Trebuchets were first created in China around the fourth century BC, by attaching a sling to a long stick and frame. The idea for this new machine spread throughout the Middle East and Europe, and larger versions were created. At first, they were human-powered, but eventually, Islamic engineers invented a design using a falling weight–and the power of gravity! Some of them grew to be huge–up to 60 feet tall, with the ability to launch a stone over 300 yards.
The onager was a kind of catapult powered by twisted ropes. It was made to replace the ballista, which was more complicated to build, repair, and operate. It only had a single set of ropes to power it, and a simpler frame.
Gastraphete, which means “belly-bow” was a type of crossbow that was so big, soldiers had to use their whole bodies to load it with arrows.
Oxybeles were basically oversized gastraphetes–another form of a crossbow.
Why not try making your own bow and arrow?
Invented by the ancient Greeks, ballistas were the first weapons to use bundles of twisted ropes to throw a projectile. The largest ones were capable of tossing 100-pound rocks with ease!
Carroballistas were a more mobile version of giant ballistas. They were small enough to be mounted on horse-drawn carts.
The smallest variation of the ballista, the scorpio was small enough to be operated by just one soldier.