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The “palintonos” (V-spring) catapult (4th c. B.C.) The first big stone thrower in human history

It was a powerful V-spring catapult that launched stones at long distances. It was invented by Alexander the Great’s engineer, Diades of Pella. It consisted of an oblong case (“syrinx”) that had ratchets at each side and powerful frames at the top. The frames held specially designed hole-carriers with ingenious washers and flanges, which in turn supported, by a pair of torsion springs (“neura”), the two arms that had the string. The torsion springs 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 stone. 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.

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