The Sicilian Wars, or Greco-Punic Wars, were a series of conflicts fought between Ancient Carthage and the Greek city-states led by Syracuse, over control of Sicily and the western Mediterranean between 580–265 BC. Carthage's economic success and its dependence on seaborne trade led to the creation of a powerful navy to discourage both pirates and rival nations, they had inherited their naval strength and experience from their forebearers, the Phoenicians, but had increased it because, unlike the Phoenicians, the Punics did not want to rely on a foreign nation's aid. This, coupled with its success and growing hegemony, brought Carthage into increasing conflict with the Greeks, the other major power contending for control of the central Mediterranean; the Greeks, like the Phoenicians, were expert sailors who had established thriving colonies throughout the Mediterranean. These two rivals fought their wars on the island of Sicily. From their earliest days, both the Greeks and Phoenicians had been attracted to the large island, establishing a large number of colonies and trading posts along its coasts.
Small battles had been fought between these settlements for centuries. No Carthaginian records of the war exist today because when the city was destroyed in 146 BC by the Romans, the books from Carthage's library were distributed among the nearby African tribes. None remain on the topic of Carthaginian history; as a result, most of what we know about the Sicilian Wars comes from Greek historians. The Phoenicians had established trading posts all over the coast of Sicily after 900 BC, but had never penetrated far inland, they had traded with the Elymians and Sicels and had withdrawn without resistance to Motya and Soluntum in the western part of the island when the Greek colonists arrived after 750 BC. These Phoenician cities remained independent until becoming part of the Carthaginian hegemony some time after 540 BC. Carthage created her hegemony in part to resist Greek encroachments in the established Phoenician sphere of influence. Phoenicians did not resist the Greek colonists, but after the Greeks had reached Iberia sometime after 638 BC, Carthage emerged as the leader of Phoenician resistance.
During the 6th century BC under the leadership of the Magonid dynasty, Carthage established an empire which would commercially dominate the western Mediterranean until the 2nd century BC. The Phoenicians in Sicily and the Elymians had united to defeat the Greeks of Selinus and Rhodes near Lilybaeum in 580 BC, the first such recorded incident in Sicily; the next known Greek incursion took place 70 years later. The Greek-colonized zone encompassing Sicily and southern Italy came to be known as Magna Graecia; the Greeks living in this area behaved pretty much like the mainland Greeks, expanding their political and commercial domain at the expense of their neighbors while keeping the feud between the Ionians and the Dorians alive. In Sicily, the Ionian Greeks on the whole had friendly relations with native Sicilians and the Phoenicians, but the Dorian Greek colonies were comparatively more aggressive, expanding inland from the coast at the expense of the natives to expand their domain. Conflicts among the Greek colonies and between the natives and Greeks had erupted, but these were localized affairs.
Trade flourished between the natives, the Greeks and the Phoenicians, the Greek colonies became prosperous. This prosperity enabled some of the Greek cities to start to expand their territories again leading to the events known as the First Sicilian War; the Carthaginian Malchus is said to have "conquered all Sicily" and sent captured booty to Tyre some time after 540 BC, which meant that Motya and Solus had fallen under Carthaginian control. The growth of Selinus and Himera during this period indicates the Carthaginians and Greeks did not confront one another at this time. Thirty years Prince Dorieus, having lost the Spartan throne, showed up to colonize Eryx – after being expelled from Libya by Carthage in 511 BC following a three-year struggle. Carthage aided Segesta to defeat the expedition of Dorieus in 510 BC – Greek survivors founded Heraclea Minoa. Sicilian Greeks fought an undated war of revenge against Carthage, which led to the destruction of Minoa and a treaty which brought economic benefits for the Greeks.
