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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Makron cup (ca. 490)
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Message started by Thearos on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 8:14pm

Title: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 8:14pm
Just to repost some images. This is an Attic red-figure cup, with banqueting youths on the outside and a slinger in the tondo inside, by the painter Makron, dated to ca. 490 BC. Slinger, arrows, chiton and jack, cloak, bag with stones.
Makron2_001.jpg (70 KB | )

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 8:15pm
And this is a picture of a Balearic slinger from 1962: on pic. 1, he's preparing his shot. I think that's the pose on the Makron cup: amidst flying arrows, he's calming adjusting his shot, with a long sling and big round stones.
Balearic_slinger_1962.jpg (49 KB | )

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by mrboss on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 8:36pm
If that's a long sling then I must be the king of the universe. No offense toward you but still.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 9:05pm
I have two "usual" slings: one a bit shorter than me, one a bit longer than me (unfolded). The shorter one I aim simply by lifting the pouch before my eyes. The longer one I have to prepare, with my right hand above my head, and the left hand grasping the pouch, downwards-- the same position as the Balearic guy. That's what I meant; I also imagine that a "war sling" (to use T. N. Frank's expression) would be longer, stronger, and involve throwing bigger stones than usual, or even comfortable.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Fundibularius on Oct 4th, 2009 at 8:57am
I may be wrong, but I guess that most of us and other sling users around the world normally use slings which are only a bit longer than their extended arm. So, in comparison with the majority, the sling shown in the photo by definition IS a rather long sling. And thus, mrboss, you ARE the king of the universe. Congrats!


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 4th, 2009 at 10:08am

I dont think anything can be read into the pose, he is very obviously posed to fit into the confines of the circle.

I am really not liking the bag either. Its going to slide up and down his arm in a really irritating way. If you want the ammo bag there, pass the strap across the body from the other shoulder and it will stay put.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 4th, 2009 at 1:13pm
Of course, if you want to fit a slinger within a circle, you can easily, as on the staters of Aspendos. That's why I still think Makron is showing a slinger carrying out a precise gesture, the same as seen on the photograph of the Balearic slinger in 1962, and which I instinctively do when slinging "long"-- pulling on the cords with the pouch in one hand, and hence the other hand above my head.

Next time I'm slinging, I'll try with a bag of stones in the crook of my arm.
AspendosStater.jpg (19 KB | )

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Aussie on Oct 4th, 2009 at 5:26pm
It's an illustration on a piece of crockery not a diagram in an instructional manual, so some artistic license has to allowed for. I think that David's comment that the picture has been somewhat stylised to fit the circular shape is quite reasonable. The precarious balance also emphasises action. The ammuntion bag is perhaps in an impractical position, but again, it's merely meant to show that he would have one, full of stones and ready for action.

Prior to high speed photography actions which are just too quick to follow were often not well understood. Artists resorted to various tricks to emphasize action which to modern eyes look strange or clearly wrong. Have a look at typical 18th and 19th C English hunting scenes. The horses are always shown in weird full extension poses which a galloping horse never adopts in reality, but they do convey the mood of a full speed chase.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 4th, 2009 at 5:48pm
Look at the arrows.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Aussie on Oct 4th, 2009 at 6:43pm
Under enemy archer attack presumably. Not sure if his leg is pierced or the arrow is merely behind. What do you think?

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by funda_iucunda on Oct 5th, 2009 at 4:10am
Great finding, Thearos! Now we know that they used bags for stones. Some time ago we had discussions here whether ancient slingers used bags or just put the projectiles in a fold of their clothes,  what is a very cumbersome method. This picture is a claer evidence!

@ Aussie
The slinger doesn't look pierced. He looks quite healthy concentrating on his next shot. I guess that the picture shows him in the stage of loading a stone into the pouch. Therefore it is not possible to say in which style he will throw.

funda iucunda

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by funda_iucunda on Oct 5th, 2009 at 4:15am
I smailed a little bit too fast. The two javelins stuck in the earth next to the slinger seem to be his weapons. So, are we allowed to suppose that slingers have been not allways too poor to buy more expensive weapons? However shield and other armour are missing. Due to time of the work (B.C.490) and the clothing he does not look like a peltast.

funda iucunda

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 5th, 2009 at 5:08am
I don't know much about arrows, but since (in my view) this is a good, sensitive representation of a slinger (esp. as concerns pose), I wonder if the arrows are accurately shown-- barbed, wide head; short length; "round" fletching, big notch-- reminds me of the arrows that would go with a reflex bow.

E. Simon, who published this cup, thinks it shows a man fighting horse archers, because of the angle of the arrows-- which frankly I can't understand. In any case, foot archers also could use reflex bows (contacts with the Skythians). Greeks were surprised when they met people who shot long arrows (in the Anabasis, the Greeks take such arrows and make them into javelins).

