Ship Shaking Device, Syracuse, 214 BCE

by Kristin Shutts and Anne-Sinclair Beauchamp

The ship-shaking device was invented by the great mathematician and inventor Archimedes around 214 BCE. The Carthaginians used the device to ward off potential invasions by Roman ships. With the help of two poles, a pulley system, and a large hook, the Carthaginians were able to successfully combat the Romans for over two years. The Romans came to fear the sight of a hook and pole dangling over an enemy wall, for they knew that once hooked, their ship would be lifted into the air and then dropped back into the water.

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