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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> olaus magnus
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Message started by slingbadger on Jun 15th, 2006 at 11:50am

Title: olaus magnus
Post by slingbadger on Jun 15th, 2006 at 11:50am
From the Description of the Northern people, by Olaus Magnus.

 He describes fustibals being used to fling chunks of red hot iron during the seige of King ChristianII at Vasteras

He also says that " pole Slings" were used by the Finns to  " drive back the preliminary assaults, then when they are about to contend at close quartersthey defended themselves with the sling stones they keep knotted in their belt."

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by siguy on Jun 15th, 2006 at 2:22pm
that's interesting.  sling stones [/i]Knotted[i] in their belts?  that must not let you carry a lot of stones

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by winkleried on Jun 16th, 2006 at 3:38pm
He could mean carrying sling stones in the folds of thier tunics.

Marc Adkins


wrote on Jun 15th, 2006 at 2:22pm:
that's interesting.  sling stones [/i]Knotted[i] in their belts?  that must not let you carry a lot of stones


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by slingbadger on Jun 17th, 2006 at 9:49am
 Alittle further translation reveals that apparently Christian lost the better part of his army to the hot iron, which " fell down as the hail does"
  Also, the Finns had stones the size of a fist, attatched to ropes that they would use to entangle the horsemen's arms or neck, then drag them off. That is, if they just weren't hit in the head in the process.

 Another onteresting point. The cheif helmet was a helmet with a leather backing, covered in scales of horn or the hooves of caribou.  Horned helmets. Sound familiar??

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by lobohunter on Jun 17th, 2006 at 9:55am

Quote:
Another onteresting point. The cheif helmet was a helmet with a leather backing, covered in scales of horn or the hooves of caribou.  Horned helmets. Sound familiar??

no but interrested

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by winkleried on Jun 17th, 2006 at 6:21pm
Nice for those of us not up on our nordic history ( and too bleeping lazy to look it up) when was this siege again?

On the helment issue, sounds like they were trying to cheaply equip there soldiers. similar concept to 20th century miltary helments, enough protection against grazes and flying debris but not enough to take a full force direct blow

Marc Adkins


wrote on Jun 17th, 2006 at 9:49am:
 Alittle further translation reveals that apparently Christian lost the better part of his army to the hot iron, which " fell down as the hail does"
  Also, the Finns had stones the size of a fist, attatched to ropes that they would use to entangle the horsemen's arms or neck, then drag them off. That is, if they just weren't hit in the head in the process.

 Another onteresting point. The cheif helmet was a helmet with a leather backing, covered in scales of horn or the hooves of caribou.  Horned helmets. Sound familiar??


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by winkleried on Jun 17th, 2006 at 6:24pm
Forgot to add
Intresting to here about the Finnish Bolos. Ok I know they are not true bolos but a nice little local improvision against a tactical problem.

Marc Adkins


wrote on Jun 17th, 2006 at 9:49am:
 Alittle further translation reveals that apparently Christian lost the better part of his army to the hot iron, which " fell down as the hail does"
  Also, the Finns had stones the size of a fist, attatched to ropes that they would use to entangle the horsemen's arms or neck, then drag them off. That is, if they just weren't hit in the head in the process.

 Another onteresting point. The cheif helmet was a helmet with a leather backing, covered in scales of horn or the hooves of caribou.  Horned helmets. Sound familiar??


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by slingbadger on Jun 18th, 2006 at 12:01pm
A thick enoughpiece of horn can deflect sword blows quite nicely. I've tried it . There was also an example of one dug up in Denmark. ( give me a few days to look through my files)
  What it was was sheets of horn, with the grain layed in opposite directioins, like plywood. Very strong. Very light.

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by Mangrove on Apr 13th, 2008 at 5:14am
I might get the original Latin text from a book printed in 1555 (1st Edition) if needed. But here's a woodcut of the siege.


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by curious_aardvark on Apr 14th, 2008 at 9:19am
so is a fustibals just a staff sling ?

But it just shows what finnish history shows time and time again - don't pick a fight with finland. :-)

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by winkleried on Apr 14th, 2008 at 1:28pm
To answer both of your questions C_A

Pretty much dead on the money on both.

