Book Review -- “The Art Of the Catapult”

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Book Review -- “The Art Of the Catapult”

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:24 am

>>>> Book Review -- “The Art Of the Catapult” <<<< 

>>> William Gurstelle, Chicago Review Press, Chicago, Ill., 2004
The author says that with some scrap wood, rope, hammer, nails, and this book, one can build seven different kinds of historic catapults. These are simple hurling machines that rely on the fundamentals of math and physics using lever, and force, torsion, tension, and traction.

Through these exciting projects, the colorful history of siege warfare comes to life. With this book one can build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchet, and other ancient artillery.

>>> Some of the contents of the book are:

>> -- Timeline;
>> -- The Days Before Gunpowder; 
>> -- The Science of Siege; 
>> -- Spring Engine Catapult; 
>> -- Viking Catapult; 
>> -- The Slings of the Ancients; 
>> -- Traction Catapult; 
>> -- Trebuchet; 
>> -- Shipboard Catapults; 
>> -- Making Rope; 
>> -- Wild Donkey.

Within this book are the plans and history of each of the above siege weapons, and more, Each of the items listed above have their details carefully and fully written out; safety, tools, materials, detailed directions for assembly, detailed directions for operation, and safety reminders for the operation of the machine. The book is an easy read, and besides the detailed direction included to build these machines there is some important information included about the development of the Catapult, who in the history of this fascinating type of warfare was the inventor, builder, and user of such machines and where they were used and to what result and end,
Aside from the excitement and challenge of building operational catapults, I found the book to be very interesting and learned a great deal about a subject that I really needed to know more about. I highly recommend this book for anyone having an interest in the science of Siege warfare or the mechanical operation of catapults through the ages. There is also a short glossary of terms related to the catapult, a bibliography for those who would like to delve deeper into this “Science of the Siege and Catapults”, and an index.

>>> Reference:

>> -- Ashley, James R (1998), "The Macedonian Empire: The Era of Warfare Under Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359–323 BC", Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, ISBN 978-0-7864-1918-0;
>> -- Campbell, Duncan (2003), "Greek and Roman Artillery 399 BC – AD 363", Oxford: Osprey,  1-ISBN 84176-634-8;
>> -- Marsden, Eric William (1969), "Greek and Roman Artillery: Historical Development," Oxford: Clarendon, ISBN 978-0-19-814268-3.

Respectfully Submitted; 
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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