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Modern reconstruction of a ballista

The ballista (plural ballistae) was one of the first artillery weapons used by the Ancient Greeks.[1] The ballista was invented around 400 BC in the Greek town of Syracuse. It was one of the first catapults, and shot very large and heavy spears far distances.[1][2] The ballista resembled a large crossbow. They were made in different sizes. Smaller ones threw smaller missiles such as scaled-up arrows and darts.

The steps to operating the ballista are:

  1. Pull back the bow-string with a winch, which creates tension.
  2. Load the ballista with a light missile e.g. darts with iron points.
  3. Release the bow-string, launching the missile.

Ballistae would be used if a weapon that fired light, narrow ammunition was needed.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Ballista: Definition, History & Facts". Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  2. "Ballista ANCIENT MISSILE LAUNCHER". Retrieved June 13, 2019.