Looks like a man in the "metaichmion", the no man's land, before battle starts. Arrows fly, but fall short. Coolly, he fishes a stone out of the pouch hanging on his left arm, passes it to his left hand (which already holds the pouch), then stretches the sling out with left hand down and right hand above his head, grip upwards (shown on the cup); next he will aim, swing and release a big stone at his archer enemies. "The slinger is slavish, the slinger is a coward", is what people say; here, the slinger fights his skirmishing fight with his opposite numbers, and it takes skill and courage to execute the gestures in the firing line.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Aussie on Oct 5th, 2009 at 5:43am
Thearos,

Not really an active archer so missed the significance of the detail in the arrows you were looking for. However did notice the heads were barbed and have since noticed the wide nocks which would be consistent with horse mounted archers. Also wondered about the javelins presumably stuck into the earth to be used when the enemy came close enough for them to be effective.

Could it be that this cup is a commemorative of some battle where Greeks repelled Eastern mounted invaders?

Aussie

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Fundibularius on Oct 5th, 2009 at 7:22am
The more I think about it, the more probable it seems to be a commemoration of a special historical (or mythological) event to me. What about the context? Do the banqueting youths on the outside give any clue?

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 5th, 2009 at 7:39am
Well, Erica Simon thinks it's about fighting against horse-archers, early fifth century-- it can only be the Persian Wars.   I feel slightly wary about this, but I see two people reaching this conclusion indepedently...

Outside banqueters is fairly standard theme on these cups (which were, after all, meant for bquets !)

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Aussie on Oct 6th, 2009 at 5:21am
At any rate, it's clear that at least in this particular case, having a good understanding of weapons certainly makes the job of assessing the artifact easier. I think there's no such thing as too much background knowledge.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 6th, 2009 at 8:11am
Yes, knowledge of Realien helps (e.g. ship rigging, shape of ploughs, clothing-- it's naturalistic art, and puts value on accurate representation of the world, within conventions and ideology. But also seeing what's on the cup-- for instance, trying to understand the representation of movement and pose, rather than misinterpreting the pose and then saying it's all fanciful.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 7th, 2009 at 10:34am
Animal hunting arrows tend towards broader barbed heads. For shooting at people with armour you would want a smaller tip better suited to penetration, could still be barbed but like the rest of the diagram the arrows just look wrong for the situation.
Also metal was valuable - so mass produced battle arrows have smaller pointier heads for 3 reasons. 1) it's better for armour penetration and arrow balance, 2) it's cheaper and easier to make the arrows, 3) small pointed head arrows fly further.

For hunting you'll be much closer to your prey and want an arrow  that will do as much damage as possible - plus you stand a good chance of getting it back so hunting arrows would have broader more expensive heads. No armour to contend with - so again broad heads better.

I know you really like this cup thearos. But all I see is an artist who's never set foot on a battlefield, never seen a slinger working, has probably only ever seen hunting arrows and is designing for the popular market.
There is just no aspect of the image that looks like an authentic slinger reloading in the midst of battle.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 7th, 2009 at 3:19pm
A few points.

Arrow-heads. Ancients used all kinds of arrow heads in war-- bodkin-like (socketed and tanged), leaf-shaped, three-finned (perhaps the most common), and barbed. The evidence for the latter: archaeological finds (for instance from the battlefield of Thermopylai-- pic. below), and medical writers describe the delicate operation of removing arrow-heads with barbs from human flesh (you need wire, or even feather quills to place on the barbs). Conclusion: barbed arrow-heads on the Makron cup are realistic.

The slinger. I would put it the following two propositions:
a. The possibility that the painter, Makron, had seen an ancient slinger: non-nil.
b. The possibility that you, in your current incarnation, have seen an ancient slinger: nil.

You earlier wrote the following:
"Just totally impractical to hold your stones like that (...) His starting balance is all wrong.  (...) It's doable but it puts your weight in a finishing position not a starting position, and as for the arm positions. About the only sensible thing you can do from such a pose is a simple straight ar    overarm trebuchet style throw.  A bit like one slingbadger is fond of (accuracy is a bit hit and miss - fortunately  he managed to miss us lol) but without any of the power as the starting position is just so awful."

I must say, this needs clarification. As I wrote earlier: the Makron cup shows a man with his weight on his back, right leg. He is preparing for a helicopter-style shot. The photograph from the Baleares gives you a parallel for the pose, including the upturned hand. The enemy is on right. If you think his weight is forward, and he is preparing for a trebuchet (nice expression), then you're actually reading the cup the wrong way round, I think.

So I don't think it's fanciful, but quite a good representation of a slinger. The context is the banquet: young aristocratic men drink wine (represented on the outside). The inside of the cup ? Through the wine, the drinker sees a bearded head, spear heads, a body in motion. As he drinks, the image grows sharper: a despised slinger. Yet, shown clearly, in his calm skill, as he fights-- an image which challenges any aristocratic prejudice.  

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 7th, 2009 at 5:21pm
Arrowheads from Thermopylai. Most are tanged spikes; some are leafs, some are three-finned; one is barbed (barbs broken). National Archaelogical Museum, Athens.
113_1392.JPG (1520 KB | )

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Fundibularius on Oct 7th, 2009 at 5:25pm

Thearos wrote on Oct 7th, 2009 at 3:19pm:
As he drinks, the image grows sharper: a despised slinger. Yet, shown clearly, in his calm skill, as he fights-- an image which challenges any aristocratic prejudice.  


8-) I like the idea.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 8th, 2009 at 11:08am
Those arrows, of course, are mostly not Greek, but shot by Persians at the Spartiates at Thermopylai; excavated there, I think in the 1920s (on the hill of the last stand of Leonidas' men). Small bronze tanged spikes.

