Ancient Catapults

By Werner Soedel and Vernard Foley Scientific American, March 1979, pp. 150 - 160 In 399 B.C. Dionysius the Elder, ruler of the Greek colony of Syracuse in Sicily, prepared his city for a long war with Carthage by undertaking search and development program. Utilizing such now familiar techniques as the assembly of large teams of specialists, the di...

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The Ballista

The Roman engineers wanted a bigger machine with a greater range, so in 50 b.C., they invented the ballista. The ballista was, unlike the Greek Catapulta, built almost entirely out of wood. The ballista used an older spring frame type that was more powerful as the arms could travel further, but it was also more expensive so it was used primarily fo...

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Greek Artillery

Ancient Greek Artillery Technology: From Catapults to the Architronio Canon - Bows (the first machine invented by man?) were used at least since 8000 BC according to cave paintings in 'les Dogues' (Castellón, France). Probably bows were invented much earlier (around 20000 BC). The word Catapult comes from the Greek words kata and peltes. (Kata mea...

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