Edward John Poynter, The Catapult, 1868-1872

This painting depicts Roman soldiers operating a siege engine amidst their attack on the walls of Carthage in 146 BCE, during the third Punic War. They are about to fire a red-hot bolt from beneath the wooden canopy of the structure. On the catapult, words inscribed read “Delenda est Carthago (Carthage must be Destroyed)”. These were the famous words of Cato the Elder, a Roman senator and historian.

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