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  • "... the Raven, in astronomy, a constellation of the southern hemisphere, wherein.... are 9 stars."


    "In antiquity, a machine invented by the Romans, at the time of their wars in Sicily, when they first engaged the Carthaginian fleet.

    "On the prow of their ships they erected a round piece of timber, about a foot and a half in diameter, and twelve feet in length; on the top of which, was a block, or pulley: round this piece of timber was a platform of boards, four feet broad, and about eighteen feet long, which was well framed, and fastened with iron.... it moved about the aforesaid upright piece of timber, as on a spindle, and could be hoisted up within six feet of the top: about this was a sort of parapet, knee high, which was defended with upright bars of iron, sharp at the ends... with this movable gallery they boarded the enemy's ships...."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 108

    October 13, 2008