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Headword: *skorpi/dia
Adler number: sigma,669
Translated headword: little scorpions, mini-scorpions
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A mechanical protection. Archimedes had prepared another contrivance against the attackers from the ships. He pierced the wall with holes close together, at about the height of a man, and about a palm wide[1] on the outer side; by these he stationed archers and little scorpions inside the wall, and [shooting] through them he rendered the marines ineffective.
Greek Original:
*skorpi/dia: mhxaniko\n a)le/chma. o( de\ *)arximh/dhs pa/lin e(te/ran h(toima/kei paraskeuh\n pro\s tou\s a)pomaxome/nous e)k tw=n ploi/wn. w(s a)ndromh/kous u(/yous katepu/knwse trh/masi to\ tei=xos, w(s palaistiai/ois to\ me/geqos kata\ th\n e)kto\s e)pifa/neian: oi(=s toco/tas kai\ skorpi/dia parasth/sas e)nto\s tou= tei/xous, dia\ tou/twn a)xrh/stous e)poi/ei tou\s e)piba/tas.
Notes:
From Polybius 8.5.5-6 on the celebrated Roman siege of Syracuse (Sicily) in 213-211 BCE: see web address 1. The "little scorpions", never elucidated here, are small arrow-firing catapults: see the note in Walbank p.75.
Archimedes has no entry of his own (alpha 4113 is a different homonym) but cf. alpha 2797, delta 1573, epsilon 945, epsilon 2907, theta 142.
[1] Approx. three inches.
Reference:
F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius, ii (Oxford 1967)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; definition; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: David Whitehead on 2 November 2001@04:03:18.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, link, status) on 20 December 2004@21:55:30.
David Whitehead (augmented headword and notes) on 21 December 2004@03:18:15.
David Whitehead on 21 December 2004@03:19:53.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 10 May 2011@03:58:50.
Catharine Roth (fixed link) on 21 September 2011@01:02:41.
David Whitehead on 21 September 2011@03:08:53.
David Whitehead on 30 December 2013@03:43:52.

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