• “In January 1453 Mehmet ordered a test firing of the great gun outside his new royal palace at Edirne. The mighty bombard was hauled into position near the gate and the city was warned that the following day “the explosion and roar would be like thunder, lest anyone should be struck dumb by the unexpected shock or pregnant women might miscarry.” In the morning the cannon was primed with powder. A team of workmen lugged a giant stone ball into the mouth of the barrel and rolled it back down to sit snugly in front of the gunpowder chamber. A lighted taper was put to the touch hole. With a shattering roar and a cloud of smoke that hazed the sky, the mighty bullet was propelled across the open countryside for a mile before burying itself six feet down in the soft earth.”

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