Arbalest: "a crossbow, very common in Europe during the middle ages,
consisting of a steel bow set crosswise in a shaft of wood, furnished with
a string and a trigger, and bent by a crank windless. It propelled arrows,
balls, or stones."
_Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language_.
Unabridged. 2nd ed. 1969.
The dictionary also provides an etymology tracing the word to Latin
_arcus_, bow, and _ballista_, an engine for hurtling projectiles; from
Greek _ballein_, to throw.
East Texas SU