Archery is the art, practice, or skill of using a bow to shoot arrows. The word comes from the Latin arcus. Archery has been used for hunting and combat. In modern times, it is a competitive sport and recreational activity. A person who participates in archery is called an archer or a bowman, a person, fond of or an expert at archery is sometimes called a toxophilite; the bow and arrow seems to have been invented in the Paleolithic or early Mesolithic periods. The oldest signs of its use in Europe come from the Stellmoor in the Ahrensburg valley north of Hamburg and dates from the late Paleolithic, about 10,000–9000 BC; the arrows were made of pine and consisted of a main shaft and a 15–20 centimetres long fore shaft with a flint point. There are no definite earlier bows; the oldest bows known so far comes from the Holmegård swamp in Denmark. Bows replaced the spear-thrower as the predominant means for launching shafted projectiles, on every continent except Australasia, though spear-throwers persisted alongside the bow in parts of the Americas, notably Mexico and among the Inuit.
Bows and arrows have been present in Egyptian & neighboring Nubian culture since its respective predynastic & Pre-Kerma origins. In the Levant, artifacts that could be arrow-shaft straighteners are known from the Natufian culture, onwards; the Khiamian and PPN A shouldered. Classical civilizations, notably the Assyrians, Armenians, Parthians, Koreans and Japanese fielded large numbers of archers in their armies. Akkadians were the first to use composite bows in war according to the victory stele of Naram-Sin of Akkad. Egyptians referred to Nubia as "Ta-Seti," or "The Land of the Bow," since the Nubians were known to be expert archers, by the 16th Century BC Egyptians were using the composite bow in warfare; the Bronze Age Aegean Cultures were able to deploy a number of state-owned specialized bow makers for warfare and hunting purposes from the 15th century BC. The Welsh longbow proved its worth for the first time in Continental warfare at the Battle of Crécy. In the Americas archery was widespread at European contact.
Archery was developed in Asia. The Sanskrit term for archery, came to refer to martial arts in general. In East Asia, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea was well known for its regiments of exceptionally skilled archers. Central tribesmen of Asia and American Plains Indians became adept at archery on horseback. Armored, but mobile archers were excellently suited to warfare in the Central Asian steppes, they formed a large part of armies that conquered large areas of Eurasia. Shorter bows are more suited to use on horseback, the composite bow enabled mounted archers to use powerful weapons. Empires throughout the Eurasian landmass strongly associated their respective "barbarian" counterparts with the usage of the bow and arrow, to the point where powerful states like the Han Dynasty referred to their neighbors, the Xiong-nu, as "Those Who Draw the Bow". For example, Xiong-nu mounted bowmen made them more than a match for the Han military, their threat was at least responsible for Chinese expansion into the Ordos region, to create a stronger, more powerful buffer zone against them.
It is possible that "barbarian" peoples were responsible for introducing archery or certain types of bows to their "civilized" counterparts—the Xiong-nu and the Han being one example. Short bows seem to have been introduced to Japan by northeast Asian groups; the development of firearms rendered bows obsolete in warfare, although efforts were sometimes made to preserve archery practice. In England and Wales, for example, the government tried to enforce practice with the longbow until the end of the 16th century; this was because it was recognized that the bow had been instrumental to military success during the Hundred Years' War. Despite the high social status, ongoing utility, widespread pleasure of archery in Armenia, Egypt and Wales, India, Korea and elsewhere every culture that gained access to early firearms used them to the neglect of archery. Early firearms were inferior in rate-of-fire, were sensitive to wet weather. However, they had longer effective range and were tactically superior in the common situation of soldiers shooting at each other from behind obstructions.
