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How does a Ballista work?

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Bobby Shniztle

on 26 May 2015

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Transcript of How does a Ballista work?

History behind it
The word "ballista" came from the Greek word "ballistes" meaning to throw. The ballista is believed to be an ancient war engine which was invented by the Greeks and modified by the Romans in 400 BC.
It had reached Europe during the Medieval era and was used by the French.
It was introduced to England in 1216 during the Siege of Dover - as were many other types of siege engines.
How does a Ballista work?
What is it?
how they were used offensively
how they were used defensively
Random Facts
The ballista was used for aiming huge wooden, iron clad, darts or arrows powered by twisted pieces of rope, hair or sinew - it was pretty much a big dart-throwing contraption. The force of the objects launched from the ballista had great penetration and were capable of skewering several of the enemy at one time!!!!
The ballista was highly accurate, and it could launch up to 1000 missiles a day!
They could launch hundreds of yards.
It was similar to a giant crossbow and worked using tension.
2 arms of a ballista were made of wood.
For attackers, another version of it was a wagon mounted ballista, called the Carro-Ballista allowing it great mobility in the field.
The positioning of the ballista's upon the walls of a fortification would afford additional range for the weapon.
Some were built with pivoting frames to allow for quickly repositioning a shot.
Animal sinew is made of ligaments and tendons of an animal's body.
modern day ballista
The Physics behind the Ballista
The design of the ballista is that the force applied to the projectile comes from the tension of the twisted ropes.
The ropes, when the tension is released or gone, turn to their rest state with minimal tension, much like how a spring would expand after being pushed down.
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