Marc Adkins

Curious Aardvark wrote on Apr 14th, 2008 at 9:19am:
so is a fustibals just a staff sling ?

But it just shows what finnish history shows time and time again - don't pick a fight with finland. :-)


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by funda_iucunda on Apr 15th, 2008 at 3:04pm
slingbadger,

the part about the Finnish entangling the enemies horses with stones fixed with ropes reminds me to the use of the bola. Can you please give a precise quotation of that text?

The stones knotet into the belts might be used as a hand to hand combat weapon. If you put a stone into the (not too small and narrow) pouch of your sling and knot just the release cord and the retention cord together you will get a flexible weapon you can heavily beat with or wrap it around the enemies lance, axe sword, neck or leg for making him falling.

funda

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by Mangrove on Apr 16th, 2008 at 7:55am
Again, I can probably get the original latin text if needed from Finnish National Library.

Hirvonen, K., Vilkuna K. 1977. Pohjoisten kansojen historia: Suomea koskevat kuvaukset. Otava, Helsinki:

P. 54-55. About sorcery at Hälsingland.


Quote:
Magic or witchcraft is also practiced among the people of Hälsingland. One of their chiefs, Vitulf, could destroy one's sight so the victim couldn't even se the buildings nearby. Also a man called Visin, a famous swordman, could make dull one's weapon with his eyes. However he was slayed by a Swedish Berserker called Starkad. He always kept the sword covered with very fine coat which is generally known to be the only way to protect it against the dullness.

But even magic or spells can't protect rocks slinged with force from making damage.


P. 89. About the Muscovian pirates at the Gulf of Finland.


Quote:
Encouraged by the previous success the Muscovians are so bold that they'll attack even the largest vessels slowed down by the calm wind. Then they try to bruise the planks at the waterline. But if the crew fires them from above with arrows they try to retreat. Rarely a victory will follow, usually they are chased away with cannons, crossbows and slings.


P. 91-92. About Finns and their weapons.


Quote:
Due of the excessive wildness among the Finns or the Finno-Ugric people the Royal regulation has forbited them using weapons like lance, arrows, throwing spears or long daggers against themselfs during peace time. However one should't think they haven't got any defence weapons to protect themselfs against raiding Muscovians who live too close. The first attacks are averted with staff slings. At close combat the Finns defend themselfs with slinging stones stuffed to belts. They (Finns) are so strong and so accurate that they never miss their target. [...]

Some use fist-size rocks which are attached with rope four span (span is c. 15-20 cm) long (when they haven't got any iron or lead balls or iron chain). With these they entangle the arms of cavalrymen or the feet of horses and then tackle them with yanking the rope.

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by slingbadger on Apr 16th, 2008 at 9:03am
Funda, give me a day or two

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by winkleried on Apr 16th, 2008 at 11:49pm
Ok so what is the Finnish word for staff-Sling and what would the Russian word be???

Marc Adkins


Mangrove wrote on Apr 16th, 2008 at 7:55am:
Again, I can probably get the original latin text if needed from Finnish National Library.

P. 91-92. About Finns and their weapons.


Quote:
Due of the excessive wildness among the Finns or the Finno-Ugric people the Royal regulation has forbited them using weapons like lance, arrows, throwing spears or long daggers against themselfs during peace time. However one should't think they haven't got any defence weapons to protect themselfs against raiding Muscovians who live too close. The first attacks are averted with staff slings. At close combat the Finns defend themselfs with slinging stones stuffed to belts. They (Finns) are so strong and so accurate that they never miss their target. [...]

Some use fist-size rocks which are attached with rope four span (span is c. 15-20 cm) long (when they haven't got any iron or lead balls or iron chain). With these they entangle the arms of cavalrymen or the feet of horses and then tackle them with yanking the rope.


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by Ethan on Apr 17th, 2008 at 12:16am

winkleried wrote on Apr 16th, 2008 at 11:49pm:
Ok so what is the Finnish word for staff-Sling and what would the Russian word be???