An appeal for aid to avenge the death of Dorieus was ignored by mainland Greece by the brother of Dorieus Leonidas of Sparta, famous for his role at Thermopylae in 480 BC. This episode demonstrated the futility of opposing Carthage by single Greek cities or the unreliability of aid from mainland Greece, a situation that would change with the rise of the Greek tyrants in Sicily. Two Greeks from Gela and Gelo, had been involved in this war and they would become the catalysts of the events that followed. While the events in western Sicily played out and Carthage remained engaged in Sardinia, most of the Greek colonies in Sicily fell under the rule of tyrants; the tyrants of Gela and Rhegion expanded their respective dominions at the expense of native Sicilians and other Greek cities between 505 and 480 BC, with the Dorian city of Gela being the most successful. Cleander of Gela and his brother Hippocrates took over both Ionian and Dorian Greek territory, by 490 BC, Leontini, Naxos, besides neighboring Sicel lands and Camarina had fallen under Gelan control.
Gelo, successor of Hippocrates, made the city his capital. By using ethnic cleansing and enslavement, Gelo transformed the former Ionian cities into Dorian ones and made Syracuse the dominant
A catapult is a ballistic device used to launch a projectile a great distance without the aid of explosive devices—particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines. In use since ancient times, the catapult has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms during warfare. In modern times the term can apply to devices ranging from a simple hand-held implement to a mechanism for launching aircraft from a ship; the word'catapult' comes from the Latin'catapulta', which in turn comes from the Greek Ancient Greek: καταπέλτης, itself from κατά, "downwards" and πάλλω, "to toss, to hurl". Catapults were invented by the ancient Greeks and in ancient India where they were used by the Magadhan Emperor Ajatshatru around the early to mid 5th century BCE; the catapult and crossbow in Greece are intertwined. Primitive catapults were "the product of straightforward attempts to increase the range and penetrating power of missiles by strengthening the bow which propelled them"; the historian Diodorus Siculus, described the invention of a mechanical arrow-firing catapult by a Greek task force in 399 BC.
The weapon was soon after employed against a key Carthaginian stronghold in Sicily. Diodorus is assumed to have drawn his description from the rated history of Philistus, a contemporary of the events then; the introduction of crossbows however, can be dated further back: according to the inventor Hero of Alexandria, who referred to the now lost works of the 3rd-century BC engineer Ctesibius, this weapon was inspired by an earlier foot-held crossbow, called the gastraphetes, which could store more energy than the Greek bows. A detailed description of the gastraphetes, or the "belly-bow", along with a watercolor drawing, is found in Heron's technical treatise Belopoeica. A third Greek author, whose reliability has been positively reevaluated by recent scholarship, described two advanced forms of the gastraphetes, which he credits to Zopyros, an engineer from southern Italy. Zopyrus has been plausibly equated with a Pythagorean of that name who seems to have flourished in the late 5th century BC.
He designed his bow-machines on the occasion of the sieges of Cumae and Milet between 421 BC and 401 BC. The bows of these machines featured a winched pull back system and could throw two missiles at once. Philo of Byzantium provides the most detailed account on the establishment of a theory of belopoietics circa 200 BC; the central principle to this theory was that "all parts of a catapult, including the weight or length of the projectile, were proportional to the size of the torsion springs". This kind of innovation is indicative of the increasing rate at which geometry and physics were being assimilated into military enterprises. From the mid-4th century BC onwards, evidence of the Greek use of arrow-shooting machines becomes more dense and varied: arrow firing machines are mentioned by Aeneas Tacticus in his treatise on siegecraft written around 350 BC. An extant inscription from the Athenian arsenal, dated between 338 and 326 BC, lists a number of stored catapults with shooting bolts of varying size and springs of sinews.
