© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
During this period in history there was a gradual change in methods of fighting, from using swords and spears to the use of firearms. Both crosbows and guns can be seen in this stylised warship. Woodcut from 'De Re Militari' by Roberto Valturio (1405-1475) published in Paris in 1534. Valturio was military engineer to Sigismondo Malatesta, the ruler of Rimini, at whose court this book was written. The first edition appeared in Italian in 1472 and became the standard guide to military leaders during the Renaisance. It was the earliest printed book to show illustrations of a technical nature and included all types of military equipment.