The sambuca of Damios from Kolophon

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The sambuca of Damios from Kolophon


It was a protected ladder which rocked like a seesaw and allowed the safe transferring of soldiers onto enemy wall. On its front end, it had a protected assault platform, while on the rear end, a box of lead counterweight for balancing. On the floor of the base, there was a vertical screw which came into contact, through an intermediate beam, with the ladder in front of the articulation. The right or left rotation of the screw (by means of a lever) ensured the desired inclination of the ladder. When at rest, the ladder was at a relatively vertical position whereas in the event of attack, the soldiers climbed the ladder and gathered onto the assault platform through the protected corridor. Then the operators of the winch lifted it to a horizontal position and the soldiers, after they had lowered the protective gate, disembarked onto the wall or even behind it with the help of the hanging ladder.

SOURCES: "Biton, Construction of warengines and artillery", "Polybius, Histories"