The entry is noteworthy as it constitutes the first clear evidence for the switch to torsion catapults which are more powerful than the flexible crossbows and came to dominate Greek and Roman artillery design thereafter. This move to torsion springs was spurred by the engineers of Philip II of Macedonia. Another Athenian inventory from 330 to 329 BC includes catapult bolts with flights; as the use of catapults became more commonplace, so did the training required to operate them. Many Greek children were instructed in catapult usage, as evidenced by "a 3rd Century B. C. inscription from the island of Ceos in the Cyclades catapult shooting competitions for the young". Arrow firing machines in action are reported from Philip II's siege of Perinth in 340 BC. At the same time, Greek fortifications began to feature high towers with shuttered windows in the top, which could have been used to house anti-personnel arrow shooters, as in Aigosthena. Projectiles included both stones that were sometimes lit on fire.
Onomarchus of Phocis first used catapults on the battlefield against Philip II of Macedon. Philip's son, Alexander the Great, was the next commander in recorded history to make such use of catapults on the battlefield as well as to use them during sieges; the Romans started to use catapults as arms for their wars against Syracuse, Macedon and Aetolia. The Roman machine known as an arcuballista was similar to a large crossbow; the Romans used ballista catapults on their warships. Ajatshatru is recorded in Jaina texts as having used catapults in his campaign against the Licchavis. King Uzziah, who reigned in Judah until 750 BC, is documented as having overseen the construction of machines to "shoot great stones" in 2 Chronicles 26:15. Castles and fortified walled cities were common during this period and catapults were used as siege weapons against them; as well as their use in attempts to breach walls, incendiary missiles, or diseased carcasses or garbage could be catapulted over the walls. Defensive techniques in the Middle Ages progressed to a point that rendered catapults ineffective.
The Viking siege of Paris "saw the employment by both sides of every instrument of siege craft known to the classical world, including a variety of catapults", to little effect, resulting in failure. The most used catapults throughout the Mi
A projectile is any object thrown into space by the exertion of a force. Although any object in motion through space may be called a projectile, the term more refers to a ranged weapon. Mathematical equations of motion are used to analyze projectile trajectory. An object projected at an angle to the horizontal has both the vertical and horizontal components of velocity; the vertical component of the velocity on the y-axis given as Vy=USin while the horizontal component of the velocity Vx=UCos. There are various terms used in projectiles at specific angle teta 1. Time to reach maximum height, it is symbolized as, the time taken for the projectile to reach the maximum height from the plane of projection. Mathematically, it is give as t=USin/g Where g=acceleration due to gravity U= initial velocity teta= angle made by the projectile with the horizontal axis. 2. Time of flight: this is the total time taken for the projectile to fall back to the same plane from which it was projected. Mathematically it is given as T=2USin/g 3.
Maximum Height: this is the maximum height attained by the projectile OR the maximum displacement on the vertical axis covered by the projectile. It is given as H= U²Sin²/2g 4. Range: The Range of a projectile is the horizontal distance covered by the projectile. Mathematically, R= U²Sin2/g; the Range is maximum when angle teta= 45° I.e Sin2=1. Blowguns and pneumatic rifles use compressed gases, while most other guns and cannons utilize expanding gases liberated by sudden chemical reactions. Light-gas guns use a combination of these mechanisms. Railguns utilize electromagnetic fields to provide a constant acceleration along the entire length of the device increasing the muzzle velocity; some projectiles provide propulsion during flight by means of a rocket jet engine. In military terminology, a rocket is unguided. Note the two meanings of "rocket": an ICBM is a guided missile with a rocket engine. An explosion, whether or not by a weapon, causes the debris to act as multiple high velocity projectiles.
An explosive weapon, or device may be designed to produce many high velocity projectiles by the break-up of its casing, these are termed fragments. Many projectiles, e.g. shells, may carry an explosive charge or another chemical or biological substance. Aside from explosive payload, a projectile can be designed to cause special damage, e.g. fire, or poisoning. In projectile motion the most important force applied to the ‘projectile’ is the propelling force, in this case the propelling forces are the muscles that act upon the ball to make it move, the stronger the force applied, the more propelling force, which means the projectile will travel farther. See pitching, bowling. A projectile that does not contain an explosive charge or any other kind of payload is termed a kinetic projectile, kinetic energy weapon, kinetic energy warhead, kinetic warhead or kinetic penetrator. Typical kinetic energy weapons are blunt projectiles such as rocks and round shots, pointed ones such as arrows, somewhat pointed ones such as bullets.
