Ballista

Ballista

Ballista

Inv. 9096
Interpretation by Giovenale Argan, 1952 - 1953

This ballista, an actual exercise on one of the traditional assault machines from classical and medieval times, is conceived for launching stones with a parabolic trajectory and for a long distance, to open a breach in the enemy walls. It is constituted of a wooden spring that is drawn by a bolt positioned at the base of the trestle structure: the energy for the launch is provided by the extreme torsion of the cords. This instrument of war is conceived for obtaining a great power within modest dimensions, by contrast with the trebuchet, an assault weapon working on the counterweight principle, which often reached over 10 m in height. Particularly interesting are the various devices for increasing the flexibility of the springs, to assure an effective launch.

The model is based on the drawing:

  • Codex Atlanticus f. 140b r. (1487)
    Milano, Biblioteca Ambrosiana