The Catapult

The Catapult by Sir Edward John Poynter Bt PRA RWS (1839-1919). 1868-1872. Oil on canvas, 61 x 72 1/4 inches.

Commentary by Christopher Wood

In 1868 Poynter produced another of his most celebrated Roman spectaculars, The Catapult. This shows Roman soldiers manning a siege engine for an attack on the walls of Carthage, during the siege which ended in the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC. The famous command of Cato the Elder, "Delenda est Carthago" (quoted in Pultarch's "Life of Cato") is carved in the wood of the huge catapult. The picture was a great success. [157]

Related Materials


Wood, Christopher. Olympian Dreamers: Victorian Classical Painters. London: Constable, 1983.

Last modified 2 December 2004