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 is an Indian bilingual fantasy-action film

 Baahubali: The Beginning, the film is set in medieval India and follows the sibling rivalry between Amarendra Baahubali and Bhallaladeva; the latter conspires against the former and has him killed by Kattappa. Years later, Amarendra's son returns to avenge his death.

 

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That was one hell of a trailer though! darn...

Any experts on Mauryan siege-equipment? I know they had special sections of the army devoted to it, but no specifics...

 

 

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IMHO, elephants shouldn't be siege weapons, especially since almost every civ knows how to use a covered log to bash down a gate. Elephants were definitely used against gates [see: Pyrrhus vs. Argos] 

So according to the Arthaśāstra (which is slightly out of our time frame), there are siege engines shooting projectiles at long distance: (Stationary) Sarvatobhadra is a cartwheel-shaped device

We could allow an Upgrade for the catapult that turns it into one that throws flaming projectiles. It has a longer repeat time and load time, but the flaming projectile has a fire status effect.

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  • 2 years later...

First of all, I apologize for reviving this old thread. :) I did so because I believe it's still relevant, possibly even more than in the past, now siege workshops have been enabled for all civilizations and war elephants and battering rams become increasingly different.

On 10/22/2017 at 12:14 PM, fatherbushido said:

Arthaśāstra writen under Chanakya is an interesting reading

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Arthashastra

Book II

The traditional view that Chanakya (the mentor of Chandragupta Maurya) was the author of the Arthaśāstra is no longer held. In fact, the consensus is that not only the text itself, but also its sources postdate the Mauryas. For more information, see this post: https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/27113-bibliography-and-references-about-ancient-times/&tab=comments#comment-402302

On 2/5/2018 at 5:06 PM, Sundiata said:

Any experts on Mauryan siege-equipment? I know they had special sections of the army devoted to it, but no specifics...

Did they? Do you have any reliable sources?

As far as I know there is no evidence the Mauryas had artillery.

That said, it's not entirely impossible either: the Mauryas emerged in the power vacuum left by Alexander's campaigning in India. Alexander's army had skilled engineers and multiple Greek cities were founded in the Punjab (now Pakistan), which became part of the Maurya empire (and outlasted it), therefore it's theoretically conceivable (though quite speculative) they supplied the Mauryas with Greek torsion engines and crews.

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To continue the debate:

And another important contribution from Nescio:

So there are evidences for a large variety of siege engines one or two centuries after the Mauryas. It is not perfectly on the good time frame and possibly some exchange and development have been in place after the Mauryas but they could be a heritage from the Mauryas as well.

What we do with this information?

Nescio, you beat me for a few seconds ahaha

Edit: furthermore the weird "cartwheel-shaped" ballista/catapult is not really a description matching Roman or Greek examples at my knowledge. It seems to be a torsion engine using some kind of wheel or wheelS, to hurl stones.

Edit2: some kind of springald catapult?

Edit3: or something like this trebuchet/mangonel? lol

Spoiler

Kopachiv, Ukraine - May 2016. Reconstructed ancient weapons - combat Onager (Catapult) and Trebuchet  in the historical park of Kievan Rus.

 

Reconstructed ancient weapons - combat Onager (Catapult)  in the historical park of Kievan Rus, Ukraine.

gKIEV, UKRAINE - APRIL 14, 2019: Old  wooden trebuchet standing on battle field in "Kievan Rus'" historical park

Reconstructed ancient weapons - combat Onager (Catapult)  in the historical park of Kievan Rus, Ukraine.

Edit 4: Or something much simpler (and much more credible):

Spoiler

Technical drawing of siege catapult by Leonardo da Vinci, 1470 ...

 

Edited by Genava55
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18 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

So there are evidences for a large variety of siege engines one or two centuries after the Mauryas. It is not perfectly on the good time frame and possibly some exchange and development have been in place after the Mauryas but they could be a heritage from the Mauryas as well.

