He roughly, but eloquently and very convincingly argued that a Gladiator cannot and will not conquer Capua and besiege it, since the city is well protected by strong fortifications, and the army, which has no Scorpions, no battering rams, no catapults, no ballista, no breakdowns, with a broad end, would not dare to storm the city.
R. Giovagnoli, “Spartak”
In the XIV century in many European countries boomed Madame bombard. The technique of sieges of fortresses has changed dramatically and instantly. And although the eviction from the battlefields of the bow and crossbow was still a lot of ages, siege weapons of the past began to fade and disappeared completely, once the newfangled invention had learned to do reliable enough.
But today we will talk not about these times. And that was before bombards.
Siege engines of antiquity and the middle ages are divided into two groups. To one are projectile weapons, to the other — everything else: battering rams, siege towers assault ladders.
If to collect the names of the throwing implements of antiquity, would make a formidable list to the many tens of terms (even if we do not take exotic languages of the East). Palinton, onager, Scorpion, anzhen, fundinul, springall, Robin, mangonel, wood. Long and confusing in all this splendor and to decide what types of siege weapons — about the same amount of varieties of swords. But this, of course, it would be a mistake.
Principles action siege engines
All catapults except siphonophora, can be divided into three categories by the kind of force used for launching a projectile.
Tensione machines work on the same pattern as that of the onion: the straightening, shoulder machine sends the projectile forward. This method is great, so to say, “small forms”, that is, for manual and stationary light weapons, but if you increase the size is that it is very difficult to find a good bow options. Moreover, often the bow breaks in the process — with very unpleasant consequences. Tensione machine is the lightest of all.
Torsion machines use a more clever method. In the beam of stretched cowhide lived or rope is inserted into the lever, which rotate until then, until he gives a proper tension force. Then it even dovorachivat charging mechanism, and when the lever is released, the force of twisted lived sends the projectile. Torsion machine is much more sophisticated and complex technology, but it gives significantly more possibilities.
The move to imagine the work of the torsion of the machine can be difficult; but try to stretch between the fingers of two hands the usual stationery gum, insert a pencil and twist. The principle will become clear.
Finally, gravity machine work for conventional gravity — that is, opposed to launches the projectile. This design is justified only for the larger machines, when to achieve the desired force from the torsion scheme becomes impossible.
Actually science knows only four types diagnostiline throwing implements (hand weapons — bows, crossbows, slings, is excluded from consideration). This catapult . ballista . trabuchet and siphonophora . And all these Calabri, Robin and onagers — are merely varieties of the first three of them. Siphonophore was successfully applied to only one people, but because of the abundance of subspecies can not boast.