One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A ladder used for firefighting or for climbing walls in order to penetrate the defenses of a fortification.
- ‘Until the early fifth century, this was a matter of putting up scaling ladders or constructing a siege mound against the city-wall while bombarding the battlements with javelins, arrows, and stones.’
- ‘All the regular techniques of siege warfare were employed: the attackers dug tunnels under the walls, and built tall siege towers which they rolled up to the walls, in order to fix their scaling ladders.’
- ‘And of course we hark to the memory of St. Joan in her white-enamalled armor ascending the scaling ladder at Orleans, and her soldiery, with a roar, hurling themselves up beside her, in the teeth of the arrows and stones.’
- ‘In the middle of August, though, the Nile had sunk so low that the ships could not approach the city walls close enough for the scaling ladders to reach.’
- ‘Finally, going over the walls of a besieged fortress generally required scaling ladders or a siege tower.’
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