List of siege engines

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This is a list of siege engines invented through history. A siege engine is a weapon used to destroy fortifications such as walls, castles, bunkers and fortified gates.

By age, oldest to newest[edit]

Name Image Date Location Notes
Siege tower Grose-Francis-Pavisors-and-Moveable-Tower-Assaulting-Castle-1812.jpg 9th Century BCE Assyria A giant mobile tower, often constructed at location.
Battering ram Battering ram.jpg 9th Century BCE Assyria First siege engine recorded to be used, soon adopted by Sparta.[1]
Catapult Catapult 1 Mercato San Severino.jpg 400 BCE Greece A signature siege engine, used until world war I.[2]
Ballista Hecht 090710 Ballista.jpg 400 BCE Syracuse, Sicily A very large and powerful crossbow.[3]
Trebuchet Trebuchet Castelnaud.jpg 4th Century BCE China Similar to the catapult, but uses a swinging arm to launch projectiles. It is usually considered to be stronger than the catapult.[4]
Helepolis Helepolis.png 305 BCE Rhodes Roman siege tower first used in Rhodes.[5]
Sambuca Sambuke-gelo4.jpg 213 BCE Sicily Roman seaborne siege engine build on two ships.
Scorpio Balliste fireing.jpg 52 BCE Gaul Similar to the ballista, but smaller. Was sometimes mounted on a mule-drawn cart. [6]
Springald London Tower Springald.JPG 11th century Byzantium An inward shooting piece of siege equipment. [7]
Artillery British 39th Siege Battery RGA Somme 1916.jpg First seen in 14th century, only called artillery around the 15th and 16th century [8] China After the invention of gunpowder in China, the ability to create firearms and siege artillery was open, siege technology advanced from here but, under the artillery category. There is fewer use for this kind of technology today after the invention of rockets and high grade explosives.[9]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "The Battering Ram - lordsandladies". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  2. ^ Baintighearn Aimiliona Tevnane CW. "Catapult History and Modern Day Construction - midrealm". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Ballista - lordsandladies". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Trebuchet - lordsandladies". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  5. ^ Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S. (6 August 2012). "Helepolis - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875". Retrieved 25 May 2017.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Vegetius, De re militari, II, 25.
  7. ^ Nicolle, pp. 173–174, the espringal is depicted, in the form of a fairly detailed diagram, in an 11th-century Byzantine manuscript
  8. ^ Andrew Knighton (25 November 2015). "12 Key Moments in the History of Artillery". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  9. ^ Ian Vernon Hogg (28 December 2011). "Artillery". Retrieved 21 October 2017.