They required less training to use properly, in particular penetrating steel armor without any need to develop special musculature. Armies equipped with guns could thus provide superior firepower, trained archers became obsolete on the battlefield. However, the bow and arrow is still an effective weapon, archers have seen action in the 21st century. Traditional archery remains in use for sport, for hunting in many areas. Early recreational archery societies included the Finsbury Archers and the Ancient Society of Kilwinning Archers; the latter's annual Papingo event was first recorded in 1483. The Royal Company of Archers was formed in 1676 and is one of the oldest sporting bodies in the world. Archery remained a small and scattered pastime, until the late 18th century when it experienced a fashionable revival among the aristocracy. Sir Ashton Lever, an antiquarian and collector, formed the Toxophilite Society in London in 1781, wit
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading Ottoman army on 29 May 1453. The attackers were commanded by the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated an army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and took control of the imperial capital, ending a 53-day siege that began on 6 April 1453. After conquering the city, Sultan Mehmed transferred the capital of the Ottoman State from Edirne to Constantinople and established his court there; the capture of the city marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, a continuation of the Roman Empire, an imperial state dating to 27 BC, which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years. The conquest of Constantinople dealt a massive blow to the defense of mainland Europe, as the Muslim Ottoman armies thereafter were left unchecked to advance into Europe without an adversary to their rear, it was a watershed moment in military history. Since ancient times, cities had used ramparts and city walls to protect themselves from invaders, Constantinople's substantial fortifications had been a model followed by cities throughout the Mediterranean region and Europe.
The Ottomans prevailed due to the use of gunpowder. The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire was a key event in the Late Middle Ages which marks, for some historians, the end of the Medieval period. Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. In the following eleven centuries, the city had been besieged many times but was captured only once: during the Fourth Crusade in 1204; the crusaders established an unstable Latin state in and around Constantinople while the remaining empire splintered into a number of Byzantine successor states, notably Nicaea and Trebizond. They fought as allies against the Latin establishments, but fought among themselves for the Byzantine throne; the Nicaeans reconquered Constantinople from the Latins in 1261. Thereafter, there was little peace for the much-weakened empire as it fended off successive attacks by the Latins, the Serbians, the Bulgarians, most the Ottoman Turks.
The Black Plague between 1346 and 1349 killed half of the inhabitants of Constantinople. The city was depopulated due to the general economic and territorial decline of the empire, by 1453 consisted of a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled by the fifth-century Theodosian walls. By 1450 the empire was exhausted and had shrunk to a few square miles outside the city of Constantinople itself, the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, the Peloponnese with its cultural center at Mystras; the Empire of Trebizond, an independent successor state that formed in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade survived on the coast of the Black Sea. When Sultan Mehmed II succeeded his father in 1451, he was just nineteen years old. Many European courts assumed that the young Ottoman ruler would not challenge Christian hegemony in the Balkans and the Aegean; this calculation was boosted by Mehmed's friendly overtures to the European envoys at his new court. But Mehmed's mild words were not matched by actions.
By early 1452, work began on the construction of a second fortress on the Bosphorus, on the European side several miles north of Constantinople, set directly across the strait on the Asian side from the Anadolu Hisarı fortress, built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I. This pair of fortresses ensured complete control of sea traffic on the Bosphorus. In October 1452, Mehmed ordered Turakhan Beg to station a large garrison force in the Peloponnese to block Thomas and Demetrios from providing aid to their brother Constantine XI Palaiologos during the impending siege of Constantinople. Michael Critobulus says about the speech of Mehmed II to his soldiers: "My friends and men of my empire! You all know well that our forefathers secured this kingdom that we now hold at the cost of many struggles and great dangers and that, having passed it along in succession from their fathers, from father to son, they handed it down to me. For some of the oldest of you were sharers in many of the exploits carried through by them—those at least of you who are of maturer years—and the younger of you have heard of these deeds from your fathers.
