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Aries (Battering Ram)

From DT Online

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Description

Aries or Battering-Ram, was used to pierce and batter down the walls of besieged fortifications. It consisted of a large beam, made of the trunk of a tree (e.g. Pine or Ash), with a head of a Ram, perhaps cast in bronze or forged in iron and fixed to one end.


In its simplest form it was just a long beam held by a team of Legionaries who used it repeatedly to strike at a portion of the wall to weaken and penetrate it. Larger versions were suspended on rope or chains inside a large framework to make it easier to give it a rapid and forceful swinging motion. Alternatively the beam could be pushed backwards and forwards on rollers to make it easier. A further refinement was to place the framework within a Testudo to provide some protection for those using the Ram.


The beam of the Aries could be as much as 30 or 40 metres in length. Such long beams would be able to act across any intervening ditch, and would afford some protection to those operating it. As many as a hundred Legionaries or more were sometimes employed to strike with the beam.


Box Modelled Battering Ram

A model of an Aries or Battering Ram can be made using methods described in the DT Online Box Modelling article.


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Model Aries in Stripwood

A more realistic working model of an Aries or Battering Ram can be made using Stripwood Technology techniques, tools and materials as described in that section of DT Online.


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Activity: Find out about Roman Siege Equipment (e.g. Vinea, Pluteus, Mantelet, Testudo, Musculus, Helepolis, Turris, Corvus, Ballista, Onager, Mangonel, Trebuchet, Aries (Battering Ram) and construct a working model or models using Stripwood Technology.


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