Among projectiles that do not contain explosives are those launched from railguns and mass drivers, as well as kinetic energy penetrators. All of these weapons work by attaining a high muzzle velocity, or initial velocity up to, collide with their targets, converting their kinetic energy into destructive shock waves and heat. Other types of kinetic weapons are accelerated over time by gravity. In either case, it is the kinetic energy of the projectile; some kinetic weapons for targeting objects in spaceflight are anti-satellite weapons and anti-ballistic missiles. Since in order to reach an object in orbit it is necessary to attain an high velocity, their released kinetic energy alone is enough to destroy their target. For example: the energy of TNT is 4.6 MJ/kg, the energy of a kinetic kill vehicle with a closing speed of 10 km/s is of 50 MJ/kg. This saves costly weight and there is no detonation to be timed; this method, requires direct contact with the target, which requires a more accurate trajectory.
Some hit-to-kill warheads are additionally equipped with an explosive directional warhead to enhance the kill probability. With regard to anti-missile weapons, the Arrow missile and MIM-104 Patriot PAC-2 have explosives, while the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile, THAAD do not. A kinetic projectile can be dropped from aircraft; this is applied by replacing the explosives of a regular bomb with a non-explosive material, for a precision hit with less collateral damage. A typical bomb has a speed of impact of 800 km/h, it is applied for training the act of dropping a bomb with explosives. This method has been used in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the subsequent military operations in Iraq by mating concrete-filled training bombs with JDAM GPS guidance kits, to attack vehicles and other "soft" targets located too close to civilian structures for the use of conventional high explosive bombs. A Prompt Global Strike may use a kinetic weapon. A kinetic bombardment may involve a projectile dropped from Earth orbit.
A hypothetical kinetic weapon that travels at a significant fraction of the speed of light found in science fiction, is termed a relativistic kill vehicle (RKV
Aigosthena was an ancient Greek fortified port city of Megaris, 19 km northwest of the ancient city of Megara to which it belonged. It is the name of the coastal settlement at the foot of the ancient city walls known as Porto Germeno; the ancient citadel retains several of the tallest surviving towers of ancient Greece. Aigosthena is situated on a bay of the Gulf of Corinth, it is surrounded by forested mountains: the Cithaeron to the Pateras to the south. Aigosthena was the northernmost city of the Megaris, it is 10 km west of 20 km southwest of Thebes 48 km northwest of Athens. The ancient site of Aigosthena consisted of a fortified citadel connected to the sea by two fortification walls. Measuring 90 by 187 m, the citadel was trapezoidal in plan, with the narrower side facing west toward the sea; the citadel was constructed along the contours of a 55 m hill, was defended by eight artillery towers incorporated into its perimeter wall. There was a primary gate on the west side into the area between the north and south walls to the sea.
A small postern gate was located north of the second tower on the eastern side. The northern of the two walls to the sea is well preserved, stretching 370 m to a final tower of which the foundations and fallen blocks are now underwater; the northern wall consisted of six towers and a fortified gate running in a nearly straight line from the northwest corner of the citadel to the sea. The bed of a river runs along the line of the south wall, not evident; the walls were built in a variety of masonry styles, which may be evidence of different phases of construction. Masonry styles in use include isodomic, pseudo-isodomic, - in sections – a style approaching polygonal. In general terms, these walls are among the best preserved of any of the Hellenistic period and show a high level of skill and finish. There is clear evidence of quarrying south of the southeast tower of the citadel. Based on the design of the defense towers, Ober proposes that the site was fortified after 370 BCE. Lawrence opts for a date in the late 4th century BCE, on the assumption that Demetrios Poliorcetes built the fortress rather than occupying it.
