[MR] Wikipedia: Edward Poynter's Roman Catapult

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 02:41:08 PST 2023

Noble Friends,

Today Wikipedia's featured article is about the 3rd Punic War between Rome
and Carthage (149-146 BC). I understand that the Roman period is now part
of the SCA's portfolio, but even if I am wrong our siege enthusiasts may
find the accompanying illustration of a catapult interesting.

The illustration shows English artist Edward Poynter's 1868 depiction of a
catapult at the final siege of Carthage. The catapult is most unusual. It
is a torsion machine like true catapults, but rather than throwing rocks or
balls of fiery awesomeness, it is rigged to shoot a huge spear-like
projectile. The point of said projectile is depicted as red hot. The end of
the throwing arm appears to be wrapped in leather padding, possibly shaped
as a human fist. Other machines may be seen from their business end in the
distance above the mounted officer's helmet. Whether Poynter invented these
machines out of whole cloth, or there is some description included in Roman
art or literature is not explained by Wikipedia.

I also appreciate his depiction of Roman archers and their bows, though I
wish there was more detail.

Edward Poynter (1836-1919) was an acclaimed British artist and academic.
His works echo the extremely detailed and gushy romantic styles of the 19th
century. He specialized in large paintings with heroic and historic themes,
but was also particularly good at painting beautiful and scantily-clad

Enjoy the painting at
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Catapulta_by_Edward_Poynter.jpg .

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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