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Historical Use of the Fustibalus (Read 4180 times)
Eleatic Guest
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Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Apr 23rd, 2006 at 1:16pm
 
Hello,

when did the Romans - and other peoples - start using the sling-staff?

I know, late Roman writer Vegetius mentions the fustibalus, but was the weapon already in use in Republican times?

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Zwiebeltuete
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Re: Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Reply #1 - Apr 24th, 2006 at 7:02am
 
About Roman use of the staff sling only very little is known. I know of no depiction of that weapon from Roman times and Vegetius is one of the few sources.

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Leeds_Lobber
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Re: Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Reply #2 - Apr 24th, 2006 at 10:10am
 
I have posted this question on Andmed and TMP. They are stuffed full of historical know-it-alls, and we will get an answer either way.

Me, I am not aware of any at all. The sling was the sort of weapon you can teach a legionary to use, a bit,  so that if he is ever in a situation where it's useful he can use one. - supplying mased fire during a siege, sorta stuff. Its the same as the fact Legionaries were taught to ride a horse, and to swim - not so they could serve as cavalry or as aquatic troops, but as it is the sort of thing that comes in handy when Gais Gruntius had to swim a river with a message or ride a message to HQ.  But the Fustibalus is a bit of a specialist weapon, that the legionary wouldn't be carrying round in his pack with his socks....

Pat
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Leeds_Lobber
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Re: Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Reply #3 - Apr 25th, 2006 at 5:10am
 
Answer is no, nobody can find any reference to the Fustibalus before Vegetius mentions it.

Pat
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Eleatic Guest
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Re: Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Reply #4 - Apr 25th, 2006 at 6:11am
 
Quote:
Answer is no, nobody can find any reference to the Fustibalus before Vegetius mentions it.

Pat


Not even in other cultures?

Thanks for the answers.
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Leeds_Lobber
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Re: Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Reply #5 - Apr 27th, 2006 at 6:58am
 
Oh, in other cultures - well, it was used by the Hellenistic successors to Alexander the Great quite a bit.

Prior to that I know not a lot, though i have always thoght the great big rocks found at Lachish were just TOO BIG to sling by hand, and may well be evidence for the use of staff slings by the Assyrians. They are the size of grapefruit, imagine how tired your wrist wouyld get after a while!

The 'Romans' (ie the citizens of Rome) started out with a typical 'city-state' army - if you were rich you rode a horse. If you were well-off you wore the armour and weapons you could afford, and grouped with the people that could afford the same sort of armour. The very poor were equipped as slingers and javelin-men.

Later, as the city grew in power the Romans become more and more Heavy Infantry only - the Legionary.

Cavalry, archers, slingers, etc etc were no longer Roman, but obtained from allied states as part of the treaty, or as Mercenaries from foreign powers.

I would not be surprised to learn that among those mercs were Staff-Slingers from Greece and the Hellenistic parts of Asia, they just never got mentioned by any Roman Author we can find.

Sorry for being so little help!

Pat
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Eleatic Guest
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Re: Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Reply #6 - Apr 27th, 2006 at 10:19am
 
Quote:
.

Sorry for being so little help!

Pat


Not at all, that was a very useful piece of info to me!

Do you have by chance a literary reference to the existence of staff slings with the Greeks?

I mean, I dont want to sound bold, but if the Greeks made use of the fustibalus, then we can assume that they have been employed in the Roman army too, if only by auxiliaries or allies without Roman citizenship. After all, which Greek weapon wasnt used by or known to the Romans? None I can think of.


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Leeds_Lobber
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Re: Historical Use of the Fustibalus
Reply #7 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 5:30am
 
y'know, I am having trouble finding a single reference??? ???

However i KNOW they were used, 'cos my Warhammer Ancients Seleucid army can have them  Grin. I will try to speak to the author and get his refs.

I am on holiday this weekend and so will spend it browsing the ancient texts on line.

Pat
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