Yes, the Arthaśāstra is a fascinating text. The relevant section is book 2, chapter 18, especially 2.18.5 and 2.15.6. It's mostly a list of names, though, most of them poorly understood. There are suggestions from commentaries and scholars what they could mean; they're speculative, though. More importantly, there are no drawings, descriptions, measures, weights, distances, etc., making it very hard to do anything with it.

24 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Nescio, you beat me for a few seconds ahaha

Apparently we had the same idea. :)

24 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Edit: furthermore the weird "cartwheel-shaped" ballista/catapult is not really a description matching Roman or Greek examples at my knowledge. It seems to be a torsion engine using some kind of wheel or wheelS, to hurl stones.

Edit2: some kind of springald catapult?

Possibly. We know that during Hellenistic times a plethora of complex engines existed (see e.g. Philo of Byzantium's treatises) which otherwise disappeared without a trace. By the time the Romans (Caesar's legions in the 1st C BC) started making their own torsion engines, as opposed to relying on Greek allies to provide artillery or using what they seized from the arsenals of Syracusae, Carthago Nova, and other cities they conquered, there was basically only one (though highly effective) torsion engine design left.

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So according to the Arthaśāstra (which is slightly out of our time frame), there are siege engines shooting projectiles at long distance:

  • (Stationary) Sarvatobhadra is a cartwheel-shaped device that, when spun, hurls stones.
  • (Stationary) Jāmadagnya is a device for shooting arrows.
  • (Stationary and possibly) Bahumukha appears to refer to a position or a device on a tower from which arrows are shot.
  • (Mobile) Āsphāṭima is a sort of catapult to hurl weapons.

Incendiary and anti-incendiary siege engines:

  • (Stationary) Saṃghāṭī is a machine for propelling incendiary devices to burn down turrets.
  • (Stationary) Parjanyaka is a kind of fire engine to put out fires.

A device to tear down pillars:

  • (Mobile) Utpāṭima is a device for tearing down pillars.

Pillars and beams based defense:

  • (Stationary) Viśvāsaghātin consists of a beam placed outside the city walls that, when released, kills approaching soldiers.
  • (Stationary) Bāhu consists of two pillars meant, when released, to crush those coming between them.
  • (Stationary) Ūrdhvabāhu is a similar device, but it consists of only one pillar 50 Hastas long, and Ardhabāhu is a pillar half as high.
  • (Mobile) Devadaṇḍa is a long pole to be released from the top of the defensive wall.

Weapons hurled down to the enemy:

  • (Stationary?) Yānaka is a rod one Daṇḍa long mounted on wheels and meant to be hurled at oncoming soldiers.
  • (Mobile) Śataghni is a large pillar studded with sharp nails with a cartwheel at one end and intended to be hurled down at the enemies.

Mobile light weapons for siege:

  • Musalayaṣṭi is a pike made of hard Accacia wood.
  • Hastivāraka is a pole with two or three prongs to ward off elephants.
  • Spr̥ktalā is a club with sharp points.
  • Kuddála, a kind of spade.
  • Udghāṭima is a hammer-type device.
  • Mudgara and Gada, hammer and mace discharged by a mechanical device.

Other engines and devices:

  • (Mobile) Tālavr̥nta is a fan-like device to hurl up dust against the enemy.
  • (Mobile) Sūkarikā is a bag filled with cotton or wool to protect against stones hurled at the fortifications.
  • (Mobile) Pāñcālika is a large wooden plank studded with sharp nails to be placed under the water in the moat.
Edited by Genava55
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image.png.43327b5fb8f621a0b4fb2493bee6c408.png

From: A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Page 272.

Available on lib gen.