The most famous archers in Greece were Cretans-- who used big, barbed bronze arrow-heads, found all over the E. Med.


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:30pm

Quote:
The possibility that you, in your current incarnation, have seen an ancient slinger: nil.  

lol true true.
But I have done an awful lot of slinging. And have a better than average idea what was involved.

The man is facing away from the direction the sling missile will eventually go. If you strike that position with your front leg bent and your back leg straight all the weight is on the front leg. This is wrong.
It's not the same position as the balearic as this guy is plainly not loading his sling he's supposed to be preparing to throw - you load the sling looking forward, not behind your back with your head screwed all the way round. So stance is wrong for that.

I'll give you the arrows, dodgy looking as they are ;-). (actually looking at the photo - all the arrows in the photo are narrow headed so even the arrows on the cup bear no actual resemblance to those in that picture, which presumably were contemporary to the cup.)
So On the evidence you've presented I'm sticking with my conclusion that those are not realistic arrows either :-)

And you said yourself - made for aristocrats - who will rarely see a slinger up close - so wouldn't necessarily know the intricate subtleties of slinging (I happen to know them very well).

It's a nice piece but it's just not a picture you can draw concrete conclusions from about slinging styles or practices. It just ain't :-)

It might be meant to show how crap the slingers were on the other team: 'hey look at this idiot on my cup, hasn't got a clue - no wonder we stuffed those boys last year.'
This is an equally valid inference to draw as yours - probably better as it fits the facts. ;-)

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 8th, 2009 at 1:34pm

Curious Aardvark wrote on Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:30pm:
[quote]
The man is facing away from the direction the sling missile will eventually go.


No, he is throwing to the viewers right. No wonder you think its all wrong!

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Aussie on Oct 8th, 2009 at 4:17pm
Agree with you David. If he's opposing the archers he's got to be slinging to our right. Other than that he's bent over it looks like it will be a normal Greek style start to me once he straightens up.

PS (Had to break off to drive daughter to school)

There may even be the implication that slingers outrange archers as the arrows are all on the ground and  appear to have barely reached him.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 8th, 2009 at 5:44pm
I think he's loading his sling, seating the stone and making sure it's centred. The pose is a bit dynamic, but the gesture is unmistakeable. Occam's rasor works here: you can either see this as a realistic representation of a slinger preparing, with arrows being shot at him, or a fanciful representation of a slinger, with arrows being shot at him from behind. The first solution is simpler. Otherwise, you might as well say of the photograph of the Balearic slinger that his  pose is all wrong: he's not looking where he's going to sling, his weight is on his front leg, and he's preparing to do a crazy trebuchet-like throw-- no, he's preparing to sling in front of him.

Aussie: yes, I thought that too-- that arrows fall short, but the sling will hit hard and true.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 11th, 2009 at 7:46pm
lol okay the artistically impressioned and utterly unrealistic arrows (going by the picture of genuine arrows) are at the front.
Okay that makes slightly more sense. And gives you a sort of half fig8 throw that might be marginally effective.

Now all that needs explaining is the stone pouch & arrowheads.

It's a commercial picture not an accurate battlefield depiction.
The artist probably knocked out half a dozen a day. It just needed to be eye catching, not accurate.


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 12th, 2009 at 9:12am
As above: Cretan arrow heads are wide and barbed (quite widespread). Persian arrowheads small spikes. The Thermopylai finds illustrate both types (you have to look carefully). And as i mentioned, there are mentions of barbs in medical writers (how to remove). So arrowheads are fine.  

I tried slinging that way, with a pouch in the crook of my arm. It works fine. Perhaps better than having something around the body. I slung helicopter style, fishing the stone out with right hand, and passing it to left hand (gripping pouch). Straighten out the sling, then rotations and throw; left arm holds the bag out of the way. Repeat and rinse.

No way to say, but (to repeat myself again), vase painters usually represent things with some degree of accuracy: shields (outside and inside, especially the porpax), helmets, swords are spot on. So are ploughs, sails, pots, knives, chopping blocks, shoes, doors, etc-- as we can judge from the archaeology. Why not slings ? So back to the thread's topic: Greek slingers, with small tactical loads on the arm, not big pouches on hip. Hence aimed shots in the skirmishing line, not blizzards of shots.



Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 12th, 2009 at 9:25am
It's a lot of inference from a simple picture - and barbs tend not to be great birdwinged devices as depicted on the cup.

The arrows are an obvious exaggeration of a true arrow - so why believe the rest ?

In most illustrations sling pouches are slung over a shoulder and hang at the side. Far more practical and considerably more evidence that it was usual practice.

And I still don't see how you can draw any tactical inference you do from this diagram.

The amount of ammunition held is irrelevant to the amount used. No archer carries all the arrows they will shoot during a battle with them. They get reloads. As slingers would most likely have done.
Also - cup again - those are large stones, probably around the 6-8 oz mark. The vast majority of recovered sling glandes are in the 1.5-3 oz range.
This guy is not a long range sniper he's either slinging for barrage effect (large stones hitting armour shatter quite spectacularly into shrapnel) slinging blind over an obstacle - again heavier larger missiles would be better for this. Or slinging downwards from a point of fortification - another situation where larger heavier missiles woud be useful.
As seen in the defenders cache at danebury.

