Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Battering-ram, an ancient military engine, consisting of a large beam, often the trunk of a tree, terminated by a mass of metal shaped like a ram's head. It was used to make breaches in the walls of a besieged town, and first became an important instrument under the Macedonian power in Greece. At first worked only by hand, it was. afterwards mounted on wheels, and later on hung between posts and swung to and fro by men, who were protected from the defenders' missiles by a sort of wooden shed erected over them. The beam was then at times from 80 to 120 feet long, so that it could be placed across a ditch. The Romans used such rams against Syracuse in the Second Punic war, and often afterwards, especially at the siege of Jerusalem.