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Modern reconstruction of a ballista

The ballista (plural ballistae) was one of the first artillery weapons used by the Ancient Greeks. The ballista was invented around 400 BC in a Greek town called Syracuse. It was one of the first catapults, and shot very large and heavy spears far distances. The ballista also resembled a large crossbow and could be used throw scaled-up arrows and darts as well. The steps to operating the ballista are: 1.Pulling back the bow-string with a winch, which creates tension. 2.Loading the ballista with a light missile e.g. darts with iron points. 3.Releasing the bow-string, which launched the missile. Ballistae would be used if a weapon that fired light, narrow ammunition was needed.