42 images Created 11 Oct 2009
By association artillery now also refers to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines. As well, artillery may refer to a system of applied scientific research relating to the design, manufacture and employment of artillery weapon systems. Lastly, the word artillery is commonly used to refer to individual pieces together with their accessories and fittings, although these assemblages are more properly referred to as equipments.
Artillery has been employed in warfare since antiquity. The first references in the western historical tradition may be those of Hero of Alexandria c. AD 1C. but these devices were widely employed by the Roman Legions in Republican times well before the Christian era. Through much of their early history artillery was treated as part of the engineering art because the devices were often constructed mostly of local materials whenever needed and not permanently assembled. Until the introduction of gunpowder into western warfare artillery depended upon mechanical energy to operate and this severely limited the range and size of projectiles while also requiring the construction of very large apparatus to store sufficient energy.