There seems to be a considerable amount of wrenching on the evidence to force this field frame into being an outswinger.  Those little bronze roundabouts are charming, but the exit and entrance ramps are a puzzle for sure.  Where do the little cars go when they get to the top?  Why? I keep asking myself.  Why?  ….

comitatusballista5Photo is of the machine called Constantine from the “Comitatus ballista” website.

Is this the kind of complex violation of the artifact that passes for experimental archaeology in your neck of the woods?  I’m all for leniency when it comes to hiding out in one’s analog bomb shelter, but really?  This forcing of the outswinger agenda is just too egregious to pass mentioning.

And, braided or plaited line for the springs?*  All strung up loose and goosey?  Never have I seen a deader looking torsion spring.  Perhaps it’s a work in progress.  If it is, then maybe this next photo will help by showing what a fully developed torsion spring should look like.




There is some serious and highly balanced strain going on in all those fibers.  You can sense it if you look closely enough.  (Click to enlarge.)

Poor old Constantine, the most I could find in the way of a performance report for him was the following statement,  “….and the performance was excellent.”

Well that really nailed it didn’t it?

I’ll just stick my nose in the air and mumble something about how these kind of attempts are more like theatrical props than they are genuine experimental archaeology projects.  Because, you know, “experiments”, “data”, and everything…..

And what’s with the wimpy wooden locking wedges?  You don’t think the Romans could spring the cash for metal ones?  If there was any power in this contraption the steep angle on those wedges would quickly cause them to loosen with all the high frequency vibration.

Honestly!  I dunno!  Kids and industry!  Send ’em to school.  Give ’em an education.  Whaddaya  get?  Outswingers of lameitude!

…..Did I just turn myself into another foot soldier for the Performance Police?

Yikes!   The slippery slopes of sanctimony!


*Step one in making a powerful ballista:  never use braided anything for the springs.  It kills the springiness compared to regular three strand.


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