About Jaina literature:

image.png.8bc8b8754d8817b330d907bd69e20839.png

I think I have found the source:

Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

Having determined on this device and having put the god in his heart, the king, Śreṇika’s son, observed a three-day fast. Impelled by his penance and the friendship in a former birth, Śakra and Indra Camara came to him then. The Indra of the gods and the Indra of the Asuras said, “Sir, what do you wish?” He said, “If you are pleased, let Ceṭaka be killed.” Śakra said again: “Ask for something else. Ceṭaka is a co-religionist of mine, Certainly, I will not kill him. Nevertheless, king, I shall give you bodily protection, so that you will not be conquered by him.” He said, “Very well.” Indra Camara thought fit to make a battle which had big stones and a thorn,[2] and a second which had a chariot and a mace, leading to victory. In the first a pebble that had fallen would resemble a large stone. The thorn would be superior to a large weapon. In the second the chariot and the mace roam without an operator. The enemy-army, which had risen for battle, is crushed on all sides by them. Then the three, the Indra of the gods, the Indra of the Asuras, and the Indra of men, Kūṇika, fought with Ceṭaka’s army. A general, named Varuṇa, a grandson of the charioteer Nāga, an observer of the twelve vows, possessing right-belief, making a two-day fast, his mind always disgusted with worldly existence, having made a three-day fast at the end of the two-day fast, because of the attack on the king, strongly urged by King Ceṭaka himself, entered the battle, faithful to a promise, the chariot-mace being so irresistible.

https://www.wisdomlib.org/jainism/book/trishashti-shalaka-purusha-caritra/d/doc216048.html

This encyclopedia considers the same interpretation:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118455074.wbeoe133

image.png.9f7c997545d5d04e353f80a65839732e.png

I don't know if other Jaina texts gives the same account but with a less religious narrative.

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@fatherbushido @Nescio @LordGood @Sundiata and anyone else wanting to give his/her opinion.

What about some stone-throwing catapults? Personally I think the cart-wheel shaped engine could be some kind of onager with two wheels twisted to make the torsion (like a ship's wheel to handle it).

Some ideas of devices that could fit large wheels:

Spoiler

Onager Pl.1 (Roman Siege Machine). Genuine antique print for sale.File:Onager with sling.png - Wikimedia Commons

MangonelMangonel - Physics of Catapults

Elastolin/Ouegen Lance Catapult And Onager - Mar 02, 2019 | Old ...

Onagro romano / Catapulta Escala 1/40: Amazon.es: Handmade

6a27164666bb9460ca7adcdeb79245af.jpg&key

An engraving depicting the reconstruction of Onager, an imperial ...

Finally about the battering ram, I find interesting there is no mention of it.

What about a hammer-like device instead? It would fit the same role.

 

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1 hour ago, Genava55 said:

About Jaina literature:

I think I have found the source:

Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

That “catapult” would have been invented during the Magadha–Vajji War of 484–468 BC, i.e. around the time of Xerxes I (r. 486–465 BC) and the Greco–Persian Wars. However, it's very important that the Buddhist and Jain literature emerged many centuries later. The source in question, the epic Trīṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacharitra “Lives of Sixty-Three Great Men”, was written by the Jain scholar Hemachandra (AD 1088–1173).

33 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

@fatherbushido @Nescio @LordGood @Sundiata and anyone else wanting to give his/her opinion.

What about some stone-throwing catapults?

It's not entirely impossible they just might have existed. We just lack sources, descriptions, dimensions, drawings, etc., which would probably make it quite challenging for artists to model and animate one, but if someone wants to give it a try, I won't stop you. :)

33 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Finally about the battering ram, I find interesting there is no mention of it.

That's not really surprising. Indians had neither bricks nor stone architecture at the time; war elephants and fire are very effective against wooden structures.

The first attestations of battering rams I know of are from the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–609 BC), and those emerged in a region where wood was scarce and bricks and stone architecture existed for millennia.

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7 minutes ago, Nescio said:

It's not entirely impossible they just might have existed. We just lack sources, descriptions, dimensions, drawings, etc., which would probably make it quite challenging for artists to model and animate one, but if someone wants to give it a try, I won't stop you.

