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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Locrian slingers
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Message started by Johnny on Mar 30th, 2004 at 2:24pm

Title: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Mar 30th, 2004 at 2:24pm
In the Iliad, Homer mentions the Locrians," who wear no armor and trust in their bows and their well twisted wool(slings)". Sounds kind of like Peruvian type slings! Anyone have more information on this? I saw an Osprey book the other day on the city of Troy, there was a photo of a pile of slingstones that was dug up in and around the city. They looked about the size of an egg or billard ball.
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Mar 30th, 2004 at 2:37pm
The Locrian squadrons nor the javelin wield,
Nor bear the helm, nor lift the moony shield;
But skill’d from far the flying shaft to wing,
Or whirl the sounding pebble from the sling,
Dexterous with these they aim a certain wound,
Or fell the distant warrior to the ground.
Thus in the van the Telamonian train,
Throng’d in bright arms, a pressing fight maintain:
Far in the rear the Locrian archers lie,
Whose stones and arrows intercept the sky,
The mingled tempest on the foes they pour;
Troy’s scattering orders open to the shower.
Book XIII from the Iliad


Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by mgreenfield on Mar 30th, 2004 at 3:28pm
Wow!  That's pretty to read out loud.  Ulrica the poet/artist will like it.    mgreenfield

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Chris on Mar 30th, 2004 at 6:25pm
Another historical reference showing the true power of the sling, and that it rivaled the bow in effectiveness.

Chris

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Mar 30th, 2004 at 7:53pm
Here is another translation by Robert Fagles:

They had no love for stand-and-fight encounters-
had no crested bronze helmets to guard their heads,
no balanced shields in their grasp, no ashen spears,
only their bows and slings of springy, twisted wool.
Trusting these, they followed their chief to Troy,
shooting with these, salvo on pelting salvo,
they tore the Trojan battle lines to pieces.
So the men in heavy armor fought at the front,
they grappled Trojans and Hector helmed in bronze
while Locrians slung from the rear, safe, out of range,
till the Trojan troops forgot their lust for blood
as showering arrows raked their ranks with panic.

I think I like this translation better! Hope ya'll like it!!

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by mgreenfield on Mar 30th, 2004 at 9:30pm
I like the regular 5-footed lines & rhyming couplets of the first version.   Almost like a Shakespearian sonnet.  Also, it gives slings more mention/credit. ;D  A noble sport this slinging I guess.    mgreenfield

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Hondero on Mar 31st, 2004 at 3:05am
Beautiful text and curiously there is not more sling literary references about the Greeks of those mithological times narrated by Homer that the two that appears in Iliad, and this one you mention is the best. Nevertheless  Homer didn´t live in those times, so the references may be only fiction. More interest have the archeological finds such this pile of slingstones that was dug up in and around the city of Troy. Early excavations in Troy gave some objects that were erroneously interpreted as sling proyectiles, but surely this one is more recent. Has the picture and text more information about, like the excavations date, etc?. I´d like to have a look on the Osprey publication if you remember the title, serie, etc.

Hondero

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Mar 31st, 2004 at 6:58am
http://www.ospreypublishing.com/title_detail.php?title=S7034&ser=FOR
Try this site Hondero. The slingstones were at the same layer as the ancient city of Troy. Along with the slingstones were arrowheads.
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Hondero on Mar 31st, 2004 at 2:42pm
Thanks Johnny, I´ll try to get the book. I´ve found in the net some information about recent excavations at Troy and as I suspected there have been differents campaigns along the times. In the campaign of 1990 and following years they found a reservoir of sling proyectiles in one of the gates of the city. And curiously the excavation was directed for Manfred Korfmann, the famous (for all us) author of "The sling as a weapon"  :)

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Mar 31st, 2004 at 3:30pm
Hondero
Do you still have the link to that website(Korfmann)?
Thanks
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Hondero on Mar 31st, 2004 at 4:54pm
No, I´m sorry, but you can get it in Google looking for "Troia" that is the German name of Troy and the name of the archaeological project. In one of the years that appears there is an abstract by Korfmann that mention briefly the slingstones. Just to go over some years till you find it.

