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τύρσις, πύργος). Any lofty building; a tower; a fort or fortified place. The regular tower of fortification was either round or square, several stories in height, with turrets (pinnae) surmounting them, loop-holes (fenestrae) in the walls, and an arched entrance (fornix) in the middle. A movable tower (turris mobilis) was used in sieges to protect the approach of the battering-ram to the walls. (See Aries.) Such a tower was sometimes several stories in height, and could be raised or lowered in order to allow the troops in it to scale the walls (Livy, xxi. 11; Vitruv. x. 13). When elephants were used in battle, they carried a sort of tower on the back filled with soldiers (Livy, xxxvii. 40). For the towers on the decks of ships, see Navis.

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 40
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 21, 11
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