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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
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Message started by TheArchaicPeltast on Jan 20th, 2018 at 4:01am

Title: History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
Post by TheArchaicPeltast on Jan 20th, 2018 at 4:01am
Hi Everyone!
I've always had a few questions about the history of slinging in the Balearic Islands after Rome:
How frequently were they used as auxillaries in the Roman Empire?
Was slinging practiced there since antiquity? or was is revived much like HEMA?
I also saw Hondero's post somewhere about the modern Balearic sling possibly being different from what they used in the past.
Reading the original text only seems to complicate things given how vague they are.
Was wondering if anyone knew.
Thanks!
-Alex

Title: Re: History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
Post by Thearos on Jan 20th, 2018 at 11:48am
-Balearic auxiliaries appear in Caesar's book on his Gallic war (Book 2, chap. 17), and I think in other documents under the Roman Republic

-there is no evidence for Balearic slingers used during the Roman empire (no "cohors funditorum Balearum", whereas there are plenty of cohorts of archers). Rather, it seems that legionaries and auxiliaries all knew how to sling and to use the staff sling. (evidence: Hadrian's speech to the troops at Lambaesis; Vegetius; accounts in Tacitus menting "libratores" who might be legionaries on staff slinging duty in the skirmish line)

Title: Re: History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
Post by TheArchaicPeltast on Jan 21st, 2018 at 1:28am
Darn! Was hoping the figures on Trajan's column might've revealed something.
But thanks!

Title: Re: History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:52am
Luis 'Balearic Slinger' is the man to talk to. Huge knowlege of historical slinging in the balearic islnds.

He keeps coming out with stuff at the internationals.

The slings are most likely not different - but historically they carried slings of different lengths. These days the typical balearic sling is somewhere between 20-24 inches.

There is probably a good bit of useful history on the balearic slinging federation's website - I don't speak spanish.
But google translate can do reasonable job on copy and past.

Given how many statues there are on mallorca I would have to say that it never died out, but gradually turned into the sport it is today.
No doubt at times there were very few slingers left - and today one of the big problems is recruiting new slingers.

One of my favourite parts of the international is going round the schools, teaching kids to sling.

Title: Re: History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
Post by Thearos on Jan 21st, 2018 at 9:10pm
The figures on Trajan's Column have been identified by some as Baleares, but others think they're more likely to be "numeri", i.e. local auxiliaries.

Title: Re: History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
Post by TheArchaicPeltast on Jan 22nd, 2018 at 7:58am
Seeing Luis on TV is one of the reasons I became interested in slinging! I didn't know Balearic slingers were still around until then.

Thearos wrote on Jan 21st, 2018 at 9:10pm:
The figures on Trajan's Column have been identified by some as Baleares, but others think they're more likely to be "numeri", i.e. local auxiliaries.

Yeah, that's what I thought at first, but couldn't find any evidence for it


Curious Aardvark wrote on Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:52am:
The slings are most likely not different - but historically they carried slings of different lengths.

I think Livy or Polybius gives scant descriptions of "single strap" slings the Balearics used, and in another post, Hondero mentioned something about the Balearic sling we know today as something brought over from Spain by basket weavers... but who knows.
I read a post by Luis a long time ago about 2 lengths of sling they still use today. Got to do more digging!

Title: Re: History of slinging in the Balearic Islands post-Roman conquest... ?
Post by TheArchaicPeltast on Jan 22nd, 2018 at 8:00am

Curious Aardvark wrote on Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:52am:
One of my favourite parts of the international is going round the schools, teaching kids to sling.

Amen! Keeping the tradition alive!

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