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Title
Movable tower for attack used by Greeks and Romans
Collection

Wonders: Images of the Ancient World

Weapons -- Ancient

Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1785
Library locations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection
Topics
Arms & armament -- To 499
Towers
Logs
Armies -- Greek -- To 499
Armies -- Roman+ -- To 499
Battering rams
Siege warfare
Genres
Reconstructions
Notes
Source note: Costume des anciens peuples, à l'usage des artistes. Dandré-Bardon, Michel François ; 1700-1783 ; author. Paris : Alexandre Jombert, 1784-1785. 2 v. Nouvelle édition rédigée par M. Cochin.
Physical Description
Etchings
Extent: 27 x 19.5 cm
"Trezieme Cahier." "2e. Part. Planche 37."--lettered in plate, top border. Keyed A through H on image.
Description
This picture shows a siege tower used to attack city walls. Pushed from behind, it moved over planks on rollers made from logs. Its bottom level sheltered men working a battering ram, while the upper stories would have held warriors and small throwing engines (like catapults or dart-casters). The purpose of this machine was to move attackers safely up to a city's walls, and allow them to fight with defenders at their same level. Often, siege towers would have their fronts hung with wet hides as a protection against the enemy setting them on fire. The three "tails" sticking out from the back of the battering ram are the ropes used to pull it back so it could then swing forward against walls or a gate. The flap below the ram at the front of the tower lets the men inside roll logs out in front of the structure without exposure to enemy missiles. At top left is a smaller illustration showing a tower such as might be attacked by the machine in the main picture. The illustration resembles descriptions of the gigantic Helepolis ("City-taker") built by the siege engineers of Demetrius Poliorcites (king of Macedonia and one of the Successors to Alexander the Great's empire) for his unsuccessful attack on the island of Rhodes in 305-304 B.C. Legend has it that the plates protecting the tower were removed and melted down after the besiegers had left it behind to provide metal to build the Colossus of Rhodes.
Type of Resource
Still image
Identifiers
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 1c21e5a0-c5c0-012f-2c43-58d385a7bc34
Rights Statement
The New York Public Library believes that this item is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, but did not make a determination as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. This item may not be in the public domain under the laws of other countries. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library," and provide a link back to the item on our Digital Collections site. Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.

Item timeline of events

  • 1785: Issued
  • 2020: Digitized
  • 2020: Found by you!
  • 2021

MLA Format

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Movable tower for attack used by Greeks and Romans" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1785. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-474d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Chicago/Turabian Format

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Movable tower for attack used by Greeks and Romans" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 5, 2020. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-474d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

APA Format

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1785). Movable tower for attack used by Greeks and Romans Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-474d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-474d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 | title= (still image) Movable tower for attack used by Greeks and Romans, (1785) |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=August 5, 2020 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Movable tower for attack used by Greeks and Romans