Since our inception as a race, humans have sought to throw things far away, and our race has developed far from the early days of Slings and bows. The earliest known ballista came from Greece during the 5th century BCE. Since then we’ve moved towards trebuchets, catapults, and then onto Cannons. Mortars arose in the 15th century, then actual artillery pieces like howitzers and Big Bertha’s were used in battle. Finally, and most recently, rocket technology allowed ICBMs to travel entire continents. The ballista is merely an invention that exists on the long line of our evolution as a species and is a weapon emulative of our capabilities at that time. My goal in constructing a ballista was to understand how far technology has come since the Classical Era. My interest in the history of that time period pushed me to construct a physical representation of our capabilities as a race. Although I’ve had little training in wood shopping, I was mainly directed and taught by Mr. Todd, Mr. Embry, Ms. Salazar, and Irisa, or whoever was supervising me in the woodshop. I’ve had experience on projects like this before (I’ve made a sword, a knife, and am in the process of forging a Landsknecht dagger) but nothing to this physical scale. The most challenging aspect of building the ballista was realizing that sometimes your plans may be too convoluted, or too simple for the task at hand. Although I injured myself many times in the process of making the machine, nothing was more stressful or painful than realizing that you could have done A, or that B had broken, and that C was too difficult to make. If I continued the Project (which I hopefully will) my goal would be to make the machine more powerful, and more efficient.
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