Marc Adkins


Mangrove wrote on Apr 16th, 2008 at 7:55am:
Again, I can probably get the original latin text if needed from Finnish National Library.

P. 91-92. About Finns and their weapons.


Quote:
Due of the excessive wildness among the Finns or the Finno-Ugric people the Royal regulation has forbited them using weapons like lance, arrows, throwing spears or long daggers against themselfs during peace time. However one should't think they haven't got any defence weapons to protect themselfs against raiding Muscovians who live too close. The first attacks are averted with staff slings. At close combat the Finns defend themselfs with slinging stones stuffed to belts. They (Finns) are so strong and so accurate that they never miss their target. [...]

Some use fist-size rocks which are attached with rope four span (span is c. 15-20 cm) long (when they haven't got any iron or lead balls or iron chain). With these they entangle the arms of cavalrymen or the feet of horses and then tackle them with yanking the rope.



The Finnish is Linko. The Russian is Pratcha.

Those are according to the Wiki

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by winkleried on Apr 17th, 2008 at 12:52am
Ethan,Those are the terms for the hand sling, I was loking to see if anybody knew the words in those two languages for staff-sling.

Marc Adkins


Ethan wrote on Apr 17th, 2008 at 12:16am:
[quote author=winkleried link=1150386644/0#14 date=1208404186]Ok so what is the Finnish word for staff-Sling and what would the Russian word be???

Marc Adkins


The Finnish is Linko. The Russian is Pratcha.

Those are according to the Wiki


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by Mangrove on Apr 17th, 2008 at 9:52am

winkleried wrote on Apr 17th, 2008 at 12:52am:
I was looking to see if anybody knew the words in those two languages for staff-sling.


The Finnish word is sauvalinko. Sauva = staff or a stick, linko = sling.

Martti

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by winkleried on Apr 17th, 2008 at 12:58pm
Thanks Mangrove

Marc Adkins


Mangrove wrote on Apr 17th, 2008 at 9:52am:

winkleried wrote on Apr 17th, 2008 at 12:52am:
I was looking to see if anybody knew the words in those two languages for staff-sling.


The Finnish word is sauvalinko. Sauva = staff or a stick, linko = sling.

Martti


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by slingbadger on Apr 17th, 2008 at 1:51pm
OK Olaus Magnus wrote Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalabus in 1555. The battle took place in 1521.
Here is the text, taken from a 1555 edition, Chptr VII
 
 But where there were no stones, which was seldom seen, they cast into forts, as forcible as they may, a piece of iron that is glowing red hot, which they put, with a pair of tongs, into the pouch of the sling. For they always have ready vessels like the Roman baths, full of pieces of iron, and putting that into the fire and fitting it into the sling, and casting it against the besieged. They will make such a violent wound and torture, that it can hardly, or never be cured by the help of a physician.

Chptr XI About war with the Mucscovites.  When they have occasion, they repulse and keep off their assaults with slings like spears ( fustibals) when they come to fight near they defend themselves with stones tied to their girdles thatthey throw at them.

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by Ethan on Apr 17th, 2008 at 3:03pm
Whoops, sorry 'bout that.  :-[

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by timann on Apr 18th, 2008 at 3:20pm
I am reading and rereading the quote above, (span is ca 15-20 cm), ann it annoys me a little. 4 spans would then be at most 80 cm, well under 3 feet, and when you have tangeled a cavalrymans arm or horses feet, it would not be much rope left for yanking.
But if a span was what it sounds like, outstretched arm to outstretched arm, it would be 150-200 cm, 180 cm for me,  then 4 span of rope with a stone in the end would be a more or less sensible weapon.

Maybe this was obvious, but I had to say it.
timann

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by funda_iucunda on Apr 18th, 2008 at 4:33pm
Slingbadger and Mangrove,

many thanks for the quotations and sources. The information by Olaus Magnus is now very clear to me. They used not bolas but stones with a cord by which they entangled enemies and horses is close hand to hand fight. Like slings and staff slings these are simple and cheap but deadly weapons.

funda iucunda

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by Mangrove on Apr 19th, 2008 at 10:29am

timann wrote on Apr 18th, 2008 at 3:20pm:
Maybe this was obvious, but I had to say it.


