The ''euthytonos'' catapult (scorpion)

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The ''euthytonos'' catapult (scorpion)


It was a powerful straight-spring catapult which launched arrows at long range. It consisted of an oblong case ("syrinx") which had ratchets at each side and a powerful frame at the top. In the frame a pair of torsion springs supported two arms that had the string. The torsion springs ("neura") were comprised of twisted ropes from animal sinews or women's hair spread with oil. In the case slid a central beam ("slider") that had the dovetail cross-section and at the top a groove for the reception of the arrow. The slider was cocked with the help of a powerful manually-operated winch and secured in the prongs of the ratchets. Its rapid release was achieved with the help of a special claw. It was first used by the Macedonian army of Philip II and was evolved by Alexander the Great's engineer, Diades of Pella.

SOURCES: "Heron of Alexandria, Belopoietica", "Philon of Byzantium, Belopoietica"