Personally I am in favor of a catapult for the Mauryas, I find it a reasonable hypothesis according to the hints from literature.

We won't be able to reenact the original design, that's sure. But with reasonable supposition, it shouldn't be hard to have a working engine.

For example, an onager is not that hard to animate and to understand in its principle. The design should only be modified but its principle could stay the same.

 

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6 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Personally I am in favor of a catapult for the Mauryas, I find it a reasonable hypothesis according to the hints from literature.

To clarify, I'm not totally against it. While the situation described in the Arthaśāstra postdates the Mauryas, at least some of the weapons listed in 2.18 would have existed in the 1st C BC.

10 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

We won't be able to reenact the original design, that's sure. But with reasonable supposition, it shouldn't be hard to have a working engine.

For example, an onager is not that hard to animate and to understand in its principle. The design should only be modified but its principle could stay the same.

3 minutes ago, Stan` said:

Fun fact. we have an onager...

Well, we know onagers were invented by the Romans during the 4th C AD, therefore the Indian weapon wouldn't have resembled one. The same reasoning applies to the mangonel (“traction trebuchet”) and springald designs. This also speaks against it:

Sarvatobhadra is a cartwheel-shaped device that, when spun, hurls stones.

Now I don't know what to make of that cart-wheel, might it have been horizontal?

The easiest solution would probably be to give the Mauryas a Greek-style (i.e. Macedonian) torsion engine. I'm not saying they had, just that's not inconceivable.

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17 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Well, we know onagers were invented by the Romans during the 4th C AD

Actually we don't know the Romans invented it, but the earliest account is in Ammianus Marcellinus book. The account itself makes me think it is an older weapon because of the confusion between the names and the author noting that the reference to an onager comes from "modern times", in opposition to an other name.

17 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Now I don't know what to make of that cart-wheel, might it have been horizontal?

It could be, but how it would make it look like a "cart-wheel shape"? Personally I preferred a vertical design because it is more striking visually.

17 minutes ago, Nescio said:

The easiest solution would probably be to give the Mauryas a Greek-style (i.e. Macedonian) torsion engine. I'm not saying they had, just that's not inconceivable.

Well, we have no indication they borrowed their siege engines from the Greeks. This is simply the most conservative and orthodox hypothesis. But if Jaina literature is correct, then a kind of catapult existed before the Mauryas (which is possible since the Chineses had one before the Han dynasty).

13 minutes ago, Stan` said:

Fun fact. we have an onager...

This one?

 

Edited by Genava55
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One example of unknown about the onager:

Quote

The design of the onager as a mechanized staff-sling is often thought to have been a late development, but Philon was aware of one-armed stone-projectors. Unfortunately, he gives no details, and our next glimpse of the machine comes over three centuries later, in the work of the emperor Trajan’s engineer Apollodorus of Damascus. While describing a peculiar ramming contraption, he refers to a component “that, when bored through, will take washers and skeins of sinew and, in the middle, a long arm, like the one-armed stone-projectors that some call slings.”

From: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/10.2972/hesperia.80.4.0677.pdf

So I am not convinced a design similar to the onager in its principles wouldn't have been known far before.

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3 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Actually we don't know the Romans invented it, but the earliest account is in Ammianus Marcellinus book. The account itself makes me think it is an older weapon because of the confusion between the names and the author noting that the reference to an onager comes from "modern times", in opposition to an other name.

Actually I meant Vegetius' epitome De Re Militari, which was written at the end of the 4th C AD, but was clearly based on several older treatises, given that many things he describes are depicted on Trajan's column.

11 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

One example of unknown about the onager:

From: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/10.2972/hesperia.80.4.0677.pdf

So I am not convinced a design similar to the onager in its principles wouldn't have been known far before.

You're right, I should have written “attested” or “used”, not “invented”. It's not exactly clear when one-arm engines were first designed. However, I believe the composite bow → gastraphetes → oxybeles → ballistra → scorpio → onager → springald evolution is fairly well accepted?