Were he a skirmish sniper he would most probably be using shaped glandes for penetration and distance.

All of this is of course reliant on the cup accurately depicting a slinger in battle and the actual ammo he used. ;-)

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 12th, 2009 at 10:24am

Is there any reason why a bag of ammo carried over the elbow would be preferable to one carried across the body at the waist?

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 12th, 2009 at 10:37am
could be a personal preference by a particular slinger.
It's a stretch but I am trying to be reasonable here lol

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 12th, 2009 at 1:57pm
CA: you write that the man's preparing for a figure-8 throw. This cannot be. Look at his hands. The right hand is pointing upwards and outwards. He is preparing for a helicopter shot. This is a precisely observed detail, carefully rendered.

You write that he should have carried lead bullets. This is not possible: they appear only at the very end of the C5th. Before that, slingers use stones (in Greece; in the Near East, baked clay, sometime).

Of course the slinger would have reloads somewhere. But the cup suggests that in the firing line, a man holds a tactical load.

Do you have pictures of slingers with pouches ? (DM reproduced, once, the guy with the animal skin on his arm, a floppy hat, and a sling, but I can't remember if he has a pouch).

DM: I would say the advantage of a hand held bag over the shoulder sling pouch is freedom of movement as the body swings and the weight shifts-- no bag slipping from hip to front.  I also wonder if the Greeks have the right sort of strap tightening technology (belt holes, straps, etc), to allow you to tighten a bag closely to the body.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 12th, 2009 at 3:47pm

Thearos wrote on Oct 12th, 2009 at 1:57pm:
Do you have pictures of slingers with pouches ? (DM reproduced, once, the guy with the animal skin on his arm, a floppy hat, and a sling, but I can't remember if he has a pouch).


That guy doesnt have a bag. I havent seen a decent ammo bag from any period. If there was, I would have already adopted it :)


Quote:
DM: I would say the advantage of a hand held bag over the shoulder sling pouch is freedom of movement as the body swings and the weight shifts-- no bag slipping from hip to front.  I also wonder if the Greeks have the right sort of strap tightening technology (belt holes, straps, etc), to allow you to tighten a bag closely to the body.


The Greeks were master sailors and you wonder if they could make an adjustable bag strap?

My own bag is improvised from an army surplus small canvas backpack with the shoulder straps tied to a webbing belt to make one big across-the-body strap. I adjusted it by tying it at the right length  :P

It sits perfectly comfortably and doesnt slide about. It will hold as much ammo as I want to carry. You can see it in this video, although its the 'wrong' way around. I was reloading with the left hand because the ammo was dirty, having just been collected from a wet riverbank. I dont like getting my slinging hand and sling all mucky :)

Normally I would have the bag on the right and reload with the right hand. I really should do a video of that sometime.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNDLIhgezvo


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 12th, 2009 at 5:13pm

Have a look at this video, you quite often see them doing that downward looking stone seating thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvmwE5_yuH4


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 13th, 2009 at 5:12am
I think the Greeks didn't have the buckle, invented later (they knot their belts). But I  hand;'t thought of other systems ! But we should simply look at vases to see if there are picutres of bags worn on shoulder, in the style which is ubiquitous for us. Perhaps we should stay slinging with a bag in the crook of the arm-- "Makron-style", and see if works, and what the point might have been.

The cup shows two javelins stuck in the ground, with throwing straps. I suppose these will come in handy, once ammo is running out on both sides, and the skirmish moves from long range to mid range (hand thrown stones, javelins)-- the slinger gets two javelin throws, then bugs out. Incidentally, Strabo (I think) says the inhabitants of the Baleares are very good with javelins, too.

Will look at these vids when I get to another computer



Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Fundibularius on Oct 16th, 2009 at 12:24pm

David Morningstar wrote on Oct 12th, 2009 at 10:24am:
Is there any reason why a bag of ammo carried over the elbow would be preferable to one carried across the body at the waist?


While slinging today, I tried to do some "Greeks" with an open ammo bag hung over my left elbow. The feeling was rather unusual but not "impossible", and I could imagine a professional slinger of the 5th century BC with some experience slinging this way, at least for some time.

Then I had another idea: Maybe the bag is carried this way because, if you have different types of ammo in it (glandes, ceramics, stones), you can pick your next (type of) shot quickly out of the bag without turning your eyes away from what is happening in front of you. This could be extremely useful in a combat situation like the depicted scene, when there are enemy archers shooting at you and you must be constantly watching them in order to maybe make a step aside or duck down or so at the right moment. Turning your eyes away and down to an open waist bag could be fatal when you are in the line of fire.  :-/

Of course, you could also pick your ammo from a waist or shoulder bag without looking inside at all, just by touching the shots with your fingers, steadily watching to the enemy. But this is only useful if you have only one kind of ammo (or if you don't care). If you carry different sorts for different purposes (small, big, heavy, light, fragile, solid, ovoid, spherical etc) and want to choose your next shot, it seems a safer, more practical and quicker method to have the bag in front of you. Well, just an idea.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 16th, 2009 at 12:59pm

Fundibularius wrote on Oct 16th, 2009 at 12:24pm:
If you carry different sorts for different purposes (small, big, heavy, light, fragile, solid, ovoid, spherical etc) and want to choose your next shot, it seems a safer, more practical and quicker method to have the bag in front of you. Well, just an idea.