Hondero

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Ulrica on Apr 4th, 2004 at 3:22pm
I´ve found some pages. Altough in german:

http://www.kzu.ch/fach/as/aktuell/2000/28_troia/01.htm

http://www.baz.ch/reusable/druckversion.cfm?objectID=C9C3EA37-174C-4D04-8C6698B1C57952EF

There was more pages. I searched on www.altavista.com  with three words:  Troia + Korfmann + Schleuder

Maybe you can translate it with bablefish??

/Ulrica

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Hondero on Apr 4th, 2004 at 6:19pm
I´ve found again the exact link to the Korfmann abstract:

http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/troia/st/two/ab/english/ab7eng.html

He mention briefly the find of slingstones and a fragment of a silver vase from the epoch with slingers represented in it (I have the picture).


Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Apr 4th, 2004 at 8:39pm
Ulrica, Hondero
Thanks for the links!
Can you post the picture Hondero?
Thanks!
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Chris on Apr 5th, 2004 at 12:27am
Here's a picture of the vase and a fuzzy line drawing to help you make it out.  These are the best pictures I could find online.  It's interesting to see that the slingers start by holding the pouch over their heads.  









Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Hondero on Apr 5th, 2004 at 3:29am
Nice you´ve  posted the pictures, Chris, the vase fragment is also in the Osprey book you mentioned, Johnny, but the picture of Chris is much better. The slinging start position of the slingers is very interesting, in effect, it  is used by all and seems to correspond to the style of those primitive Greeks. It is really similar to the Greek classic position of later times, unless the sling is over the head to begin slinging immediately. The Greek clasic position, as represented in coins and ceramics, is lower, to the height of the ear and allows better to aim or to concentrate in the target, but at the time of slinging it is necessary to also elevate the sling  over the head.

The depicted  scene it is the defense of a surrounded city at the doors of the wall by slingers (and archers) almost completely naked. The silver vase was not found in Troy, but in Mycenae, it is to say in the country of the Troy attackers, and corresponds to the same myhtical Homeric epoch.

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Apr 5th, 2004 at 10:05am
Thanks for getting the pics up!
The line drawing helps alot. I also like the archers, it kind of reminds me of the way Assyrian archers and slingers worked together.
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by mgreenfield on Apr 5th, 2004 at 12:25pm
Assuming the slingers on the silver fragment are holding the pouch forward, it appears that one or both of them are left-handed.   I recall a Bible reference to left-handed slingers, though I can't recall where it is.   Why any significance to being left-handed, I wonder?        mgreenfield

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Apr 5th, 2004 at 1:27pm
Mgreenfield
Check out the scripture under my name. That is the one on the lefties!
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by english on Apr 5th, 2004 at 3:54pm
I am a left handed slinger.  Apparently there is a higher proprtion of geniuses who are left handed then right. :) Higher proprtion of madmen too. ;D

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by mgreenfield on Apr 5th, 2004 at 5:31pm
I'm a lefty, 4 of 5 of my kids, too.  Both their grandmas, etc, etc.   mgreenfield

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Apr 5th, 2004 at 5:42pm
I'm a lefty also, so is my mother. My son is left handed. Although I sling with my right hand.

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Chris on Apr 5th, 2004 at 6:53pm
The slingers look right handed to me.  Plus, the archers are holding their bows in a right handed way.  

Chris

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Hondero on Apr 6th, 2004 at 12:48pm
Yes, I think these slingers are right-handed, but it´s interesting the affair of left-handed slingers.

When I read for the first time in the Bible the text of the war of Israel against the Benjaminites, it surprised me that it was valued so much the presence in the Benjamin army of  "700 selected men, all left-handed people, able to hit a hair without failing the shot". It was evident that the characteristic of being left-handed seemed to be a good quality for a slinger. A small investigation on Biology put me clued in the matter: As all we know, our brain is divided in two hemipheres or halves that generally make different functions. The left brain is mainly responsible for the rational functions, the verbal thought, the language, the mathematical calcule, etc. The right brain is responsible for the intuition, the spontaneity, the handling of things, the imagination, the visualization, the feelings and emotions, etc. It has been observed that the left-handed people have the right brain more developed, that they have more functionality in it. It is logical as the right brain controls the left part of the body and vice versa. Then here is the secret. In "the way of the sling" article  I said that accuraccy is better with the intuitive shot, without conscious control or voluntary thought. It was also very important to put into play feelings and emotions to mobilize the spontaneous mechanisms of precision. It´s then clear that the left-handed people have all these capacities more developed than the right-handed, so they will become the best slingers, and in general they will be better in any intuitive discipline.

