Catapult and Medieval History Presentation

January 21, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, World History, Middle Ages
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CATAPULTS Physics, Background and History

Definition  A machine that converts POTENTIAL ENERGY into mechanical motion or KINETIC ENERGY”  Comes from the Greek word “Katapultos,” meaning “shield crusher”  AKA: Siege Engine or Siege Machine

The Invention  The catapult, as we would recognize it today, was invented by the Greeks about 399 BC but various forms were found in central Asia much earlier than that  During the war with Carthage, Dionysius of Syracuse produced the Gastraphetes or “belly bow” catapult

The Invention continued…  By 330 BC two distinct types of catapults emerged  One fired javelins (spears) called a Euthytonon  The other was the stone throwing Palintonon

How was it used in Medieval times?  First we need to understand the society of the Middle Ages  Fear was rampant (AKA: Dark Ages)  There was huge disparity between the rich and poor (Feudalism)  Castles were constructed to protect nobles (& peasants but only during crisis)

Castle construction     

Moat Draw bridge Portcullis Guard tower/ Barbican Murder holes


Catapult AKA

Siege Machine or Siege Engine  What is a siege?  One army surrounds an enemy, keeping help, goods and water from leaving or entering the castle

Medieval warfare  Infantry (usually the poor)  Archers (trained/ paid military)  Battering Ram  Psychological warfare  Flaming shrubbery and brush Dead, diseased bodies Heads of tortured victims

Battering Ram

Catapult Structure & Design A typical catapult has each of the following:  Arm  Base  Elastic Force  Fulcrum

 Most catapults were made of wood  The elastic force provided by twisted rope, springs, saplings  The fulcrum is the point of support for a lever- which in the case of a catapult is the arm

Factors Affecting Distance  Mass of object being hurled  Strength & flexibility of arm  Mass of arm  Length of the arm  How far the arm is pulled back  Angle of base or release (best angle?)  Small transfer of energy into distortion

Types of Catapults  Roman design and others found during the Medieval period

Ballista  Roman  Double armed – like a bow  Shot large spears or javelins

Mangonel or Onager

 French  “Engine of War”  Typical catapult

Trebuchet  French meaning “to stumble”  Used a sling with the arm  Extremely accurate  Most advanced of all catapults

Fixed Counterweight Trebuchet

Swinging or Hinged Counterweight Trebuchet

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