”Archimedes,” said Lucius, “we know that without your war machinery Syracuse wouldn’t have held out for a month; as it is, we’ve had a rough two years because of them. Don’t think we soldiers don’t appreciate that. They’re superb machines. My congratulations.”
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 means downward and peltes describes a small shield ). Catapult means therefore shield piercer. Catapults were first invented about 400 BC in the Greek town Syracus under
At the siege of providing the financial means required for the experiments that were necessary to find the optimal design. Except in Sicily , Rhodes and Alexandria were the main centers of the development of the catapult technology, in Alexandria advanced by the support of the Greek Ptolemaic kings of Egypt. In the end of the first century AD the Roman engineer Sextus Frontinus wrote in Strategemeta that the war devices have reached their [physical] limits a long time ago and there is no hope for improvements.
There were unique devices produced by Archimedes such as a catapult that used steam power and in principle was a canon. It was described by Cicero in a manuscript discovered in a church library by Francisco (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1971).
Dietwulf Baatz. Bauten und Katapulte des römischen Heeres
,Chicago Review Press (July 1, 2004) ISBN: 1556525265
Duncan B. Campbell, Brian Delf (Illustrator), , Osprey Publishing, Limited 2003, ISBN: 1841766348
. Toronto: University of Toronto Press , 1971
Josiah A. Ober, . Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1985
Josiah A. Ober, Early Artillery Towers: Messenia, Boiotia, Megarid. American Journal of Archaeology , 91, 569-604. 1987
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