The site was under the control of the Achaean League in 243-224 BCE, in 224 - 146 BCE it joined the Boeotian League. Shrines of Melampos and Heracles are known to have existed by inscriptions recovered on the site; the town and its warehouses operated down into Roman times. An inscription of c. 420 CE listed Aigosthena as a free city. A five-aisled Christian basilica was erected in the lower fortified area in the medieval period, there was a monastery complex within the citadel; the modern village Aigosthena known as Porto Germeno, is part of the municipal unit of Vilia. Its permanent population was 80 at the 2011 census, it is a popular beach resort with a small port. I. G. 7.1. Greek Aims in Fortification. Oxford. Ober, J. 1987. Early Artillery Towers: Messinia, Attica, Megarid. AJA 91 569-604. Smith, Philip J; the archaeology and epigraphy of Hellenistic and Roman Megaris, Greece. Oxford: John and Erica Hedges Ltd, 2008. "Aigosthena". Classical Backpacking in Greece. "Egosthena, Ancient fortress, West".
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Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands referred to as Regione Siciliana. Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina, its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, one of the most active in the world 3,329 m high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate; the earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and, for the next 600 years, it was the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Sicily; the Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou and the House of Habsburg.
It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Albeit, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the parithetic committee, since 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture with regard to the arts, literature and architecture, it is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. Sicily has a triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria. To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, about 16 km wide in the southern part.
The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a straight line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, while the Autonomous Region of Sicily has an area of 27,708 km2; the terrain of inland Sicily is hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the mountain ranges of Madonie, 2,000 m, Nebrodi, 1,800 m, Peloritani, 1,300 m, are an extension of the mainland Apennines; the cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast. In the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains, 1,000 m; the mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century, but have declined since the 1950s. Sicily and its surrounding small islands have some active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions, it stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km; this makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky. Mount Etna is regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily; the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, include Stromboli. The three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is dormant. Off the southern coast of Sicily, the underwater volcano of Ferdinandea, part of the larger Empedocles volcano, last erupted in 1831, it is located between the island of Pantelleria. The autonomous region includes several neighbouring islands: the Aegadian Islands, the Aeolian Islands and Lampedusa; the island is drained by several rivers, most of which flow through the central area and enter the sea at the south of the island.
The Salso flows through parts of Enna and Caltanissetta before entering the Mediterranean Sea at the port of Licata. To the east, the Alcantara flows through the province of Messina and enters the sea at Giardini Naxos, the Simeto, which flows into the Ionian Sea south of Catania. Other important rivers on the island are the Platani in the southwest. Sicily has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers with changeable intermediate seasons. On the coasts the south-western, the climate is affected by the African currents and summers can be scorching. Sicily is seen as an island of warm winters but above all along the Tyrrhenian coast and in the inland areas, winters can be cold, with typical continental climate. Snow falls in abundance above 900–1000 metres, but stronger cold waves can carry it in the hills and in coastal cities on the northern coast of the island; the interi
Miletus was an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia, near the mouth of the Maeander River in ancient Caria. Its ruins are located near the modern village of Balat in Turkey. Before the Persian invasion in the middle of the 6th century BC, Miletus was considered the greatest and wealthiest of Greek cities. Evidence of first settlement at the site has been made inaccessible by the rise of sea level and deposition of sediments from the Maeander; the first available evidence is of the Neolithic. In the early and middle Bronze age the settlement came under Minoan influence. Legend has it; the site was renamed Miletus after a place in Crete. The Late Bronze Age, 13th century BC, saw the arrival of Luwian language speakers from south central Anatolia calling themselves the Carians. In that century other Greeks arrived; the city at that time rebelled against the Hittite Empire. After the fall of that empire the city was destroyed in the 12th century BC and starting about 1000 BC was resettled extensively by the Ionian Greeks.
