The medieval period was probably the most varied in military history when it came to the development of non-gunpowder military machines. One reason for this was the bringing together of several pre-existing military-technological traditions from the ancient Graeco-Roman World, Persia, India and China. Three civilizations were primarily responsible for the ease with which such technologies were brought together and combined: the Late-Roman or Byzantine Empire; the Islamic World; and the Mongol "World Empire". This work looks at the stone throwing machines that used assorted sources of power from torsion "energy storage" systems, to manpowered sling devices, counterbalance sling devices and rockets.
Dr David Nicolle was born in 1944, the son of the illustrator Pat Nicolle. He worked in the BBC Arabic service before going 'back to school', gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a PhD from Edinburgh University. He later taught World and Islamic art and architectural history at Yarmuk University, Jordan. He has written a number of books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years. He currently lives and works in Leicestershire. A full-time illustrator for many years, Sam Thompson works at Eikon Illustration, is married and lives near Leicester, UK. With a number of children's titles to his name, the area of work represented by this publication is relatively new to him, and one of enormous appeal. this is his second book for Osprey, the first being the previous volume in this series; New Vanguard 58 Medieval Siege Weapons (1).