The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets and More Ancient Artillery

The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets and More Ancient Artillery


By (author) William Gurstelle

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  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press
  • Format: Paperback | 172 pages
  • Dimensions: 180mm x 252mm x 10mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago
  • ISBN 10: 1556525265
  • ISBN 13: 9781556525261
  • Illustrations note: b/w photos & illus
  • Sales rank: 64,956

Product description

Whether playing at defending their own castle or simply chucking pumpkins over a fence, wannabe marauders and tinkerers will become fast acquainted with Ludgar, the War Wolf, Ill Neighbor, Cabulus, and the Wild Donkey--ancient artillery devices known commonly as catapults. Building these simple yet sophisticated machines introduces fundamentals of math and physics using levers, force, torsion, tension, and traction. Instructions and diagrams illustrate how to build seven authentic working model catapults, including an early Greek ballista, a Roman onager, and the apex of catapult technology, the English trebuchet. Additional projects include learning how to lash and make rope and how to construct and use a hand sling and a staff sling. The colorful history of siege warfare is explored through the stories of Alexander the Great and his battle of Tyre; Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Third Crusade; pirate-turned-soldier John Crabbe and his ship-mounted catapults; and Edward I of England and his battle against the Scots at Stirling Castle.

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Author information

William Gurstelle is the author of "Absinthe and Flamethrowers," "The Art of the Catapult," the bestselling "Backyard Ballistics," "Building Bots," "Whoosh, Boom, Splat," and "Notes from the Technology Underground." He is a professional engineer who has been researching and building model catapults and ballistic devices for more than 30 years. He is a contributing editor at "Make" magazine and writes frequently for "Wired," "The Rake," and several other national magazines. He can be contacted at""