Or, you have a bag with internal dividers that keeps your ammo types separate  :P

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Fundibularius on Oct 16th, 2009 at 5:22pm
Something like a diplomat's briefcase? Maybe. It would even please Clausewitz and his concept of war as the continuation of diplomacy with other means.  ;)

Yet I tend to think the "elbow method" is faster for somebody trained to use it. And it has the advantage that the slinger knows at any time of the combat by sight and weight how much ammo he still has left (without having to fumble around in or, worse, look into a waist bag).

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Oct 17th, 2009 at 3:35am
I like this-- specifically has to do with combat readiness and conditions.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Sep 7th, 2014 at 7:38am
Just an update (from another thread). Small figures on black figure cup, ca. 520 BCE ?. Hoplite charging a slinger (who wears a nice "Thracian" cap), who has an ammo-basket or pouch hanging from his arm. I earlier wrote that the Makron cup was the only evidence for how ancient slingers carried ammo (in addition to Trajan's Column); this is a second image-- showing the same solution, basket in crook of left arm (a look which modern slingers find it difficult to rock).

cc001001_jpe_001.jpeg (30 KB | 108 )

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Bill Skinner on Sep 7th, 2014 at 8:40am
I think there may be some artistic license in there. 

Unless the Hoplites had a habit of going into battle naked?


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Sep 7th, 2014 at 9:26am
That is a problem (very widespread convention). Some people think that guys did strip for e.e. skirmishing. Others thinks it's a heroizing convention. But showing a guy naked is one thing, showing an ammo-basket (as an invention ? why invent such a detail ?) might be another.

If it WEREN'T license, what would the rationale be ? I tried and wondered if it was for fast reloads while not taking eyes off the enemy (to be able to dodge arrows and stones).

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Bill Skinner on Sep 7th, 2014 at 9:42pm
I guess, if that's how you do it all your life, then you get used to it.  However, handing anything heavy on your arm and keeping your arm out from your body and letting the basket sway and jerk will get old pretty quick.

And if you are going to run around skirmishing, you will leave that honking heavy helmet and shield behind.  You will also have a belt with a scabbard for your sword.  In other words, you will be dressed pretty much like the slinger.  Otherwise, you won't be able to run them down.  Look at peltrasts, they were skirmishers.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Sep 8th, 2014 at 4:23am
Could having something in your left hand help with the "counterweight" effect of swinging the left arm when releasing ? I might try slinging with a e.g. 1.5 kg weight in the left hand to see.

THere were hoplites who trained in running down hoplites-- but i think they did keep the shield, just shed their body armour. (But did they strip further ? Or is nudity just a way to make them look like heroes ?)

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Bill Skinner on Sep 8th, 2014 at 9:36am
They had to keep their shied if they were running down guys in armor.  A naked guy with a sword fighting a guy in armor with a sword is commiting suicide.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Mark-Harrop on Sep 8th, 2014 at 9:39am
"Naked" in the military sense generally means unarmored…or even lightly armoured.
Yes, there have been those who have gone into battle completely naked…but they usually find out that whatever magic was protecting them didn't work out the way they planned.
;D

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by JAG on Sep 8th, 2014 at 12:19pm
Mr Harrop, you shouldn't confuse soldiers with warriors. The first do it for money and power, the second for the honour of his gods.

"And how can man die better,
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods"

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Sep 8th, 2014 at 8:23pm
The question is whether a naked guy with a shield can catch a (non-naked) guy with a couple of javelins and maybe a wicker shield.

N. Sekunda argues for progressive lightening of infantry armour (following J. Anderson), in the 460s already, culminating in the Peloponnesian habit (imitated by Boiotians) in later C5th of fighting with open-faced helmet, shield, and basically a workman's shirt

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greece/Cities/Tegea.html
(scroll down)

http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/arachne/index.php?view[layout]=objekt_item&search[constraints][objekt][searchSeriennummer]=47956

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Mark-Harrop on Sep 9th, 2014 at 3:59am
A true warrior has no need for gods…they never show up on the battlefield anyway.

Cowards the lot of 'em.


…and as far as naked guys running around, I have no idea.

:-?

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by JAG on Sep 9th, 2014 at 4:59am
I've often noted the complete lack of spiritual thought in the warriors  of history. The Chinese martial arts are renowned for it. ::)

As for naked men running around, well i can see the attraction :D

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Oxnate on Sep 9th, 2014 at 7:41pm

Mark-Harrop wrote on Sep 9th, 2014 at 3:59am:
A true warrior has no need for gods…they never show up on the battlefield anyway.

Cowards the lot of 'em.


Ha!  8-)



JAG wrote on Sep 9th, 2014 at 4:59am:
I've often noted the complete lack of spiritual thought in the warriors  of history. The Chinese martial arts are renowned for it. ::)


You've known a lot of historic warriors, have you?

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Bill Skinner on Sep 9th, 2014 at 8:18pm
Most warriors in history were pretty much what we would refer to today as thugs.  Once they won, they got the bards to pretty up what they actually did. 

