A catapult is any one of a number of non-handheld mechanical devices used to throw a projectile a great distance without the aid of an explosive substance—particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines.

Catapult

A catapult is any one of a number of non-handheld mechanical devices used to throw a projectile a great…

"Fire-arrows, 14th and 15th centuries. An arrow formerly used, whether shot from a hand-bow or from an engine, having combustibles attached to it for incendiary purposes." -Whitney, 1911

Fire Arrows of the 14th and 15th Centuries

"Fire-arrows, 14th and 15th centuries. An arrow formerly used, whether shot from a hand-bow or from…

"GRAPE-SHOT. A projectile discharged from a cannon, having much of the destructive spread of case-shot with somewhat of the range and penetrative force of solid shot." -Whitney, 1911

Grapeshot

"GRAPE-SHOT. A projectile discharged from a cannon, having much of the destructive spread of case-shot…

A mangonel (derived from Greco-Latin word manganon, meaning "engine of war") was a type of catapult or siege machine used in the medieval period to throw projectiles at a castle's walls. The exact meaning of the term is debatable, and several possibilities have been suggested. It may have been a name for counterweight artillery (trebuchets), possibly either a fixed-counterweight type, or one with a particular type of frame.

Mangonel

A mangonel (derived from Greco-Latin word manganon, meaning "engine of war") was a type of catapult…

"Device used to prove that all things fall at the same rate due to gravity. When the device is triggered, one object is dropped while anothe object is shot horizontally from within, with the result being that both objects strike the ground at the same time." —Hallock 1905

Projectile Motion

"Device used to prove that all things fall at the same rate due to gravity. When the device is triggered,…

"Suppose a cannon be loaded with a ball, and placed on top of a tower, at such a height from the ground, that it would take just three seconds for the ball to descend from it to the ground, if let fall perpendicularly. Now, suppose the cannon to be fired in an exact horizontal direction, and at the same instant, the ball to be dropped towards the ground. They will both reach the ground at the same instant..." -Comstock 1850

Projectile Motion of a Cannonball

"Suppose a cannon be loaded with a ball, and placed on top of a tower, at such a height from the ground,…

"[This illustration] shows the path of a stone thrown obliquely from the hand. The propelling force sends it in a straight line to A, and would take it on in the same direction to B, were it not that, as soon as its velocity becomes sufficiently diminished, gravity and the air's resistance give it a circular motion to C, and finally bring it to the earth at D." —Quackenbos 1859

Projectile Motion of a Stone

"[This illustration] shows the path of a stone thrown obliquely from the hand. The propelling force…

"Thus, we have a cannon planted on a towwer at such a height that it would take four seconds for a ball to fall from it to the ground. Dropped from the cannon's mouth, in the first second a ball would reach A; in the next, B; in the third, C; and in the fourth D." —Quackenbos 1859

Projectile Motion of a Cannon Ball

"Thus, we have a cannon planted on a towwer at such a height that it would take four seconds for a ball…

Illustration modeling the path of a projectile.

Path of Projectile

Illustration modeling the path of a projectile.