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The Ship Shaker of Archimedes

by Richard Wright

I was amazed to see that someone had the creativity to come up with a Greco-Roman technic model. Richard writes about his construction "This is an invention credited to Archimedes...there are descriptions in literature although experts doubt if it was ever built. One source states:"

"One of the monstrous engines said to have been constructed by Archimedes was a "ship-shaker" in the form of a giant claw, hidden at the bottom of Syracuse's harbour. It is quite possible to construct such a machine by applying only the principles of simple machines."

The idea was to put the tippler underneath the slips. When hostile Roman ships pulled up to dock, teams of oxen would elevate the grabbers, and grasp the hull. Then other teams would radically shake the ship back and forth, throwing the soldiers into the drink ( where hopefully they would drown and the city would be saved!).

See more pictures at Richard Wright's webpage

See more about Archimedes and the Roman seige of Syracuse