That's why you have the noble hero fighting the base churl. ;D

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Mauro Fiorentini on Sep 9th, 2014 at 9:22pm
A bronze cuirass from my region dating to the 7th century b.C. shows a naked warrior who's forcing another one to have anal sex once he won him on the battlefield.
Pretty much all of our bronze figures shows naked warriors until the Greek culture arrives - that is, end of the 7th century b.c.
Before this it seems that they only had helms, war belts and weapons, but these bronze figures are misleading as we find shields, cuirasses and everything that can be used to defend yourself in their tombs.
It's the long-sought willing for Homerus' heroical fighting, but in my opinion we can't exclude that some of them went to battle almost naked.
Greetings,
Mauro.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by JAG on Sep 10th, 2014 at 1:37am
Oxnate asks "You've known a lot of historic warriors, have you?"

JAG Replies:

Did I claim to? Err.... No. I have however studied enough chinese martial arts to know that each is primarily a philosophy. The same is true of many other fighting systems.

I also have  military experience and am well aware of the importance of God to many in uniform.

Personally, God is pointless. Faith however is extremely powerful.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Sep 10th, 2014 at 4:26pm
I would agree with Mauro, in that the Greeks did strip to do hard manual work-- why not fighting, indeed ? John Boardman thinks so.

Greetings, Mauro. La nave va ?

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Oxnate on Sep 10th, 2014 at 8:04pm

JAG wrote on Sep 9th, 2014 at 4:59am:
I've often noted the complete lack of spiritual thought in the warriors  of history. The Chinese martial arts are renowned for it. ::)

As for naked men running around, well i can see the attraction :D



JAG wrote on Sep 10th, 2014 at 1:37am:
Oxnate asks "You've known a lot of historic warriors, have you?"

JAG Replies:

Did I claim to? Err.... No. I have however studied enough chinese martial arts to know that each is primarily a philosophy. The same is true of many other fighting systems.

I also have  military experience and am well aware of the importance of God to many in uniform.

Personally, God is pointless. Faith however is extremely powerful.


My point to your original point (copied above) is that warriors didn't tend to do much writing.  Less than philosophers at least, and very few works survive from anyone who wasn't a general or a king of some sort.

My other point was that since none of us were around back then, we don't know what the actual martial arts practiced back then looked like.  But an easy bet would be that they were far more practical and less philosophical/spiritual than today's martial arts.


It goes along with what Bill Skinner said:

Bill Skinner wrote on Sep 9th, 2014 at 8:18pm:
Most warriors in history were pretty much what we would refer to today as thugs.  Once they won, they got the bards to pretty up what they actually did. 

That's why you have the noble hero fighting the base churl. ;D


Knights back in the day were thugs, murderers, rapists, and worse.  "Chivalry" was added later to try and get those [not polite :-X]  people to shape up.  It was unlikely that it was any different in the East.  Philosophy and spiritualism were added to "enlighten" the thugs that were doing the fighting.  How much they really followed it back then is anyone's guess.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Mauro Fiorentini on Sep 10th, 2014 at 9:20pm
La nave va - we're heading for Portugal right now.

None of us were there in the ancient times, so we can only guess.
I suggest we can amplify our research by analyzing some present-day populations and cultures (let's read things anthropologically!).
While in the Philippines, I have seen two guys fighting each other totally naked except for a slip, they were wielding a whip and a wicker shield.
While in the Borneo jungle, I've seen Young men in a village dancing their war dance, they were naked except for a slip and were armed with a steel parang. They told me that in battle their ancestors (head hunters) used to wear a corset made of cork, which was able to stop the pins blown by the blowguns they used.

Checking African tribes could help, eg. let's analyze how the Masai went into battle against the English during their colonialist war.
Greetings,
Mauro.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Bill Skinner on Sep 10th, 2014 at 10:47pm
Not all warriors were thugs, nor were all soldiers noble defenders or mercenaries. 

Some were just people defending their homes.  They didn't consider themselves warriors or soldiers, they considered themselves citizens.




Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Mark-Harrop on Sep 11th, 2014 at 2:15am
There is a reason the anal sex is often referred to as "Greek"…

:o

From a Boardman book review about vase paintings: Tricks for studying vases are also included: one amusing example takes note of a vase that can be roughly dated because the names of its young lad models, some of whom grew up to be well-known citizens, are listed on it. ("They were only of interest to their aged fondlers while they were still boys," notes Boardman.)

:-?

Fighting naked can be a sign of faith in the magic protecting you. During the Liberian civil war there was a General named Butt Naked, who fought naked for this very reason.

Zulus thought their flimsy shields could stop bullets if they were dipped in water...

Real armor is more effective than magic though…at least in my experience.


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by JAG on Sep 11th, 2014 at 1:26pm

Oxnate wrote on Sep 10th, 2014 at 8:04pm:

JAG wrote on Sep 9th, 2014 at 4:59am:
I've often noted the complete lack of spiritual thought in the warriors  of history. The Chinese martial arts are renowned for it. ::)

As for naked men running around, well i can see the attraction :D



JAG wrote on Sep 10th, 2014 at 1:37am:
Oxnate asks "You've known a lot of historic warriors, have you?"

JAG Replies:

Did I claim to? Err.... No. I have however studied enough chinese martial arts to know that each is primarily a philosophy. The same is true of many other fighting systems.

