ballista


ballista
/beuh lis"teuh/, n., pl. ballistae /-tee/.
an ancient military engine for throwing stones or other missiles.
[1590-1600; < L, prob. < Gk *ballistás, dial. var. of *ballistés, equiv. to báll(ein) to throw + -istes -IST]

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Ancient missile launcher designed to hurl long arrows or heavy balls.

The Greek version was basically a huge crossbow fastened to a mount. The Roman ballista was powered by torsion derived from two thick skeins of twisted cords through which were thrust two separate arms joined at their ends by the cord that propelled the missile. The largest could accurately hurl 60-lb (27-kg) weights up to about 500 yards (450 m).

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▪ ancient missile launcher
      ancient missile launcher designed to hurl javelins or heavy balls. Ballistas were powered by torsion derived from two thick skeins of twisted cords through which were thrust two separate arms joined at their ends by the cord that propelled the missile. The much smaller carroballistae were of similar design but were sufficiently mobile that Roman legions took them into the field on carts. The largest ballistas were quite accurate in hurling 60-pound weights up to about 500 yards. Compare catapult.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ballista — Bal*lis ta, n.; pl. {Ballist[ae]}. [L. ballista, balista, fr. Gr. ba llein to throw.] An ancient military engine, in the form of a crossbow, used for hurling large missiles. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ballista — ancient war engine, late 14c., from L. ballista, lit. a throwing machine, from Gk. ballein to throw (see BALLISTICS (Cf. ballistics)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ballista — [bə lis′tə] n. pl. ballistae [bə lis′tē] [L < Gr * ballistēs < ballein, to throw: see BALL2] a device, resembling a large mounted crossbow, used in ancient warfare to hurl heavy stones and similar missiles …   English World dictionary

  • Ballista — The ballista (Latin, from Greek βαλλίστρα ballistra , from βάλλω ballō , to throw ), plural ballistae, was a weapon developed from earlier Greek crossbows. It relied upon different mechanics using instead of a prod two levers with torsion springs …   Wikipedia

  • Ballista — Callistus († 261), genannt Ballista (Katapult), war der Prätorianerpräfekt des römischen Kaisers Valerian (vielleicht aber auch erst unter Macrianus Minor), als dieser von den Sassaniden gefangen genommen und später getötet wurde. Leben Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BALLISTA — I. BALLISTA machina militaris, cuius mentio, apud Aul. Gellium l. 6. c. 3. ubi de inusitatae magnitudinis serpente, ad Bagradam fluv. ab Attilio Regulo Cons. oppugnato, verba facit: Eum, inquit, magnâ totius exercitus conflictione, ballistis… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Ballista — La ballista (latín, de griego ballistes, de ballein tirar ) es una arma fuerza como una ballesta, para expulsar dardos grandes únicamente o en grupos. También se llama tirador de pestillos. Bastillae romanas disparaban piedras grandes en el lugar …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • ballista — noun (plural ballistae) Etymology: Latin, from Greek *ballistēs, from ballein to throw more at devil Date: 14th century an ancient military engine often in the form of a crossbow for hurling large missiles …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ballista — noun An ancient military engine, in the form of a crossbow, used for hurling large missiles …   Wiktionary

  • ballista — bal·lì·sta s.m. e f. CO fam., chi è solito raccontare bugie o storie inverosimili Sinonimi: bugiardo, cacciaballe, contaballe, contastorie. {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1942 …   Dizionario italiano


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