They are not such ancient events nor of such a sort as to be forgotten through the lapse of time. Still, the eyewitness of those who have seen testifies better than does the hearing of deeds that happened but yesterday or the day before." Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI swiftly understood Mehmed's true intentions and turned to Western Europe for help. Since the mutual excommunications of 1054, the Pope in Rome was committed to establishing authority over the eastern church. Nominal union had been negotiated in 1274, at the Second Council of Lyon, indeed, some Palaiologoi emperors had since been received into the Latin church. Emperor John VIII Palaiologos had recently negotiated union with Pope Eugene IV, with the Council of Florence of 1439 proclaiming a Bull of Union; these events, stimulated a propaganda initiative by anti-unionist Orthodox partisans in Consta
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
A tower is a tall structure, taller than it is wide by a significant margin. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting structures. Towers are distinguished from "buildings" in that they are not built to be habitable but to serve other functions; the principal function is the use of their height to enable various functions to be achieved including: visibility of other features attached to the tower such clock towers. Towers can be stand alone structures or be supported by adjacent buildings or can be a feature on top of a large structure or building. Old English torr is from Latin turris via Old French tor; the Latin term together with Greek τύρσις was loaned from a pre-Indo-European Mediterranean language, connected with the Illyrian toponym Βου-δοργίς. With the Lydian toponyms Τύρρα, Τύρσα, it has been connected with the ethnonym Τυρρήνιοι as well as with Tusci, the Greek and Latin names for the Etruscans Towers have been used by mankind since prehistoric times.
The oldest known may be the circular stone tower in walls of Neolithic Jericho. Some of the earliest towers were ziggurats, which existed in Sumerian architecture since the 4th millennium BC; the most famous ziggurats include the Sumerian Ziggurat of Ur, built the 3rd millennium BC, the Etemenanki, one of the most famous examples of Babylonian architecture. The latter was built in Babylon during the 2nd millennium BC and was considered the tallest tower of the ancient world; some of the earliest surviving examples are the broch structures in northern Scotland, which are conical towerhouses. These and other examples from Phoenician and Roman cultures emphasised the use of a tower in fortification and sentinel roles. For example, the name of the Moroccan city of Mogador, founded in the first millennium BC, is derived from the Phoenician word for watchtower; the Romans utilised octagonal towers as elements of Diocletian's Palace in Croatia, which monument dates to 300 AD, while the Servian Walls and the Aurelian Walls featured square ones.
The Chinese used towers as integrated elements of the Great Wall of China in 210 BC during the Qin Dynasty. Towers were an important element of castles. Other well known towers include the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy built from 1173 until 1372 and the Two Towers in Bologna, Italy built from 1109 until 1119; the Himalayan Towers are stone towers located chiefly in Tibet built 14th to 15th century. Up to a certain height, a tower can be made with the supporting structure with parallel sides. However, above a certain height, the compressive load of the material is exceeded and the tower will fail; this can be avoided. A second limit is that of buckling—the structure requires sufficient stiffness to avoid breaking under the loads it faces those due to winds. Many tall towers have their support structures at the periphery of the building, which increases the overall stiffness. A third limit is dynamic; these are dealt with through a combination of simple strength and stiffness, as well as in some cases tuned mass dampers to damp out movements.
Varying or tapering the outer aspect of the tower with height avoids vibrations due to vortex shedding occurring along the entire building simultaneously. Although not called towers many modern skyscraper are called towers. In the United Kingdom, tall domestic buildings are referred to as tower blocks. In the United States, the original World Trade Center had the nickname the Twin Towers, a name shared with the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur; the tower throughout history has provided its users with an advantage in surveying defensive positions and obtaining a better view of the surrounding areas, including battlefields. They were rolled near a target. Today, strategic-use towers are still used at prisons, military camps, defensive perimeters. By using gravity to move objects or substances downward, a tower can be used to store items or liquids like a storage silo or a water tower, or aim an object into the earth such as a drilling tower. Ski-jump ramps use the same idea, in the absence of a natural mountain slope or hill, can be human-made.
In history, simple towers like lighthouses, bell towers, clock towers, signal towers and minarets were used to communicate information over greater distances. In more recent years, radio masts and cell phone towers facilitate communication by expanding the range of the transmitter; the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada was built as a communications tower, with the capability to act as both a transmitter and repeater. Its design incorporated features to make it a tourist attraction, including the world's highest observation deck at 147 storeys. Towers can be used to support bridges, can reach heights that rival some of the tallest buildings above-water, their use is most prevalent in cable-stayed bridges. The use of the pylon, a simple tower structure, has helped to build railroad bridges, mass-transit systems, harbors. Control towers are used to give visibility to help direct aviation traffic. To access tall or high objects: launch tower, service tower, service structure, tower c
A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from Latin: sedere, lit.'to sit'. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, defensive position. An opportunity for negotiation between combatants is not uncommon, as proximity and fluctuating advantage can encourage diplomacy; the art of conducting and resisting sieges is called siegecraft, or poliorcetics. A siege occurs when an attacker encounters a city or fortress that cannot be taken by a quick assault, which refuses to surrender. Sieges involve surrounding the target to block the provision of supplies and the reinforcement or escape of troops; this is coupled with attempts to reduce the fortifications by means of siege engines, artillery bombardment, mining, or the use of deception or treachery to bypass defenses. Failing a military outcome, sieges can be decided by starvation, thirst, or disease, which can afflict either the attacker or defender.
