“Run Away!!!!!”

24 Feb

How Catapults Married Sciences With Politics

In wars of antiquity, no weapon struck greater terror than the catapult. It was the heavy artillery of that day, the sturdy springboard that shot menacing payloads over fortress walls and into enemy camps — flaming missiles, diseased corpses, lethal arrows and stony projectiles.

For centuries on end, at least until the proliferation of gunpowder in the 15th-century West, catapults saw action as the early weapons of mass destruction. They were prized assets in an arms race and had profound effects on affairs of state. Sound familiar?

Perhaps that is why a small but growing number of historians and classics scholars are taking a closer look at the role of catapults not only in warfare, but also the politics of antiquity. Out of their careful re-reading of old texts, combined with archaeological finds, has emerged a revised view of the convergence of science and political power in earlier times.

This is so very cool. Maybe I'll write a dissertation about how the King of France invaded Naples because the King of Naples was involved in catapult program related activities.

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