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Archimedes Steam Powered Cannon

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Archimedes Steam Powered Cannon

Postby Stephen » Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:32 pm

You guys should do some research before you start slamming each other down.

It was Archimedes, not Aristotle, and he did design a steam powered cannon around 213 BC.

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/war/CatapultTypes.htm

(Some good info about conventional catapults and ballistas on this site too.)

Whether it was actually used or not is unknown, but the device was built and tested in 1981 and seems to have worked. A man named Ioannis Sakas built a 1/5 scale model and shot a cement filled tennis ball 50 meters. The full size cannon would have shot a 20 kg stone about a kilometer.

Here's a photo of the reconstruction

https://www.cs.drexel.edu/~crorres/bbc_archive/steam_cannon_photo.jpg

Here's a copy of the newspaper article (in Greek)

https://www.cs.drexel.edu/~crorres/bbc_archive/steam_cannon_news.jpg

Stephen

(20 kilograms = about 45 pounds
1 Kilometer = about 1100 yards)
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Postby JPinoy » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:41 am

I was gonna make a thread like this when I saw that other topic. I saw the show that other guy was talking about, it was on the History Channel special called "Ancient Discoveries". Good job, now I can concentrate on other things! :lol:

Yes, you do not need to have gunpowder to have a gun/cannon.
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Postby The Hordesman » Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:29 am

If it was ever used, it would be just as well known today as atlantis. Im pretty sure it was just like Leonardo's inventions, a concept that was never used.

Well, now we know its not weed thats behind that research. :lol:
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Postby Scnicker » Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:00 am

Now, Archimedes makes much more sense than Aristotle, because he was an engineer :) Yeah, and it's probably an idea that was never used. (I still think the tv guys are on weed :P )
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Postby Nick » Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:26 am

Why was the other thread locked??? :?
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Postby JPinoy » Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:21 am

Look at the flames going on the other thread.

Anyhow, there's still a possibility that the steam cannons WAS used, but was viewed more as a novelty weapon than something as practical such as a winch and torsion powered ballista.

Think about it. Both the steam cannon and ballista basically fullfil the same role. They both launch a long projectile such as a spear or balliasta bolt. However, the ballista has a much faster firing rate, as you need steam to build up for the steam cannon to work.

Now, if you were general, which would you go for? The technological "novelty" of the steam cannon or the more practical and faster shooting ballista?

Chances are, this is what happened after the usage of the Steam Cannon by the Sicilian islanders.
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Postby Nick » Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:04 am

Look at the flames going on the other thread.


Oh ok, I saw now. Very violent.
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Postby Blueandwhite » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:17 pm

The Hordesman wrote:If it was ever used, it would be just as well known today as atlantis. Im pretty sure it was just like Leonardo's inventions, a concept that was never used.

Well, now we know its not weed thats behind that research. :lol:


Weed? That's a bit harsh.

Even if such a device was used, there is nothing to say that its use would have become common knowledge. If the device was not readily manufactured, or used on multiple occasions, it is more than reasonable to assume that it may have become forgotten or overlooked.

There are many weapons that see limited field use. That isn't to say they didn't or couldn't exist. A perfect example is the Petraria Arcatinus. This seige weapon is commonplace in medieval drawings, yet there is almost no physical evidence that supports its actual use in the field. The only time I know of a petraria arcatinus being mentioned in field use was in the siege of Acre. Apparently King Louis of France successfully made use of a petraria nicknamed "Malvoisin" during that battle.

The fact that you are unaware of a device, doesn't preclude the possibility that it was used. The Archimedes cannon may well have been used. Something doesn't have to be common knowledge to be true. Afterall, if it wasn't for Plato, you probably wouldn't have heard of Atlantis either.

Later.
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