Well, left-handed buddies, mgreenfield, english, Johnny... the slingers team of the site trust in you for the near future  :D.

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Apr 6th, 2004 at 1:56pm
Hondero
I think you are so correct on this matter!
I can sling with both my left hand and right. As you know, I'm a professional artist (you can so some of my work on the gallery page) and I tend to view things and solve problems from the right hemisphere of my brain. Growing up, I was a good shot with my rifles, pistols and bow. I tend to "feel" the target instead of "figure out" the target. I hope this makes sense! I'm also horrible at mathmatical problems!!
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by mgreenfield on Apr 6th, 2004 at 5:21pm
Johnny, nice to be good-different for once!   Makes up for all that stuff with buttons/levers on the wrong side, ...like bolt-action rifles.   Thanks, Hondero!  mgreenfield

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Apr 6th, 2004 at 9:37pm
All of us "Lefties" need to form a group within this forum called "The Benjaminites"!! What do you think?
Johnny

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by english on Apr 7th, 2004 at 12:09pm
I know what you mean about feeling the target.  I too suck at mathematical problems.  I am a very good shot with a bow, and air rifle.  I also kick peoples' asses when it comes to fighting, not because of strength, but because I know in a way where they would hit or something.  All I know is that I can block punches well (at school, for PE, often we go into the fitness area and use sparring gloves to duel.  It is fun, but sometimes it hurts.)  Anyways, I am good at languages, I am too emotional for my own good, and all the other stuff.  I guess that makes me a classic lefty.  I can paint too, (not to your level though, Johnny.  Nice pictures!).  I read somewhere that Civil War (American, of course) sharpshooters on both sides were chosen for having grey eyes and being left handed.
Anyway, as you know, I am staunchly non-religious, but I would like to be part of any group of left handers.  There is way too much discrimination against us.

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Hobb on Apr 7th, 2004 at 12:15pm
Southpaws unite!  Down with right-handed oppression!  Down with 3-ring binders that put the rings under your writing hand!  Down with pens chained to the wrong side of the bank teller's window!  Down with 'ergonomic' computer mouses (mice?  mices?) that only fit the wrong hand!

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by Johnny on Apr 7th, 2004 at 1:27pm
English
You sound like a real scrapper! I saw something on TV the other day advertising a video on soccer hooligans. I bet you're right in the middle of all that tussle!

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by english on Apr 7th, 2004 at 4:01pm
LOL!  Not my scene.  I am not much into football.  My brother is though.  And England does have a bit of a reputation.  That is mostly due to people who don't really care about the football, and just want to beat stuff up.  And I only fight in PE lessons.  Oh, and my nose was broken once, but that wasn't my fault.  Some kid randomly headbutted me.  I didn't even know him.  But if I see him again, I will make sure to sling him a stone.  I had to have surgery.  It was quite horrible.  But in a way, quite cool.  There was so much blood.  In fact, it was spraying out, not the usual thing to happen.
And Hobb, I agree.  Everyone else in my family is right handed, and they only buy right handed things (naturally).  So if I want to open a bottle, I have to go get my Swiss Army knife (nicely ambidextrous; I like the Swiss for that).

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by shinypeter on Apr 10th, 2004 at 1:30pm
Hondero's and english's analysis of lefty brain attributes is so spot on that it should find its way out onto the wider net. It would help a lot of people. Best P.

Title: Re: Locrian slingers
Post by english on Apr 10th, 2004 at 4:30pm
The information is probably on the internet somewhere.  It has been on a few television programs (certainly in great Britain), especially by the rather animated and moustachioed professor Robert Winston.  He is a leading brain analyst, and he has done a series that was quite popular.  Therefore, I believe that the information about this kind of thing is definitely out there.  I guess you just need to know where to look.
  I guess that left handed people will have to remain silently superior.  We are, and probably mostly will remain, a small minority, and therefore, not many companies would be willing to manufacture a product at great cost and sell it to a small number of people.  And I find that with practise, I can generally master right hand equipment.  It would still be nice to have a shop like Ned Flander's on the Simpsons, the Leftorium, on the street.

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