Dust-jacket illustration for The Arrows of Hercules
The Arrows of Hercules is an historical novel by L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardback by Doubleday in 1965 and in paperback by Curtis Books in 1970. It is the fourth of his historical novels in order of writing, and second chronologically, set in the time of Dionysios I of Syracuse at the end of the fourth and beginning of the third centuries BC.
The protagonist is the engineer Zopyros of Tarentum, a follower of the Pythagorean philosophical school. Having invented an improved type of catapult, he is drafted into Syracuse's war effort against Carthage by the tyrant Dionysios, creator of the first military ordinance department known to history. The historical Battle of Motya of 399 BC is a major event in the novel. Also portrayed is the incident upon which the legend of the Sword of Damocles is supposedly based.
Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller, 27.
The Arrows of Hercules by L. Sprague de Camp, Curtis Books, 1970