THE CATAPULT: A History
The most recognized military device of ancient times and the source of continued fascination and popular appeal, the catapult represented a major shift in the conduct of warfare. The catapult which literally means a device to 'hurl [an object] across' was originally a sort of crossbow invented at the beginning of the fourth century BC in Syracuse.
Bows soon grew to the length of a modern bus, and in due course a completely new and better power source was invented. Instead of compound bows made of stretched sinew and compressed horn, the energy used to launch an object was stored in twisted ropes made of animal sinews: the torsion catapult had arrived. The torsion catapult could strike enemies at a distance with devastating effect, including shooting to and from ships, battering fortifications, and sending projectiles over walls. Catapults of all sizes became part of the regular equipment of the Roman army, and were used for centuries across the length and breadth of the empire to seize territory, and to defend it.
Ancient literary sources and the latest archaeological findings tell the story of this first machine of war. A robust formulaic design allowed a variety of machines and missiles to be used for particular battlefield conditions or military tasks. 61 b/w illust and maps, biblio, index.
NEW-softcover, available late September 2013 ......$30.00
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Updated as of 12/07/2023ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
rct - recent arrival or pending publication, spc - OMM Special Price