engines of war used in antiquity and the Middle Ages for destroying enemy manpower and defense works.
Missile-throwing engines used the energy of various twisted and stretched fibers. They were known in the ancient Orient (for instance, in Assyria and India), in ancient Greece, and especially in ancient Rome. The missile-throwing engines were divided into catapults and ballistae. The Romans grouped them into subunits, each with up to six engines. In the fifth century the catapult and the ballista were replaced in Byzantium by the frondibola, a new type of missile-throwing engine with a counterbalance. In ancient Russia missile-throwing engines were first used in the tenth century, mainly in the siege and defense of cities, and continued in use until the appearance of firearms in the 14th century.
REFERENCESArtilleriia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1938.
Razin, E. Jstoriia voennogo iskusstva, vol. 1. Moscow, 1955.