I also have  military experience and am well aware of the importance of God to many in uniform.

Personally, God is pointless. Faith however is extremely powerful.


My point to your original point (copied above) is that warriors didn't tend to do much writing.  Less than philosophers at least, and very few works survive from anyone who wasn't a general or a king of some sort.


How can you say that warriors didn't tend to do much writing? Where is your evidence of that? Now it's true limited sources survive, but that does not mean that a conclusion such as yours can be drawn.


Oxnate wrote on Sep 10th, 2014 at 8:04pm:
My other point was that since none of us were around back then, we don't know what the actual martial arts practiced back then looked like.  But an easy bet would be that they were far more practical and less philosophical/spiritual than today's martial arts.


My experience is that all traditional chinese martial arts have become more practical and less spiritual since becoming open to the west. You should remember that up to the middle of the 20th Century such knowledge was denied to westerners for spiritual reasons. Yet, even today honoring the dojo and your opponent is customry prior to a fight.


Oxnate wrote on Sep 10th, 2014 at 8:04pm:
It goes along with what Bill Skinner said:

Bill Skinner wrote on Sep 9th, 2014 at 8:18pm:
Most warriors in history were pretty much what we would refer to today as thugs.  Once they won, they got the bards to pretty up what they actually did. 

That's why you have the noble hero fighting the base churl. ;D


Knights back in the day were thugs, murderers, rapists, and worse.  "Chivalry" was added later to try and get those [not polite :-X]  people to shape up.  It was unlikely that it was any different in the East.  Philosophy and spiritualism were added to "enlighten" the thugs that were doing the fighting.  How much they really followed it back then is anyone's guess.

Again that is a conclusion that just cannot be made. It goes against all knowledge that we have of the ancient warrior classes.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by JAG on Sep 11th, 2014 at 1:38pm

Mark-Harrop wrote on Sep 11th, 2014 at 2:15am:
There is a reason the anal sex is often referred to as "Greek"…

:o

From a Boardman book review about vase paintings: Tricks for studying vases are also included: one amusing example takes note of a vase that can be roughly dated because the names of its young lad models, some of whom grew up to be well-known citizens, are listed on it. ("They were only of interest to their aged fondlers while they were still boys," notes Boardman.)

:-?

Fighting naked can be a sign of faith in the magic protecting you. During the Liberian civil war there was a General named Butt Naked, who fought naked for this very reason.

Zulus thought their flimsy shields could stop bullets if they were dipped in water...

Real armor is more effective than magic though…at least in my experience.


I just knew you where the type of man who ran around naked with his rifle in his hand  ;D

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Bill Skinner on Sep 11th, 2014 at 1:51pm
You have to take all the older written records with a slight dose of salt. 

The fierce barbaric Norsemen were written about by mostly Irish Christian monks, who happened to be a favored target of said Norse when they went viking.

Roman accounts of the Huns that were burning down the countryside are also a little slanted.  And their accounts of Celts depended on whether the Celts were attacking them or defending against them.

Some were out and out thugs, some were, by the standards of the time, quite noble, but by our 21st century standards, still pretty brutal.

The spiritual side of the Eastern martial arts is there, just as it was in the Western, it's just that way too many people get their history lessons from movies and the movies don't mention the spiritual side in a Western film, mostly because the director didn't know it was there.  And if you look carefully, most of the sword fighting is Eastern, not Western, because very few people know what HEMA is.   

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Mark-Harrop on Sep 12th, 2014 at 3:22am
I've got the strongest magic…

Its a potent combination of training and experience that can't be duplicated by spells or incantations.

Kings pay handsomely for it…

Women swoon over it…

Young warriors try to emulate it…

….and it can be yours for $19.95

;)

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Oxnate on Sep 12th, 2014 at 8:00am

JAG wrote on Sep 11th, 2014 at 1:26pm:
How can you say that warriors didn't tend to do much writing? Where is your evidence of that? Now it's true limited sources survive, but that does not mean that a conclusion such as yours can be drawn.

Oxnate wrote on Sep 10th, 2014 at 8:04pm:
My other point was that since none of us were around back then, we don't know what the actual martial arts practiced back then looked like.  But an easy bet would be that they were far more practical and less philosophical/spiritual than today's martial arts.


My experience is that all traditional chinese martial arts have become more practical and less spiritual since becoming open to the west. You should remember that up to the middle of the 20th Century such knowledge was denied to westerners for spiritual reasons. Yet, even today honoring the dojo and your opponent is customry prior to a fight.



I say that because we not many writings survived.  If more had written, then it would be likely that more would have survived.

And you can't assume that ancient Chinese martial arts were anything like Chinese martial arts 50 years ago. That is a conclusion that just cannot be made. It goes against all knowledge that we have of history.



JAG wrote on Sep 11th, 2014 at 1:26pm:
Again that is a conclusion that just cannot be made. It goes against all knowledge that we have of the ancient warrior classes.


I think Bill Skinner said it better, "Some were just people..."

http://chivalrytoday.com/series/real-knights/ ; This article gives a fairly balanced look at knights and chivalry.  And I'd like to point out that: 
Quote:
In contrast, the unsavory image of the knight as an unscrupulous soldier seeking plunder and vengeance in the name of “honor” can be found in the pages of medieval chroniclers such as Matthew Paris and Froissart, in depictions of battle and tournament such as the Maciejowski Bible and the Manasseh Codex, and is reinforced by satirical authors of the period, including Dante and Cervantes.