Legend offers an Ionian foundation event sponsored by a founder named Neleus from the Peloponnesus. The Greek Dark Ages were a time of Ionian settlement and consolidation in an alliance called the Ionian League; the Archaic Period of Greece began with a sudden and brilliant flash of art and philosophy on the coast of Anatolia. In the 6th century BC, Miletus was the site of origin of the Greek philosophical tradition, when Thales, followed by Anaximander and Anaximenes began to speculate about the material constitution of the world, to propose speculative naturalistic explanations for various natural phenomena. Miletus is the birthplace of the Hagia Sophia's architect Isidore of Miletus and Thales, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher in c. 624 BC. The ruins appear on satellite maps at 37°31.8'N 27°16.7'E, about 3 km north of Balat and 3 km east of Batıköy in Aydın Province, Turkey. In antiquity the city possessed a Harbor at the southern entry of a large bay, on which two more of the traditional twelve Ionian cities stood: Priene and Myus.
The harbor of Miletus was additionally protected by the nearby small island of Lade. Over the centuries the gulf silted up with alluvium carried by the Meander River. Priene and Myus had lost their harbors by the Roman era, Miletus itself became an inland town in the early Christian era. There is a Great Harbor Monument where, according to the New Testament account, the apostle Paul stopped on his way back to Jerusalem by boat, he met the Ephesian Elders and headed out to the beach to bid them farewell, recorded in the book of Acts 20:17-38. During the Pleistocene epoch the Miletus region was submerged in the Aegean Sea, it subsequently emerged the sea reaching a low level of about 130 meters below present level at about 18,000 BP. The site of Miletus was part of the mainland. A gradual rise brought a level of about 1.75 meters below present at about 5500 BP, creating several karst block islands of limestone, the location of the first settlements at Miletus. At about 1500 BC the karst shifted due to small crustal movements and the islands consolidated into a peninsula.
Since the sea has risen 1.75 m but the peninsula has been surrounded by sediment from the Maeander river and is now land-locked. Sedimentation of the harbor began at about 1000 BC, by AD 300 Lake Bafa had been created; the earliest available archaeological evidence indicates that the islands on which Miletus was placed were inhabited by a Neolithic population in 3500–3000 BC. Pollen in core samples from Lake Bafa in the Latmus region inland of Miletus suggests that a grazed climax forest prevailed in the Maeander valley, otherwise untenanted. Sparse Neolithic settlements were made at springs and sometimes geothermal in this karst, rift valley topography; the islands offshore were settled for their strategic significance at the mouth of the Maeander, a route inland protected by escarpments. The graziers in the valley may have belonged to them. Recorded history at Miletus begins with the records of the Hittite Empire and the Mycenaean records of Pylos and Knossos, in the Late Bronze Age; the prehistoric archaeology of the Early and Middle Bronze Age portrays a city influenced by society and events elsewhere in the Aegean, rather than inland.
Beginning at about 1900 BC artifacts of the Minoan civilization acquired by trade arrived at Miletus. For some centuries the location received a strong impulse from that civilization, an archaeological fact that tends to support but not confirm the founding legend—that is, a population influx, from Crete. According to Strabo:Ephorus says: Miletus was first founded and fortified above the sea by Cretans, where the Miletus of olden times is now situated, being settled by Sarpedon, who brought colonists from the Cretan Miletus and named the city after that Miletus, the place being in possession of the Leleges; the legends recounted as history by the ancient historians and geographers are the strongest. Miletus was a Mycenaean stronghold on the coast of Asia Minor from c. 1450 to 1100 BC. In c. 1320 BC, the city supported an anti-Hittite rebellion of Uhha-Ziti of nearby Arzawa. Muršili or
The ballista, plural ballistae, sometimes called bolt thrower, was an ancient missile weapon that launched a large projectile at a distant target. Developed from earlier Greek weapons, it relied upon different mechanics, using two levers with torsion springs instead of a tension prod, offering much greater efficiency over tension-based weaponry; the springs consisting of several loops of twisted skeins. Early versions projected heavy darts or spherical stone projectiles of various sizes for siege warfare, it developed into a smaller precision weapon, the scorpio, the polybolos. The early ballista in Ancient Greece was developed from two weapons called oxybeles and gastraphetes; the gastraphetes was a handheld crossbow. It had a composite prod and was spanned by bracing the front end of the weapon against the ground while placing the end of a slider mechanism against the stomach; the operator would walk forward to arm the weapon while a ratchet prevented it from shooting during loading. This produced a weapon which, it was claimed, could be operated by a person of average strength but which had a power that allowed it to be used against armoured troops.