12 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

It could be, but how it would make it look like a "cart-wheel shape"? Personally I preferred a vertical design because it is more striking visually.

Like the London Eye?

12 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Well, we have no indication they borrowed their siege engines from the Greeks. This is simply the most conservative and orthodox hypothesis.

Indeed it is. What speaks in favour is that Greeks are known to have lived under and influenced the Mauryas. One example, the oldest of Aśoka's edicts (e.g. Kandahar rock inscription) were actually written in Greek and Aramaic. The pillars with Prakrit inscriptions were erected somewhat later in his reign.

18 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

(which is possible since the Chineses had one before the Han dynasty)

They did. During the Warring States period (5th C BC to 221 BC) siege warfare really took off and a variety of machines were invented, including oversized crossbows, ladders, siege towers, and, possibly the pào mangonel (“traction trebuchet”). It's also clear all those did not exist during the preceding Spring and Autumn period (8th C BC to 5th C BC), when warfare was very different. That Chinese war machines emerged in the same time as those in the Mediterranean is a coincidence; we know from remains their designs were very different and part of two independent traditions.

In contrast, the Mauryas were very much part of the Hellenistic world.

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41 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Like the London Eye?

That's a good example, although a bit too large (euphemism). I had in mind the trebuchet/mangonel with wheels on the side, this is a striking feature for myself and other people.

I am not suggesting that siege engine specifically, which is very different than an onager. But this is only the way I imagined when the mechanism could take a lot of room in the imagination of an observer to end with "cart-wheel shape" observation.

My hypothesis, trying to stay simple and reasonable, is simply that two large wheels on the sides were used to make the torsion. Since the onager has such a simple design, not very large, the wheels could be quite a striking feature in comparison.

Otherwise, a cart-wheel shape catapult would necessitate much more fantasy (like Da Vinci prototypes).

41 minutes ago, Nescio said:

It's not exactly clear when one-arm engines were first designed. However, I believe the composite bow → gastraphetes → oxybeles → ballistra → scorpio → onager → springald evolution is fairly well accepted?

The author of the article seems to consider the possibility that during Philon's lifetime the principle of an one-armed catapult already existed.

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4 hours ago, Genava55 said:

I had in mind the trebuchet/mangonel with wheels on the side, this is a striking feature for myself and other people.

I am not suggesting that siege engine specifically, which is very different than an onager. But this is only the way I imagined when the mechanism could take a lot of room in the imagination of an observer to end with "cart-wheel shape" observation.

It's striking indeed. However, that one evidently evolved from the mangonel (“traction trebuchet”) that reached Europe only in the Early Middle Ages. Its design is much simpler to construct or use than any torsion engine, and far more powerful. If something like that already existed in 5th C BC India, then why did it disappear without consequence?

Sūkarikā is a bag filled with cotton or wool to protect against stones hurled at the fortifications.

This implies stones were shot more or less forward, as is the case with Greco-Roman engines, but not with mangonels and trebuchets, which hurl stones upwards and can also land behind enemy walls.

Sarvatobhadra is a cartwheel-shaped device that, when spun, hurls stones.

Yānaka is a rod one Daṇḍa long mounted on wheels and meant to be hurled at oncoming soldiers.

Śataghni is a large pillar studded with sharp nails with a cartwheel at one end and intended to be hurled down at the enemies.

The cartwheel suggests these devices belong to the same family.

Jāmadagnya is a device for shooting arrows.

This suggests a composite bow-based weapon (like the Mediterranean torsion engines), as does 2.18.2–3:

He should, moreover, move them around and expose them to sun and wind frequently, and store differently those that may be damaged by heat, moisture, or insects.

4 hours ago, Genava55 said:

My hypothesis, trying to stay simple and reasonable, is simply that two large wheels on the sides were used to make the torsion. Since the onager has such a simple design, not very large, the wheels could be quite a striking feature in comparison.

