Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Claw

In 214 BC, the Romans attacked the port city of Syracuse by sea with a force numbering around 120 ships. Their assault was thrown into confusion by a combination of arrows, darts, and catapult stones. When the Roman ships got near the walls of Syracuse, their ships were literally lifted out of the water and dropped on their sides by a series of cranes equipped with giant metal claws, courtesy of the brilliant engineer Archimedes, who was in Syracuse at the time and assisting with the defense. The Romans, according to Plutarch, “seeing that indefinite mischief overwhelmed them from no visible means, began to think they were fighting with the gods.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.