This form of siege, can take many months or years, depending upon the size of the stores of food the fortified position holds. The attacking force can circumvallate the besieged place, to build a line of earth-works, consisting of a rampart and trench, surrounding it. During the process of circumvallation, the attacking force can be set upon by another force, an ally of the besieged place, due to the lengthy amount of time required to force it to capitulate. A defensive ring of forts outside the ring of circumvallated forts, called contravallation, is sometimes used to defend the attackers from outside. Ancient cities in the Middle East show archaeological evidence of having had fortified city walls. During the Warring States era of ancient China, there is both textual and archaeological evidence of prolonged sieges and siege machinery used against the defenders of city walls. Siege machinery was a tradition of the ancient Greco-Roman world. During the Renaissance and the early modern period, siege warfare dominated the conduct of war in Europe.
Leonardo da Vinci gained as much of his renown from the design of fortifications as from his artwork. Medieval campaigns were designed around a succession of sieges. In the Napoleonic era, increasing use of more powerful cannon reduced the value of fortifications. In the 20th century, the significance of the classical siege declined. With the advent of mobile warfare, a single fortified stronghold is no longer as decisive as it once was. While traditional sieges do still occur, they are not as common as they once were due to changes in modes of battle, principally the ease by which huge volumes of destructive power can be directed onto a static target. Modern sieges are more the result of smaller hostage, militant, or extreme resisting arrest situations; the Assyrians deployed large labour forces to build new palaces and defensive walls. Some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were fortified. By about 3500 BC, hundreds of small farming villages dotted the Indus River floodplain. Many of these settlements had planned streets.
The stone and mud brick houses of Kot Diji were clustered behind massive stone flood dikes and defensive walls, for neighbouring communities quarrelled about the control of prime agricultural land. Mundigak in present-day south-east Afghanistan has defensive walls and square bastions of sun-dried bricks. City walls and fortifications were essential for the defence of the first cities in the ancient Near East; the walls were built of mudbricks, wood, or a combination of these materials, depending on local availability. They may have served the dual purpose of showing presumptive enemies the might of the kingdom; the great walls surrounding the Sumerian city of Uruk gained a widespread reputation. The walls were 9.5 km in length, up to 12 m in height. The walls of Babylon, reinforced by towers and ditches, gained a similar reputation. In Anatolia, the Hittites built massive stone walls around their cities atop hillsides, taking advantage of the terrain. In Shang Dynasty China, at the site of Ao, large walls were erected in the 15th century BC that had dimensions of 20 m in width at the base and enclosed an area of some 2,100 yards squared.
The ancient Chinese capital for the State of Zhao, founded in 386 BC had walls that were 20 m wide at the base. The cities of the Indus Valley Civilization showed less effort in constructing defences, as did the Minoan civilization on Crete; these civilizations relied more on the defence of their outer borders or sea shores. Unlike the ancient Minoan civilization, the Mycenaean Greeks emphasized the need for fortifications alongside natural defences of mountainous terrain, such as the massive Cyclopean walls built at Mycenae and other adjacent Late Bronze Age centers of central and southern Greece. Although there are depictions of sieges from the ancient Near East in historical sources and in art, there are few examples of siege systems that have been found archaeologically. Of the few examples, several are noteworthy: The late 9th-century BC siege system surrounding Tell es-Safi/Gath, consists of a 2.5 km long siege trench and other elements, is the earliest evidence of a circumvallation system known in the world.
It was built by Hazael of Aram Damascus, as part of his siege and conquest of Philistine Gath in the late 9th century BC (mentio
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