The oxybeles was a bigger and heavier construction employing a winch, was mounted on a tripod. It was used as a siege engine. With the invention of torsion spring bundle technology, the first ballista was built; the advantage of this new technology was the fast relaxation time of this system. Thus it was possible to shoot lighter projectiles with higher velocities over a longer distance. For an oxybeles, the rules of a torsion weapon demanded that the more energy could be stored, the thicker the prod and the heavier the projectile had to be to increase the amount of stored energy delivered to the projectile; the earliest form of the ballista is thought to have been developed for Dionysius of Syracuse, c. 400 BC. The Greek ballista was a siege weapon. All components that were not made of wood were transported in the baggage train, it would be assembled with local wood. Some were positioned inside large, mobile siege towers or on the edge of a battlefield. For all of the tactical advantages offered, it was only under Philip II of Macedon, more so under his son Alexander, that the ballista began to develop and gain recognition as both a siege engine and field artillery.
Historical accounts, for instance, cited that Philip II employed a group of engineers within his army to design and build catapults for his military campaigns. There is a claim that it was Philip II - with his team of engineers - who invented the ballista after improving Dionysius's device, an oversized slingshot, it was further perfected by Alexander, whose own team of engineers introduced innovations such as the idea of using springs made from strung coils of rope instead of a bow to achieve more energy and power when throwing projectiles. Polybius reported about the usage of smaller, more portable ballistae, called scorpions, during the Second Punic War. Ballistae could be modified to shoot both spherical and shaft projectiles, allowing their crews to adapt to prevailing battlefield situations in real time; as the role of battlefield artillery became more sophisticated, a universal joint was integrated into the ballista's stand, allowing the operators to alter the trajectory and firing direction of the ballista as required without a lengthy disassembly of the machine.
After the absorption of the Ancient Greek city-states into the Roman Republic in 146 BC, the advanced Greek technology began to spread across many areas of Roman influence. This included the great military machine advances the Greeks had made, as well as all the scientific, mathematical and artistic developments; the Romans'inherited' the torsion-powered ballista, which had by now spread to several cities around the Mediterranean, all of which became Roman spoils of war, including one from Pergamum, depicted among a pile of trophy weapons in relief on a balustrade. The torsion ballista, developed by Alexander, was a far more complicated weapon than its predecessor and the Romans developed it further into much smaller versions, that could be carried; the early Roman ballistae were made of wood, held together with iron plates around the frames and iron nails in the stand. The main stand had a slider on the top, into. Attached to this, at the back, was a pair of'winches' and a'claw', used to ratchet the bowstring back to the armed firing position.
The slider passed through the field frames of the weapon, in which were located the torsion springs, which were twisted around the bow arms, which in turn, were attached to the bowstring. Drawing the bowstring back with the winches twisted the taut springs, storing the energy to fire the projectiles; the bronze or iron caps, which secured the torsion-bundles were adjustable by means of pins and peripheral holes, which allowed the weapon to be tuned for symmetrical power and for changing weather conditions. The ballista was a accurate weapon, but some design aspects meant it could compromise its accuracy for range; the maximum range was over 500 yards. The Romans continued the development of the ballista, it became a prized and valued weapon in the army of the Roman Empire, it was used, just before the start of the Empir