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ElenaCohen

January23,2015

CatapultProject:ResearchandInquiry
Catapultswereusedinmanydifferenterasbyvariouscivilizationsthroughouthistory.
People,suchastheancientGreeksandRomansusedthemintimeofwar.Whattheydidnt
knowwasthatpeoplelateronwouldusetheminbattlesandthrowdeadbodiesoverthewallsof
castlestocausethespreadofdiseases.Themainuseforcatapultsnowisforcompetitiontosee
howfarwecanthrowthingsnotforwarslikeintheMedievalages.Sometimescatapultsmight
showupforprojectsforlikeinmathclassestocalculatemanythingsandthedifferentequations
andgraphingnamessuchasparabolas,insteadofseeingitasaweapon.Ifpeopletodaywantto
buildcatapultstheyshouldhaveanunderstandingofthehistoryandcreationofthecatapulttype
theywishtomake.
Intheearly
fourthcenturyB.C.,hadthetorsioncatapult,whichwasoneofthefirst
catapultswerecreatedandusedbytheAncientGreek,thatweremadetothrowdestroythewalls
oftheenemy.ItwasoneoftheearlierversionofMedievalcrossbowthatweretoshootmissiles
whenthetriggerwasreleased.ThecrossbowfromtheMedievaltimes,wascalledbellybowsor
gastrapheteswhichwascreatedtobeabletoheldbyoneperson.Thefirstevercatapultwas
madeinthe400B.CinaGreektown,whichwasnamedSyracus.Theybasedtheideaofa
catapultonacrossbow.Thetwosocieties,RomanandGreeks,weretheoneswhoperfectedthe
ideaofacatapultinsteadofleavingithowitis.Theycouldthrowabout60pounds,whichalso
couldbethrowasfarasfivefootballfields,attheirenemiesinbattle.Anothersocietyofpeople
weretheChinesewereoneofthefirstpeoplewhousecatapults,alsotheRomansandGreeks.

DuringtheMedievalEra,theyusedthecatapultstogaindominationandpowerwhile
destroyingtheirenemies.While,theyaregettingattackedbycatapults,theyarebuilding
anythingthatwouldhelpthemhavedefensives.Theinventionofthecatapultmadetheideaof
warchanged.Onereasonthatitchangedtheideaofwaristhatthecasteswerebuildingstronger
andhigherwallssotheyhadtobuildaweaponthatwouldhelptodefeattheirenemy.They
wantedaweaponthatdidntneedanyhelpfromexplosivesbuthadenoughpowertodefeatthe
target.
AftertheRomansandGreeksperfectedtheideaofcatapults,laterinhistory,peoplefrom
othersocietiesstartedtoimprovetheideaofcatapultsbyhavingdifferenttypesoftheweapon.
TheycreatedtheBallista,meansthrowinGreek,whichwasagiantcrossbow.TheBallistawas
recreatedbytheRomanstomaketheweapon,inbattles,moreuseful.Somereasonsthatthe
Ballistatomaketheamplytherangeandpowerofacrossbow.WhentheBallistawasmade,
theyhadtwowoodarmsareattachedtoropes,whichwasmadehumanhairoranimalsinew,
thenattachtowinchwherethepersonwhousingthecatapultcouldthrowsomething.Asmaller
versionofBallistaistheSpringald.AnothertypeofcatapultistheMangonelwhichisthefirst
ideaofacatapult.IntheLatinlanguage,Mangonelmeansengineofwar.Onager,whichisa
typeofMangonel.OnagergotitsnamefromtheLatinwordonagroswhichmeanswildass.The
lastofthemaintypeofcatapultsistheTrebuchetforthemaximumpower.
Catapultsweremadetothrowthings,suchasmissiles,attheenemiesduringtheattacks,
battlesandwars.Themissilesusuallydirectlyattheenemies,theywerechosentobeused
becausetheydothemostdamage.Theseweaponshavehelpedmanypeopletowinbattles,
attacksandwarswhichhelptodaybetodayinsteadofsomethingelse.Iftheydidntinventedthe

catapults,weprobablywonthavetheadvantageweaponswehavenowfromwarsthatkeepus
safeandhuman.