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Slings in Irish legend (Read 14057 times)
David Morningstar
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Slings in Irish legend
Mar 28th, 2009 at 11:23am
 
http://ftp.fortunaty.net/text/sacred-texts/neu/celt/mlcr/mlcr05.htm

Do a Ctrl-F seach on this page for all the many sling references. I particularly like this one:

"The tale of the death of Queen Maev is also preserved by Keating. Fergus mac Roy having been slain by Ailell with a cast of a spear as he bathed in a lake with Maev, and Ailell having been slain by Conall, Macv retired to an island on Loch Ryve, where she was wont to bathe early every morning in a pool near to the landing place.

Forbay son of Conor mac Nessa, having discovered this habit of the queen's, found means one day to go unperceived to the pool and to measure the distance from it to the shore of the mainland. Then he went back to Emania,where he measured out the distance thus obtained, and placing an apple on a pole at one end he shot at it continually with a sling until he grew so good a marksman at that distance that he never missed his aim.

Then one day, watching his opportunity by the shores of Loch Ryve, he saw Maev enter the water, and putting a bullet in his sling he shot at her with so good an aim that he smote her in the centre of the forehead and she fell dead."
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Thearos
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #1 - Mar 30th, 2009 at 10:21pm
 
One of these legends (Cuchulain killing the giant with a sling) might be represented in the French graphic novel Bran Ruz (Auclair and Deschamps)
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #2 - Apr 1st, 2009 at 4:23pm
 
The Irish seem to be the one group of people who seem to love slings. Al the heroes were trained in and carried slings. Stories of slinging in chariots  are in the Tain.
  I really don't give credence to the tathlum though. These were supposed to be sling ammo made by soaking the brains of your enemies in lime. What would happen is that they would shrink and harden to s stone like consistency.
  There is one story of a Fergus who got hit in the head with a tathlum so hard it got stuck, and could not be removed. For the rest of his life he has to live with it.
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #3 - Aug 4th, 2009 at 7:53am
 
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #4 - Jul 9th, 2011 at 7:03pm
 
Hello

I am very interested in which type of sling was used in times of Cuchulainn and Conchobar.

Is there archeologycal remains?

I think that like Celts love braided motifs and interlace decoration, perhaps their slings ("thabaill" in Old Irish) were similar to the ones used in Spain.

Greetings
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #5 - Jul 9th, 2011 at 7:14pm
 
Two examples of today Spanish slings. Perhaps the slings used by the Irish warriors in the Táin Bó Cúailnge were quite similar.

...

...

Best regards.

...
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #6 - Jul 9th, 2011 at 8:20pm
 
At the archeological site in New Grange there are many small round balls which are not identified but sure look like sling ammo to me.
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #7 - Jul 11th, 2011 at 8:23am
 
Hello Bigkahuna

I read that the British isles are covered of ancient sling projectiles. But I never find something about the type of slings used.

Greetings.
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #8 - Jul 11th, 2011 at 1:12pm
 
I read The Tain some years ago, and I remember the part that really stuck in my head was when Cu Chulainn was stalking Queen Maev's army and picking soldiers off in the dead of night with pinpoint accuracy even though the army had extinguished all their fires.  No one, including me, had any idea how he was doing it, and later in the book when his friend questioned him about it, he responded "No mortal can extinguish the stars." (or something to the effect, I didn't look up the exact quote).  He had been hiding in low ground and picking off soldiers when they were silhouetted against the stars!  Myth or not, that bit inspired me as much as anything has.

Also there was a bit at the beginning, when Cu Chulainn started teaching himself to fight (he was crazy young, seven I think) he insisted that he learn all weapons.  He was discouraged from using the sling, as it was not a weapon worthy of his rank, but he used it anyway insisting that it took skill to sling and that he wanted to be able to use every weapon.  There were certainly some who looked down their noses at slings, but perhaps not so much as elsewhere.

I also remember seeing an illustration of Cu Chulainn using a sling with a netted pouch, but I think the drawing was modern, so there’s not telling if its accurate or not.
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #9 - Jul 19th, 2011 at 7:56am
 
Hello

I remember the death of Foill, one of the sons of Nechtan.

http://seanchaidh.tripod.com/cuchulain.htm

This time Cuchulainn used an iron ball in his sling, so this make me thing that the sling wouldn't be a simple strap of leather pouch with two thong attached, because a ball falls easily when hurling if the pouch hasn't a slit.

I think that when the ancient Irish warriors deserve a high position to this weapon it cannot be a simple strap with two tongs. I think that it construction must be much elaborated, such braided or knitted.

But it is only my thought, I have no actual evidence.

Best regards.
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #10 - Jul 24th, 2011 at 10:39pm
 
was browsing the local bookshop and came across this title; first page I opened to metioned slings!
the universe does indeed work in mysterious ways  Wink

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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #11 - Jul 24th, 2011 at 10:40pm
 
the text:
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_Orta recens quam pura nites_

some people are like Slinkies
     not really good for anything
        but they still bring a smile to your face
           when you push them down a flight of stairs


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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #12 - Jul 25th, 2011 at 6:26am
 
In the "Heroic Age" that the Tain is set in, all the Irish warriors had at least some training  with the sling.
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The greatest of all the accomplishments of 20th cent. science has been the discovery of human ignorance  The main difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits.-Einstein   I'm getting psychic as I get older. Or is that psychotic?
 
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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #13 - Aug 1st, 2011 at 9:21am
 
Hello I don't remember what I was looking for, but a few days ago I found this.

Quote:
Fuera de Baleares, la historia moderna de la honda es similar. Se ha venido utilizando principalmente por los pastores hasta comienzos de este siglo. En las sierras del Sistema Central, principalmente en las de Gredos, Gata y Peña de Francia, se han empleado hondas confeccionadas en tira de cuero hasta mitad del siglo XX, como probablemente eran las hondas de los pastores celtas españoles de otros tiempos que habitaban en estas sierras.

http://perso.wanadoo.es/hondero/NUESTROSDIASe.pdf


Out from Balearic Islands, the modern history of the sling is similar. It was used mainly by the shepherds until the beginning of this Century. In the highlands of the Sistema Central (Central Mountain Range), mainly in the ones of Gredos, Gata and Peña de Francia, there were used slings made of leather strip until the middle 20th Century, as likely were the slings of the Spanish Celts from other times that inhabited this highlands.

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Re: Slings in Irish legend
Reply #14 - Sep 12th, 2011 at 12:32pm
 
Not from that time period. However in the early Medieval Period, there were 3 leather artifacts excavated in Dublin.
If i don't get more information posted in a couple of days Slingbadger can also give the information.

Marc Adkins

thabaill wrote on Jul 9th, 2011 at 7:03pm:
Hello

I am very interested in which type of sling was used in times of Cuchulainn and Conchobar.

Is there archeologycal remains?

I think that like Celts love braided motifs and interlace decoration, perhaps their slings ("thabaill" in Old Irish) were similar to the ones used in Spain.

Greetings

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