The catapult (katapeltikon) was invented under the patronage of Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse, in the 4th century bc. At first only the arrow-firing variant was used, and it was not until the reign of Alexander the Great that stone-projecting catapults were introduced. The Romans adopted these weapons during the Punic Wars and further developed them, before introducing the new arrow-firing ballista and stone-throwing onager. This title traces the often controversial design, development and construction of these weapons throughout the history of the classical world.
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