I'm trying to visualize what you mean, but I fear I simply don't understand. Could you perhaps make a drawing?

4 hours ago, Genava55 said:

The author of the article seems to consider the possibility that during Philon's lifetime the principle of an one-armed catapult already existed.

Yes, but the author does not imply it predates the torsion engines we know have existed.

Thanks for the article, by the way, I've read it entirely. I knew Marsden's work, so I'm not unfamiliar with the article's subject, but the French suggestion that the arms in the palintone might have swung inwards rather than outwards is new to me, and certainly worth further reading.

I also really liked footnote 126, which contains the word “javelineers”, indicating I was right when proposing https://code.wildfiregames.com/D2591  :)

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4 hours ago, Nescio said:

It's striking indeed. However, that one evidently evolved from the mangonel (“traction trebuchet”) that reached Europe only in the Early Middle Ages. Its design is much simpler to construct or use than any torsion engine, and far more powerful. If something like that already existed in 5th C BC India, then why did it disappear without consequence?

I specifically said I wasn't talking about the mangonel or the trebuchet as suitable candidates.

It is simply the idea of large wheels used either for the torsion of the sinew around an arm or for the traction of a rope that could fit with the description. In the case of an onager, there are only two axis where some wheels-shaped handles could fit (I am not sure of the word in English, a crank, a handle, a winch reel?): the axis for the torsion storing the energy for the propulsion or the axis to pull the arm and to load the weapon.

image.png.16e42bc4475178938b02a4fbd21b7c28.pngimage.png.bb70240d00c9f3b0875f6e7a4de54903.png

Personally I would have imagine the "wheels" on the axis for the torsion, controlling the force of the propulsion.

image.png.c01e4c1932f13b6c981d0e066d30a674.png

4 hours ago, Nescio said:

The cartwheel suggests these devices belong to the same family.

How? It is a stationary/immovable device and it is said only to have a shape like a cartwheel, not necessarily wheels to move the engine. The verb "to spin" can be used in several situation other than a rolling device.

The only alternative I see is that it is nothing like a catapult but actually something to push stones from the fortifications. But the translation uses the word "hurl".

4 hours ago, Nescio said:

This suggests a composite bow-based weapon (like the Mediterranean torsion engines), as does 2.18.2–3:

Clearly, there are other devices mentioned as well throwing projectiles.

Any bow-based catapult like an oxybeles would be as well reasonable hypothesis.

Even a catapult like this is much more simpler:

Catapulting rocks – Terrestrial Navigation

The same for a Chinese like trebuchet based on men traction, it could be as well a reasonable hypothesis due to its simplicity.

I was simply curious about this cart-wheel shaped engine.

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10 hours ago, Genava55 said:

I was simply curious about this cart-wheel shaped engine.

As am I. I'm simply having difficulty imaging how it could work. Also, “cartwheel-shaped engine” is not the same as “engine with a wheel”.

10 hours ago, Genava55 said:

It is simply the idea of large wheels used either for the torsion of the sinew around an arm or for the traction of a rope that could fit with the description. In the case of an onager, there are only two axis where some wheels-shaped handles could fit (I am not sure of the word in English, a crank, a handle, a winch reel?): the axis for the torsion storing the energy for the propulsion or the axis to pull the arm and to load the weapon.

Personally I would have imagine the "wheels" on the axis for the torsion, controlling the force of the propulsion.

In that case the wheel should be located on the axis on the end, which is wound to get torsion on the sling-arm of the onager, right? But why would one use a wheel for that? A stick is much simpler and more effective; it would also remove the need for putting the machine on legs, grounding it firmly on the ground is much more stable.

10 hours ago, Genava55 said:

How? It is a stationary/immovable device and it is said only to have a shape like a cartwheel, not necessarily wheels to move the engine.

Exactly! Perhaps it didn't have any wheel. I suggested earlier it might have been horizontal, because a composite bow when fully drawn is more or less circular, so if it were a bow-based machine, it may have resembled a cartwheel when viewed from above. It's not perfect, but it's the only way I could make some sense of it.

