BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

17 September 2014
Accessibility help
Science & Nature: TV & Radio Follow-upScience & Nature
Science & Nature: TV and Radio Follow-up

BBC Homepage

In TV & Radio

Contact Us

You are here: BBC Science > Leonardo da Vinci
Giant catapult
Desktop wallpaper to download
Standard Size (800 x 600)
Large Size (1024 x 468)
By the 15th century, cannons had been used in battle for over a hundred years, and Leonardo himself drew designs for several. However, fifteenth century firearms were slow and cumbersome.

This catapult was designed to be loaded quickly, and could be left armed in case of surprise attacks. Leonardo envisioned rows of catapults fired simultaneously by men striking firing pins with hammers.

Leonardo also designed projectiles for his catapults. These had two tail fins for stability, and were filled with gunpowder, which would explode on landing.
Back to picture gallery
Giant catapult
to enlarge picture

Back to picture gallery

More from

BBC History
Wars and conflict

Go further

Leonardo: The Man, His Machines
Information about Leonardo's catapults and crossbows

(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.)

Science Homepage | Nature Homepage
Wildlife Finder | Prehistoric Life | Human Body & Mind | Space
Go to top

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy