The ballista (ant. Balista, from the Latin balista / balista, in turn derived from the Greek βαλλίστρα ballistra, from βάλλω ballō “pull” or, better, “throw”) is a great siege machine invented by the Greeks and used above all by the Romans. He threw large darts or spherical stones individually or in small groups, depending on the type of model.
It is considered the most complex weapon built before the industrial revolution and the only scientifically designed pre-industrial weapon.
In general, the ballista was built of wood, with some part constructed or at least coated with metal and animal ropes or tendons were used as tensors.
Originally the ballistae operated on tension, later the mechanism became torsional.
The ballista was without a doubt the most used and best designed long-range throwing weapon of the classical and early medieval period. Its use, however, ceased towards the late Middle Ages due to the high costs to build it, coming to prefer less expensive machines. In the 15th century, the arrival of the cannon on the European scene meant that the ballista and other catapults were relegated to oblivion.
|Dimensioni||20 × 12 × 3 cm|