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How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army? (Read 19773 times)
TheAznValedictorian
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How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Feb 22nd, 2010 at 3:08pm
 
To be more specific, during the 3rd Century C.E.

Most of the reliable people that I have talked to thinks that there weren't that many. Also, if I remember correctly, I have heard somewhere that there was only 1 independent unit of slingers.

However, I needed a more concise and accurate answers. What are your opinions on the total number of slingers? If possible, can you also provide the academic sources?

Thank you
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David Morningstar
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #1 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 7:25pm
 
Its going to be all but impossible to answer that question, unfortunately. Slingers were most  often auxiliaries i.e. mercenaries and werent part of the formal legion structure. They could be poor quality local bodies recruited cheaply or more expensive reputable companies like the Balearic slingers. Unless it is directly mentioned that such-and-such an army had 'x' hundred slingers then you are into the realms of guesswork.
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Thearos
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #2 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 8:11pm
 
In C3rd AD, or even earlier, the Roman army is pretty formalized-- i.e. with units, be it legionary or auxiliary (on which I suppose there is an article in the Pauly Wissowa encyclopaedia s.v. "Auxilia")-- so it's probably possible to see if there are any full time units of slingers (as opposed to archers, or cavalry, or just spear and shield grunts). But true that in campaigns, you might have the allies and local levies-- the slingers (and clubmen) on Trajan's column are an example
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #3 - Feb 23rd, 2010 at 5:25am
 
I also think it is quite impossible to quantify. There must be big differences in the levies of troops in the different wars which took place in the 3rd century (esp. against Pyrrhus, and then against the Carthaginians in the 1st and even more in the 2nd Punic War), and the possibilities for Rome to recruit slingers at all.

As the Balearic Islands were in Carthaginian hands until the end of the century, Rome probably had no access to the mercenaries there, but maybe to Rhodian or Cretan slingers, apart from the slinging auxilia they could raise in Italy itself.

I would say that they generally used a smaller number of slingers than in later centuries, but that is just a guess. Undecided
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #4 - May 16th, 2010 at 11:59pm
 
i wonder how powerful a sling was against roman personal.
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #5 - May 17th, 2010 at 7:59am
 
Powerful enough that specific medical instructions were written for the removal of sling projectiles.
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #6 - May 17th, 2010 at 1:20pm
 
and special sling bulet removal tools made too Smiley
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Centrifugal Sin
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #7 - May 17th, 2010 at 7:30pm
 
I'd bet a good 300,000 shepherds over the imperial age of Rome were lucky enough to set out on the trip of a lifetime.
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #8 - May 18th, 2010 at 2:37am
 
Centrifugal Sin wrote on May 17th, 2010 at 7:30pm:
I'd bet a good 300,000 shepherds over the imperial age of Rome were lucky enough to set out on the trip of a lifetime.


Quite often a nice one-way trip
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #9 - Jul 25th, 2010 at 2:31am
 
I once asked a local roman reenactment group this question, and they said that it was not uncommon for there to be as many slingers as archers. Mainly for strategic reasons. While the enemy raised thier shileds to block the incoming arrows the slingers would aim for their exposed chests or heads.
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #10 - Jul 25th, 2010 at 6:43am
 
Slingers occupied the lowest tier of the Roman army, so were rarely written about.
The mercenaries got more press
Battle of Ekonomos, book XIX
  But when Hamilcar saw that his men were being overpowered, and that the Greeks in constantly increasing numbers were making their way to camp, he brought up slingers, who came from the Balearic Isles, and numbered at least 1000
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #11 - Jul 26th, 2010 at 1:38pm
 
In Parziwal of Wolfram von Eschenbach, Slinger are mentioned as a special weapon type.

Ash brook writes: her number was big and they were feared on all battlefields.


In an other work of ash brook he mentions like the woman of the count Willehalm with her virgins by this fling from stones, to many moors then death brought.

So the Sling not only a weapon of farmers.

The book is called will stalk.

Full of suspense also, because ash brook in in the book battles themselves described joined in the struggle.

It is an eyewitness report
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #12 - Jul 29th, 2010 at 10:14am
 
Atlum wrote on Jul 25th, 2010 at 2:31am:
I once asked a local roman reenactment group this question, and they said that it was not uncommon for there to be as many slingers as archers. Mainly for strategic reasons. While the enemy raised thier shileds to block the incoming arrows the slingers would aim for their exposed chests or heads.

Hm, IŽd say the other way round would be more logical.
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #13 - Jul 30th, 2010 at 11:06am
 
Quote:
Atlum wrote on Jul 25th, 2010 at 2:31am:
I once asked a local roman reenactment group this question, and they said that it was not uncommon for there to be as many slingers as archers. Mainly for strategic reasons. While the enemy raised thier shileds to block the incoming arrows the slingers would aim for their exposed chests or heads.

Hm, IŽd say the other way round would be more logical.


You have to remember that you can see an arrow in flight and not a sling bullet. Part of an arrow vollies effectivness is the terror it induces in the recieving side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKFNmtrN3K8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWyFWFJ0Ywk

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kuggur slingdog
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Re: How Many Slingers Were In the Roman Army?
Reply #14 - Jul 31st, 2010 at 10:30am
 
You think you can see an arrow coming at you at a flat trajectory better than a gland? IŽd say there is very little difference.
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