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Tank, c 1460. Roberto Valturio (1405-1457) Woodcut in bound volume From De re militari libri XII, 1535
Many important works on the principles of warfare and military tactics were printed in Renaissance Europe. The growing importance of military engineering, firearms and explosives throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is documented in the fascinating illustrations contained in many of these early works. To our eyes, these examples of siege engines, cannons and battering rams appear fantastic and optimistic. This fiercely decorated ‘tank’ of Arabic origin provided protection for several soldiers and shot deadly missiles from its mouth.
Find out more about Rare books and special collections at the State Library of New South Wales. Explore the unrivalled collection of journals, logbooks, letters, paintings, drawings and books documenting the experiences and achievements of the first British settlement in Australia from the library’s Discover Collections.