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Pics of ancient slingers (Read 68722 times)
ShuKoon Deda
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #75 - Dec 18th, 2009 at 10:24pm
 
The sling has larger range then the bow (not including the english longbow and the composite bow) and so the slingers could take out the archers that have no shield and little armor.
That sounds more reasonable then taking out other skirmishers.
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #76 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 12:36am
 
Thanks Fundibularis

Marc Adkins

Fundibularius wrote on Dec 18th, 2009 at 4:38am:
I finally found the original source. The harrowing illustration is from the Luttrell Psalter (ca. AD 1330). It is now in the British Library, signature MS 42130.


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Thearos
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #77 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 6:04am
 
DM: interesting to know it's easy to sling with a shield.

But how many images do we have of shielded slingers ? Granted that we don't have many images of slingers to start with. The Assyrian slingers on palace reliefs are armoures and helmeted, but not shielded (they're protected by siegeworks). The Early Greek images (Myk, rhyton, Geometric pottery) are not shielded. The Makron cup shows up a non-shielded guy (albeit within arrow range), the cup with a slinger in a soft cap shows an animal hide used as makeshift shield (the same practice appears for a stone-thrower on a cup with an archer on the back; N. Sekunda's discussed it a few times, e.g. in his book on the "The Greeks" in the Osprey Elite series). Roman: on Trajan's column, one slinger is shieldless (and has his stones in a fold of his cloak), one is shielded (with a single grip shield). Mediaeval: I don't know the stuff, but Jaegoor's been posting pic's of shielded slingers). Which is how we started.

Two remarks:

1. With a shield strapped to arm, can you do the "aiming" thing which is the starting point for at least some ancient styles, i.e. left hand with pouch held by arm stretched out full length towards target, right arm cocked next to head with fighers facing upwards ? No doubt you can, but the shield may interfere with position or sighting ?

2. In a skirmish line, perhaps the protection for the slinger is range and dispersion-- and running away.



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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #78 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 11:06am
 
Hi Leuts,

the answer to the question if slingers wore a shield in combat or not may depend on how they were used. A few possibilities:


1. Slingers are standing behind friendly lines and open fire from the cover. With a special sling - with a "splitted letter" -  they can shoot half-ballistically so their shots fall almost vertically from the sky. At the moment when the enemy shields are lifted for protection, archers start shooting at them from the flanks. Only now the infantry and the cavalry start their attack.

2. Slingers are being used as skirmishers. This means they keep enemy forces pinned and occupied. It is mostly done as a protection of the flanks or in front of the actual line. In these cases, a shield would be recommended. Mostly, skirmishers like these carry a short sword to fight hand to hand, if necessary; they are, however, usually vanquished in cases like this. Their strength lies in swift hit-and-run-tactics.

3. Slingers are used as “sniper teams”. They act in small groups which specifically aim at enemy officers and other leaders. They usually act surprisingly, shoot at their targets and disappear as fast as possible. In case of a pursuit by the enemy, they get cover from friendly archers (which may be mounted). The use of light cavalry would also be possible. The teams serve the purpose of macerating the enemy front line. The adversary is supposed to get weakened by and by.

4. Slingers are being used specifically against archers and javeliners. This is done in a loose formation so enemy strafing with arrows cannot unfold its full effect.  In a case like this, slingers would also need a shield as protection. Slingers have great advantages in comparison with archers. They can use all kinds of ammunition, from lead shot to incendiaries to quick lime, combined with caltrops. Soon as the enemy archers are pinned by them, the own infantry or cavalry can advance more easily as they are not (or less likely) being hit by adversary projectiles.
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Jaegoor
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #79 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 12:12pm
 
Here is my "battle Shield".

It is postformed to the Shield from the Mac Bible.
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Jaegoor
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #80 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 12:14pm
 
From the back
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #81 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 1:39pm
 
A beauty. But no slinging with that on your left fist...


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Jaegoor
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #82 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 1:57pm
 
Hi Thearos!

Well, yes, it works quite well... as many german reenactor-"heroes" had to experience.
To bind a shield to your arm is to bind yourself. It keeps one from using the shield active in close combat.
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #83 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 4:24pm
 
How do you reload if your left hand is gripping a single grip shield ?

Most of the mediaeval images show shielded slingers in the context of siege fighting. One, in a related thread, shows a C15th ms. with a shielded slinger skirmishing against archers (battle of Najera, described by Froissart-- I assume this is Du Guesclin's Spanish foray, with a desciption of slings in Froissart's narrative ?).

So: more visual, or even textual sources, for shielded slingers ? Otherwise, I would propose the hypothesis that it reflects the particular conditions, and dangers, of siege warfare-- concentration of men in small space, no space for the usual manoeuver and evasive moves of the skirmish line.
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #84 - Dec 19th, 2009 at 11:45pm
 
The concept of standardization was not a part of ancient armies, and each piece of kit varied some from person to person. I'd imagine personal wealth (pastoralists might have hide shields, etc.) and opportunism might be important factors, too. If I found a dead skirmisher from the other side with a wicker shield laying buy him, I'd take it!
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Pikåru wrote on Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:59pm:
Massi - WTF? It's called a sling. You use it to throw rocks farther and faster than you could otherwise. That's all. 
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #85 - Dec 26th, 2009 at 7:33pm
 
Hi Leuts,

Here a picture of a Slinger in underpants
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #86 - Dec 26th, 2009 at 7:44pm
 
I interpredate the grasp as a retention Toggle
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #87 - Dec 27th, 2009 at 5:14pm
 

I dont have a single grip shield available but I tried reloading while holding a Stanley knife in my left hand, it was only slightly more difficult than with a free hand. I was surprised! Slinging with a single grip shield must be possible...
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #88 - Dec 27th, 2009 at 8:19pm
 
Wow. What's the sequence of gestures ?
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Re: Pics of ancient slingers
Reply #89 - Dec 28th, 2009 at 11:01am
 
Jaegoor wrote on Dec 26th, 2009 at 7:33pm:
Hi Leuts,

Here a picture of a Slinger in underpants


Another interesting find, Jaegoor. The medieval version of bermuda shorts, ideal for going out to hunt magpies in a hot summer.  Wink

I wonder if the outstretched hand and finger are the same thing some of us (including me) do when they "point" towards the target with the unarmed hand before the throw. Or do they point at the "B" of "Beatus" only?
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