emperor Tai-tsu, tied rockets to their arrows to propel them to greater distances, as well as for incendiary purposes. During the first half of the 13th century all the resources of their military art became known to the Arabs through the Mongol conquerors of China. The idea of the application of gunpowder to projectiles, though said to have been accidentally suggested to Berthold Schwarz about 1330, is probably due to the Moors or Arabs of northern Africa, who had artillery at Cordova as early as 1280. The Spaniards learned its use from them, Ferdinand IV. of Castile taking Gibraltar with cannon in 1309, and guns being employed soon after at the sieges of Baza, Martos, and Alicante. A knowledge of artillery soon extended throughout Europe, the French having cannon at the siege of Puy Guil-laume in 1338, and the English three small guns at the battle of Crecy in 1846. Cannon are not referred to in the Hindoo books before the beginning of the 13th century; but during the next hundred years their use became general throughout India, and upon the landing of the Portuguese in 1498 they found the natives their equals in the construction and use of firearms. - The European as well as the Asiatic cannon of the 14th century were made of longitudinal bars of iron bound together by hoops, being shaped externally and internally like an apothecary's mortar; they were called bombards, vases, or mortars, were very heavy, and projected stone balls at high angles, doing but little execution; when put in position they were fired from a timber stock or framework, gun carriages being unknown.

These unwieldy machines, some of which were breech-loaders, were used not only in siege operations, but in the field and even on shipboard. To give a more accurate direction to the projectile, the bore was afterward made cylindrical and terminated in a very narrow and deep chamber, the object being to increase the effect of the powder by retarding the escape of the gas before it acted upon the ball. During the first half of the loth century bombards were improved upon and made very large; in France one weighed 10,000 lbs. with a 400-lb. projectile, a second 36,000 lbs. with a projectile of 900 lbs.; they were generally made of several pieces screwed together, and could not be moved unless taken apart. Mortars only differed from bombards in length, but were very rare. The other cannon of the day were veuglaires, breech-loaders of less size and power than bombards; crapeaudeaux, still smaller, weighing from 100 to 150 lbs.; and culverins, the smallest of all, unchambered and using projectiles of lead. To facilitate pointing and firing, two or more of the smaller guns were occasionally mounted on a two-wheeled wagon, the whole being called a ribaudequin, or organ gun, the earliest form of the modern mitrailleuse.

Artillery was very much used during the French war of independence against the English. At the defence of Orleans in 1428 Joan of Arc herself pointed the guns; and as the struggle went on the brothers Jean and Gaspard Bureau became very successful in the conduct of siege operations, being the first to make regular approaches and place guns in breaching batteries under cover of casks filled with earth, instead of merely hiding them behind wooden screens. The marked progress made by artillery had the effect of everywhere increasing the power of. the crown at the expense of the feudal nobility, whose castles were no longer able to defy the sovereign. The French were far in advance of their contemporaries, Charles VII. being able to retake in one year all the strong places held by the English. On the other hand, as late as 1453 Constantinople had to be taken by assault, the guns of Mohammed II. being powerless to breach the walls; while the Greek cannon, firing 150-lb. stone balls, did less damage to the Turks than to their own defences.

In the middle of the 15th century bombards were universally made of separate pieces of forged iron or bronze, and the great number of attempts at a suitable carriage for the smaller guns showed the importance attached to such a mechanism; culverins were frequently imbedded in stocks which could be raised or lowered to change the inclination, a few having small side projections, the forerunners of trunnions, to prevent lateral rotation. - We have now come to one of the most important eras in the history of artillery, the striking improvements made by the French in the reign of Louis XI., 1461-'83. Having invented trunnions of sufficient strength to stand the recoil, they had an axis about which the gun could turn with ease and be elevated or depressed at will; this great difficulty overcome, they readily devised a carriage at once suited for the transportation and service of the piece, while their progress in metallurgy enabled them to substitute east-iron for stone balls. The iron projectiles, by their greater density, increasing the tension of the gas so as to endanger the guns in use, they were forced to do away with them and introduce brass pieces of smaller calibre and increased thickness of metal, called cannons, culverins or serpentines, and falcons.

The last were the smallest, and fired leaden projectiles instead of cast-iron balls. The culverin, though of less calibre than the cannon, was a much larger gun, and differed entirely from the culverin of the preceding century. Artillery had hitherto been employed in attacking cities and castles alone, but the perfection to which it had been brought in France made it very formidable in the field also. The rapid conquest of Italy by Charles VIII., the successor of Louis XL, was entirely due to his improved artillery; the French guns, mounted on the new carriages, well horsed, and ready to go into battery at any moment, presenting a marked contrast to the cumbersome Italian bombards, firing stone balls, and dragged with great difficulty by bullocks. - During the 16th century brass guns and cast-iron projectiles were adopted throughout Europe, while Tartaglia in Italy made great improvements in gunnery, and invented the gunner's quadrant. The carriages, however, had no limbers and were still heavy and awkward; and as the principal dimensions only were fixed, great differences existed even in those for guns of the same calibre.