Span, or vaaksa in Finnish, is distance from end of the thump to end of the index finger. My span is about 20 cm. As I don't have the original latin text I can't verify if the text really speaks about span and not, for example, cubit (which is from 45 cm to 60 centimeters).

Maybe the text is trying to say if the cavalryman is still standing Finns could yank him down by pulling the rope next to him?  :P

Martti

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by timann on Apr 19th, 2008 at 1:40pm
Hi, Mangrove.  Well, maybe it isn`t so obvious.
I just dismissed the shorter `finger span`, because of the word `yanking`.
I figured it would be easyer to handle horses and cavalrymen with some meters of rope instead of centimeters :).

But, one of my late aunts had a suitor of Finnish heritage.  He was short, powefull, and teached us boys a lot of `practical`stuff, like knives, ropes, crossbows....  if he had trapped you by a few decimeters of rope, you would certainly be in trouble, on a horse or not  :D

Or is the description more bola-like?  Several stones with a rather short rope  connecting them...

I`ll just wait here and try to learn more of ancient Finnish warfare :)
timann


Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by Nakki on Apr 21st, 2008 at 3:13pm
What I know about ancient finnish warfare is not lot but there are some tactics that are being used still in Finnish army. We have to remember that Finland is a rather big country compared to it's population. So you can use the land to wear out the enemy. Lots of wilderness; woods, labyrinth like lakes and rivers. Finns have always fought against bigger enemy so the tactics are made against large scale enemy offensives.
Let the enemy come and advance to your own territory. While the enemy attacks retreat defensively, make querilla-like attacks and try to hit the enemy supply line. Try to make the easiest way of the offensive harder. Destroy bridges, burn houses etc. Then choose a place where you make your stand. Finns have always defended narrow places; river crosses and isthmuses for example. Narrow places even the odds. Attacks to the flanks are harder to carry through and it's more man-to-man battle than man-against-battalion. When the enemy is stopped and some what beaten make dearing attacks to the enemy flanks. If possible try to encircle them. Make a 'motti'.
Basically attack the enemy in place you know and where the enemys numbers dont matter so much. This seems quite simple but it's really effective.
 This tactic jumps out in Finnish military history from time to time. First I heard it being used against vikings in 900 AC. Last time it was used in Winter War, Continuation War and Lapland War (II World War). Finnish army still trains this tactic.
Sorry if this went too much off topic.

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by timann on Apr 24th, 2008 at 2:31pm
Thanks, Nakki. After reading your post it is even more obvious to me that when the finns made chaos among their enemys, somebody could sneek inn and entangle confused cavalrymen and horses with stones attached to the end of long ropes.

I must try this weapon for myself.  My biggest sling stone and a long rope.  I saw something similar on Youtube.  The Chinese Meteor Hammer.  Seemed to be easy... :D
timann

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by timann on Jun 11th, 2008 at 4:19pm
I have recently made an improviced meteorhammer, with a good sice sling stone, and a rope with a monkey fist knot.

I tested it, rather carefully. I am rather happy with my old pair of glasses, and my old teeth, thank you ;)

It seems to be very dangerous to the user, even more so if the chinese fancy tecniques are attempted.  But in desperate times, it appear to be a rather effective weapon to knock or pull cavalrymen to the ground, when it can be done in a sneaky way...from the flanks, ambush, in confused battle...
I would not prefer it as a one on one weapon, the danger of knocking myself out, or ensnare myself with the rope, would be to great
timann.

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by funda_iucunda on Jun 12th, 2008 at 4:31pm
Do you have a picture of it? Sounds interesting!

funda iucunda

Title: Re: olaus magnus
Post by timann on Jun 13th, 2008 at 12:04pm
I got a bad picture of the test weapon.
Over in Other Primitive Weapons there is a thread called; Sling converted to melee weapon.  There is mentioned monkey fist knot and  slungshot.  This is it, it can be used for short range clubbing and flailing, but with 5 meters of rope attached, new possibilities appear...
timann
oles_bilder_032.jpg (141 KB | )

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