Laputa had several methods of enforcing obedience from its subject towns. The island could be made to hover over a city indefinitely, depriving them of sunlight and rain. In more extreme situations, this would be combined with dropping large rocks on the inhabitants (which seems the first time that aerial bombardment was conceived as a method of warfare). Finally, the Laputans had the ability to lower their island directly onto a town, utterly destroying it. This was exceedingly rare, due to the risk it would pose to the integrity of Laputa itself.
As a result of oppressions and tribute demanded from them by Laputa, the Lindalinians rebelled against their governor and constructed tall towers at each of the four corners of the city. On top of these, they placed powerful lodestones, or magnets. The result of this was that when Laputa approached them, it was pulled toward these towers more swiftly than the king had expected. As a test, the Laputans then dropped several pieces of adamant, the substance from which their island was constructed. These were violently drawn to the towers. Realizing the situation, the king of Laputa had no choice but to give in to Lindalino's conditions. If he had not, the island would have been fixed in place and overthrown.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
When Will we Ever Learn?
from Wikipedia on Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels: