Catapults, and ballistas, and trebuchets, oh my!
|Social Studies||History of Technology|
|Technology||History of Technology|
and swords instead it was fought with cities walls
catapults and long months spent waiting for the people inside the castle to
starve. it was great for the waistline but not so great for well being alive.
siege warfare became more common in the Middle Ages when cities and castles had
walls built around them. a wall seemed like a good idea right keeps out the
riffraff you know the guys who like disembowelling everyone in sight.
but all these big walls also set off a sort of arms race. potential invaders
looked at these castle walls and said to themselves you know what would be [man walks castle walls]
awesome ? a giant machine that would bash those dumb walls down. and you know what?
they built those machines. isn't it nice when dreams come true? of course that
meant that castle builders started making bigger and thicker walls to stand
up to the machines. this of course led to others making bigger badder machines and
so on and so forth yeah. well the crudest of these devices was probably the
battering ram usually they're just big logs used to smash in doors and walls
which yeah it's not the most ingenious idea that's ever been had you know it's [men use battering ram]
kind of the Hulk and whole corner. but still if a fella wanted to bash in the
doors of a castle a battering ram was a good option especially if the Hulk was
around Olinda big green ham. iron did a lot to make battering rams more
effective. by putting iron tips on the logs battering ram builders are really
upped their game. a castle doors and walls weren't nearly as safe well things
got more complex and deadly with the catapult. these ancient machines
they're basically humongous slingshots they were great for hurling big rocks
too. no down castle gates and walls I think. it
also hurl rocks and giant balls of flaming pitch over castle walls to set [catapults hurl things at castle]
everything on fire inside of them wreaking havoc on the citizens therein.
well of course castle dwellers got wise and built catapults of their own
allowing them to hurl things back over the walls and say things like I fart in
your general direction. maybe that was from Monty python. it's kind of like the
neener neener. all right well ballista were another
kind of ancient catapult like thingamajig first invented by the Greeks.
these were basically gargantuan crossbows which shot equally gargantuan
arrows. and while Cupid's arrows spread love, ballista spread a world of hurt. [man uses ballista]
the baddest of these machines was the trebuchet invented in Europe around 1100.
well the trebuchet looked like a catapult okay pretty much was a catapult
except that it included a long sling at one end and wasn't powered by bending or
cranking anything down. instead it used a clever system of weights which were
suddenly dropped. that sling meant that trebuchets could throw stuff much
further and faster than simple catapults. for a while it looked like trebuchets
might end the long tradition of sitting outside the city's walls for weeks
playing solitaire and hoping everyone starved to death. but in general the
defense of building bigger tougher walls seemed to win.
well that and using trebuchets inside castles to smash the trebuchets
shaves outside castles. yeah how about that isn't it sad when trebuchet czar
turned against each other. [two trebuchets talk to each other]