Archimedes’ Cannons Against the Roman Fleet?

  • Cesare RossiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 11)


In the paper is discussed the possibility tat Archimedes built and used against the Roman fleet a steam cannon. It is well-known that Archimedes, during the siege of Syracuse, designed and built several war machines to fight against the Romans. Among these war machines, the legend about the large concave mirrors that concentrated the sun rays burning the Roman ships is rather interesting. On this topic are also interesting some drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci where a steam cannon is described and attributed to Archimedes. Starting from passages by ancient Authors (mainly Plutarchos, Petrarca and Da Vinci), the author investigates on the possibility that Archimedes built a steam cannon and used it to hit the Roman ships with incendiary proiectiles.


Parabolic Mirror Parabolic Trajectory Ancient Author Muzzle Velocity Heat Transfer Coefficient Measurement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.D.I.M.E. Department of Mechanical Engineering for EnergeticsUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly

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