A piece of mechanical artillery, worked by torsion skeins, throwing a flighted shaft on a flat trajectory. Ballistas were introduced after the Archaic Period, and are common in the Classical Period and the Decadent Period. They are moderately useful as field artillery, and are occasionally unsuccessfully deployed on elephant-back. Ballistas come into their own in sieges, especially in a defensive rôle, and in naval warfare, where by the Decadent Period they have allows ballista-armed quinquiremes to replace ram-armed triremes as the main battle ships.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.