A Weapon of Mass Destruction

The catapult is a device used to launch an object a great distance without the aid of explosive devices. i It is one of the earliest weapons of mass destruction used since ancient times. Armed with arrows, darts and sharpened poles, it delivers death efficiently, with minimum effort, at great distances. Loaded with rocks or firebrands, it becomes an effective siege weapon. Armed with diseased carcasses, it becomes an even deadlier biological weapon.

Several designs have been developed through the Middle Ages including ii the Ballista, the Springald, the Mangonel, the Onager, the Trebuchet, the Couillard.

Ballista (PSF) vector
Ballista — military equipment of ancient Rome.
Springald illustration in Konrad Kyeser’s book Bellifortis
Medieval Mangonel
Roman Onager.jpg
Sketch of an Onager, from Antique technology by Diels.

Even Leonardo da Vinci had his own design for a more efficient type.

Leonardo da Vinci Catapult Kit

This clever but malevolent invention clearly demonstrates man’s creativity and ingenuity when it comes to violence and terrorism toward each other.

ii“Catapults”, Middle ages, UK.

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