siege engines?


Senior Member
Korea, Korean
Viollet-de-Duc became an expert not only on how medieval artists worked but on many arcane subjects--locks and locksmiths, wood-casters, joiners, clothes, armor, weapons, and siege engines--illustrating all these topics with stunning watercolors and etchings.

I have no idea what "siege engines" are for. What is it?
  • swyves

    Senior Member
    UK English, Living in Peru
    Siege engines are large weapons of war designed for breaking into a city that you are besieging. Siege towers, for instance, are large wooden towers on wheels that would be rolled up to the walls, providing protection for those inside while they shot in arrows. They could then jump from the tower onto the walls, and break the siege. I think giant catapults, onagers, trebuchets etc. would also be considered siege engines. I bet there's a good article on


    Senior Member
    UK English, Living in Peru
    Well, I'd have to disagree with you there Mr Chu -- I think they're covered in far more detail in the sequel, Age of Mythology ;)

    . 1

    Australian Australia
    panjandrum said:
    Are you seriously suggesting PC games as a useful source of information on seige engines?
    Some PC games are stupifyingly accurate in their detail covering weapons and the limits and advantages of each weapon. I am not familiar with either game but I would not be surprised if they were extremely accurate from a technical perspective.



    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I got the tone of my question slightly wrong.
    I was only partly suggesting that no one in their right mind would consider PC games a useful reference source:)


    Senior Member
    UK English, Living in Peru
    I had a "Classical British Education" that covered a lot of ancient and medieval history, mythology and such like, but I was rather humbled to find that there's a great deal that my nephew can now teach me after playing the Age of Empires games.
    As a sideline to the gameplay they have extensive information on the historical background, which my nephew if gobbling up. In fact, I was thinking about calling him to ask about siege engines! I could tell you the difference between a trebuchet and an onager, but I bet he has a far more detailed, not to mention more practical knowledge.
    This reminds me of an article suggesting that the archetypal "modern youth" with a playstation in one hand and a mobile phone in the other is actually learning at a much greater rate than we ever did out of musty old books. I'd contend that, as even from an ab initio standpoint a computer game will label theory as fact and tend to teach only to a fairly superficial level, but I understand the concept of faster learning in a digital information environment.
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