10 hours ago, Genava55 said:

The same for a Chinese like trebuchet based on men traction, it could be as well a reasonable hypothesis due to its simplicity.

The pào or mangonel. That one doesn't resemble a cartwheel, nor does it have one, and if had existed in India BC, it wouldn't have disappeared, but spread from there, which didn't happen, therefore the Sarvatobhadra must have had a fundamentally different design.

 

Again, I'm sincerely trying to figure out how it might have worked.

More suggestions are welcome. Also from other people! Being unburdened by any knowledge of ancient engines could actually be an advantage.

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1 hour ago, Nescio said:

As am I. I'm simply having difficulty imaging how it could work. Also, “cartwheel-shaped engine” is not the same as “engine with a wheel”.

Indeed. Now I am wondering if it is a catapult at all. Because the translator used the word catapult for the Āsphāṭima but not for the Sarvatobhadra.

Maybe it is simply like a water mill to throw big stones from the walls at short distance or a wheel you spin with a long sling in rope to throw a large stone at modest distance.

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

In that case the wheel should be located on the axis on the end, which is wound to get torsion on the sling-arm of the onager, right?

Not really. When an onager is assembled, you need to put stress on the axis where the arm is fixed. When it is ready to work, the arm is not resting against the frame (the front beam), it is actually pushing against it. The winch by pulling the arm to load the catapult gives an extra torsion but much of the torsion is already set before pulling the arm.

This is quite obvious in the reenactment in "Battle Castle with Dan Snow" of what they called a mangonel, the arm bounces on the frame but immediately comes back pushing against it after the shot.

And there is a good reason for this, elasticity is not linear, especially on ancient material. If the sinews is not properly stressed before pulling the arm, then when you will shot you will get a significant time during which the arm is not getting a supplementary acceleration. The acceleration needs to be constantly in work during the shot to have a maximum of efficiency, so for that the force must be applied continuously. The sinews must be above a threshold of torsion to have this continuous force applied during the release.

 

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Maybe we should skip the Sarvatobhadra (the cartwheel shape engine), this is too complicated.

We still have the Jāmadagnya shooting arrows and the Āsphāṭima, a kind of catapult shooting non-specified projectiles.

What devices could be suitable candidates?

  1. The pào or chinese mangonel?
  2. The oxybeles?
  3. The lithobolos?
  4. The onager?
  5. A kind of bow catapult? (not sure it really existed however)

Finally about the battering ram, does a hammer device is an interesting idea?

Does an incendiary siege weapon is too much?

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What devices could be suitable candidates?

  1. The pào or chinese mangonel?
  2. The oxybeles?
  3. The lithobolos?
  4. The onager?
  5. A kind of bow catapult? (not sure it really existed however)

 

Bow catapult is sketchy, and Mangonels are probably not accurate for Mauryans (I read that the first to spread them outside of China were Avars around the 6th century A.D).

I think the Asphatima was not a Onager since it was mobile, maybe it was a type of small Ballista that shot stones or arrows?

Jāmadagnya was stationary could be a bigger ballista used on walls, or some type of Springal?

2 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Finally about the battering ram, does a hammer device is an interesting idea?

I am not sure how it worked, a kind of battering ram? a mallet used by sappers?

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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In regards to the relationship between ancient Indians and Greeks, probably an oxybeles and a lithobolos:

Technical Devices in Ancient Alexandria and their Equivalents in the Indian Cultural Area

http://www.academia.edu/download/60749900/Technical_Devices_in_Ancient_Alexandria_and_their_Equivalents_in_the_Indian_Cultural_Area.pdf

1 hour ago, Ultimate Aurelian said:

I am not sure how it worked, a kind of battering ram? a mallet used by sappers?

There is already a maceman. I was thinking about an engine, maybe with a torsion.

But probably that a battering ram is much easier to include.

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