Synopses & Reviews
A Major Contribution to the History of Technology and Ancient Warfare
The most recognized military device of ancient times and the source of continued fascination and popular appeal, the catapult represented a major shift in the conduct of warfare. In The Catapult: A History historian Tracey Rihll uses ancient sources and the latest archaeological findings to tell the story of this first machine of war. Dispelling any notion that the catapult was precision engineered in the modern sense, the author explains how a robust formulaic design allowed a variety of machines and missiles to be built and used for particular battlefield conditions or military tasks. Complete with original illustrations, maps, and two appendices detailing both the formulas for catapult construction and known catapult remains, The Catapult is essential reading for those interested in the history of warfare and technology.
“Rihll’s work should now replace Marsden as the basic study of the history of the catapult from classical Greece to late antiquity.”—Technology and Culture
“A treat . . . the combination of textual analysis, military history and understanding of the underlying science is a fine example of how modern classical scholarship can still surpass the efforts of past centuries.”—The Economist
“Deftly weaving together politics, strategy, military organisation, weaponry, and fortification in a persuasive narrative . . . a solid, up-to-date, and readable account of the classical world's most intriguing military technological innovation.”—Journal of Military History
Complete with line drawings and illustrations, this history uses ancient literary sources and the latest archeological findings to tell the story of this first machine of war.
About the Author
TRACEY RIHLL is lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Wales, Swansea. She is author of Greek Science and many articles of ancient technology and science.