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If someone has scanned this article
Baatz (Dietwulf), Katapulte und mechanische Handwaffen des spätrömischen Heeres, JRMES,
(Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies - Ryton),
10, 1999, pp. 5-19
is it possible to send it to me? Thanks Smile
[email protected]
Hello Stefan!

I will scan the article you ask for this night and send it to you.


Decebalus/Andreas Gagelmann
Guys, you do know the publisher of JRMES is a regular member here?
Yes. I am not trying to use it this article in missapropriate way. I am not trying to publish it on the net. JRMES is completely unavailable in Serbia (except Mr Bishop's articles -on his site). My idea was just to see what Mr Baatz wrote about catapulta and if needed to use it as reference.
What is this JRMES site, and is it full of great info?
Cheers Conal!

So it is not a website but a journal, avaiable to anyone! Smile
Quote:Cheers Conal!

So it is not a website but a journal, avaiable to anyone! Smile
A journal, yes. Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies.

Although it is available to anyone, I do not believe it is free.
Quote:My idea was just to see what Mr Baatz wrote about catapulta and if needed to use it as reference.
I don't have a PDF of the article, Stefan. But here's a quick summary -- hope you find it helpful!

D. Baatz, "Katapulte und mechanische Handwaffen des spätrömischen Heeres", JRMES 10 (1999), 5-19.

1. Das Pfeilgeschütz (ballista). (pp.5-10)
1.1. Sources for the meaning of the word ballista.
Baatz points out that, by 2nd C, ballista means arrow-shooter, and is often spelled "balista" or in Greek "ballistra". He cites Vegetius and Ammianus.
1.2. Sources for the construction of the ballistae.
Baatz cites Trajan's Column for the design of the arrow-shooting ballista, and the find from Orşova demonstrates the persistence of the design into the 4th C.
A. Literary sources for the construction.
Vegetius (4.9) and Ammianus (23.4.1-3) mention torsion. Ps-Heron lists the components in the "Cheiroballistra" text. Procopius (Goth. 1.21.14-18 ) demonstrates the persistence of the design into the 6thC.
B. Pictorial descriptions from the late Roman period.
Baatz cites the medieval manuscript illustrations from the "Cheiroballistra" text. Also the pictures of the ballista quadrirotis and ballista fulminalis from the "De rebus bellicis" text, preserving echoes of the machines on Trajan's Column.
C. Archaeological Finds.
Baatz lists the finds from (1) Orşova, (2) Pityus, (3) Sala, (4) Lyon, and (5) Pergamon.
1.3. The late-Roman ballista: reconstruction and variants.
Baatz offers the now-standard reconstruction of the iron-framed ballista. He notes that the archaeological finds are fairly uniform in size (height of kambestria, c. 36cm; diameter of spring, 6.8-8.4cm). Method of fastening kambestria to bow-strut/ladder-strut not certain. Trigger, winch, stand not represented archaeologically. No evidence of heavy arrow-shooters, but larger machines might have been wooden; Baatz cites the evidence from Hatra.
1.4. Ballista missiles.
Baatz describes the long, slender catapult arrows of Hellenistic times, correlating a 6-8cm calibre with a missile weight of c. 100-250g. He contrasts the short, stocky "bolts" of the late arrow-shooter, as illustrated by the Dura Europos examples.

2. Der schwere Steinwerfer (onager, scorpio). (pp.10-11)
Baatz notes that the one-armed catapult is mentioned repeatedly in late Roman sources (e.g. Ammianus, Vegetius); Ammianus calls it a scorpio. It is a mechanisation of the staff-sling. Procopius (Goth. 1.21.18-19) demonstrates persistence of design up to AD 537/8.

3. Die mechanischen Handwaffen der Antike. (pp.11-15)
3.1. The early crossbow: gastraphetes (late Classical to early Hellenistic).
Baatz describes the gastraphetes as a weapon of the 4thC BC, falling out of use in 2ndC BC.
3.2. The early torsion crossbow (Hellenistic/Roman Principate).
Baatz takes finds of small bronze washers as evidence of this weapon, citing the upper calibre threshold of 5.5/6cm. He provides a table (Table 1, p. 7) of small washers (Ephyra; Mahdia; Bath; Elginhaugh; Volubilis 466 & 467), and cites Arrian (Tact. 43.1, with D B Campbell, Bonner Jahrb. 186, 1986) as evidence of handheld torsion weapons up to Hadrianic times.
3.3. The late-Roman torsion crossbow.
Baatz cites the archaeological finds from Gornea and Volubilis. He notes the problems of interpreting the "Cheiroballistra" text (e.g. method of spanning the machine not mentioned). Cheiroballistra = Vegetius' manuballista.
3.4. The crossbow of the Principate.
Baatz cites the two French sculptural reliefs of the 2ndC showing (non-torsion) crossbows, and notes the lack of archaeological finds.
3.5. The late-Roman crossbow.
Baatz notes the existence of the arcuballista alongside the manuballista, and assumes that it is a non-torsion weapon.
3.6. The development of the mechanical hand-weapon in antiquity: summary.
Baatz sketches the chronology: gastraphetes c. 400 BC; torsion spring in mid-4thC BC; new technology transferred to hand weapon; Ephyra example from 2ndC BC; new design of catapult during Roman Principate also applied to hand weapon; finally, late Roman cheiroballistra. Also the non-torsion arcuballista as precursor of medieval crossbow.

4. Units of late-Roman ballistarii. (pp.15-16)
Baatz notes that the Notitia Dignitatum mentions units of ballistarii. These are rarely named elsewhere (only Veg., mil. 2.2 and Ammianus 16.2.5-8 ). Baatz explains the Ammianus reference as the light infantry which Vegetius calls arcuballistarii and manuballistarii. Meanwhile, regular catapults were still assigned to legions and frontier garrisons; special units of "artillery crews" did not exist.

Appendix. Remarks on a reconstruction of the Cheiroballistra. (pp.16-17)
Baatz pays tribute to Alan Wilkins' reconstruction (with Len Morgan) of the Cheiroballistra, while pointing out areas with which he disagrees (i.e. it is too heavy to be a hand weapon, so it cannot be a genuine Cheiroballistra).

Footnotes. (pp.17-18 )
Bibliography. (pp.18-19)
Thanks Duncan.
Quote:Thanks Duncan.
My pleasure! Big Grin