Basically, the contemporary authors tended to depict them as thugs.  It wasn't until later that authors depicted them as 'noble'.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by JAG on Sep 12th, 2014 at 11:26am

Mark-Harrop wrote on Sep 12th, 2014 at 3:22am:
I've got the strongest magic…

Its a potent combination of training and experience that can't be duplicated by spells or incantations.

Kings pay handsomely for it…

Women swoon over it…

Young warriors try to emulate it…

….and it can be yours for $19.95

;)


£12.29 !!! Christ you're cheap  ;D

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Dec 30th, 2014 at 7:52pm
Just for completeness' sake: here's an image (perhaps ca. 550 BCE, a hundred years before the cup by Makron) showing a slinger with a basket or bag of stones on his left arm (Munich, Antikensammlung 340267). Posted elsewhere, but also belongs to this thread.
cc001001_jpe_002.jpeg (30 KB | 99 )

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Mar 3rd, 2016 at 8:04am

This video of C_A reminds me of these ancient pictures where the body seems to be facing away from the target:

https://youtu.be/RbajU0mr3Kw

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Mar 3rd, 2016 at 12:48pm
Yes, and very typical of the "Makron" style is that the rear foot changes orientation, rotating towards the target, upon release. It's smoothly done (you can also spin on the front foot rather than taking a step).

Edit: if you wanted it to be full Makron style, the slinger should look towards the target with his head, while turning away from the target with his body. This introduces an element of torque, which, upon unspooling, ensures dynamism and alignment in the release.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by HuntsmanSling on Mar 5th, 2016 at 1:54am
I see a naked guy chasing another guy with a purse. Are you sure that isn't a modern image?  ;D

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Mar 5th, 2016 at 2:16am
Look at the picture on the cup on page 1 of this thread. There are others. Power shoot: turn body away from direction of target but keep looking at target.

The picture you refer to illustrates not the "Makron" style torque in the body, but the use of a "man-purse" to store stones.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by HuntsmanSling on Mar 5th, 2016 at 3:03am
Ya I saw it, but I'm not sure which man purse is more stylish. What do you think Theoros?  ;D

But in all seriousness,

In regards to the image on page one that you're referring to; I think the rear outward pointed foot of the figure might have been specifically drawn to aesthetically fit the circle in which the illustrator wanted to properly depict the image in an artistic manner. This means the image may have nothing to do with a "Macron" throwing style.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by curious_aardvark on Mar 5th, 2016 at 11:06am
most of the depictions of slingers are done from models not actual slingers.

So any actual extrapolated slinging style is pretty much just wild guessing.

Although david's volunteered to go that one step further in carteheina (or however it's spelt) next year. And as well as wearing the bare legged costume he's going to do a naked battle charge wearing nothing but  a hat :-)

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Mar 5th, 2016 at 6:24pm
Huntsman: what I am saying is that if you sling with the right foot pointing away from the target, the left foot perpendicular, you get extra torque in the shot. Try it-- it works quite well. This position is also available in Italian longsword ("posta di donna").

It's mildly amusing that, as Morningstar points out, Mr Aardvark *naturally adopts this exact position for power shots*, but then says that *this exact position* is fanciful, at the very moment he is proving *with his own slinging* that it's a realistic position !

This is, by the way, how I shoot when I want extra power (and extra accuracy). It does put stress on the elbow so after a few shots I revert to less torqued up starting position.
left-donna.jpg (42 KB | 54 )

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by HuntsmanSling on Mar 6th, 2016 at 1:45am
I watched CA's vid that David Morningstar posted & his foot is not facing away from the target as seen in the pottery depiction. Rather, his face is looking back and his foot is similar to a Balearic foot position as seen with my own Balearic video.

I will continue to do more testing however because you may be on to something ;)

Thanks Theoros for your continual exploration of slinging styles!

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Mar 6th, 2016 at 3:02am
You're right, his right foot should point further back for the full on Makron. But it is already pointing well away from the target-- i.e. on a 180 degree scale, a full half circle, if 0 degree is pointing at the degree, 90 degrees perpendicular to the target (which most people do), his right foot is at something like 115-120 degrees. Which is almost Makron-like-- except he doesn't know how to keep looking towards the target even when turning away from it: that's what ensures the whip-like uncoiling during the shot.

Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by David Morningstar on Mar 7th, 2016 at 12:48pm
Here is Jaegoor showing two reverse steps and a half turn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arsckxqjGfY

C_A again, showing that almost reversed strong side foot: https://goo.gl/photos/HSAkDryF7UcQf4u79

Hector's power style is one of the most interesting to me, he moves like a Knight in chess :) His starting position is identical to the one he would use if he were slinging at a target along the direction of the path, but then he sidesteps and turns through 90 degrees to throw.

https://goo.gl/photos/nMa9uoPtBcFqZsSF9


Title: Re: Makron cup (ca. 490)
Post by Thearos on Mar 7th, 2016 at 3:41pm
I think Hector over-compensates a bit to his left during release, but it's very nice style

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