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Irish slingers? (Read 1673 times)
Drakolith
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Irish slingers?
Jun 24th, 2018 at 2:21pm
 
So I was on YouTube today and stumbled upon a channel that talks about folklore, so I watched a few videos and cake to one on Irish myths. One god mentioned, Lugh, apparently used a sling. Also I remember a story of Irish, or at least I think it was Irish, slingers taking the brains of powerful warriors and mixing them with a concrete like substance to make brain ball sling ammo. Is this true or is my mind making things up?
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Kick
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #1 - Jun 24th, 2018 at 3:01pm
 
I swear I've heard the brain ball sling ammo story as well. I don't think it was from this forum either... This needs more research.
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #2 - Jun 24th, 2018 at 3:07pm
 
I found this from the forum:

http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1224929431

This from a book on Irish history:

https://books.google.fi/books?id=7LoKAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA381&lpg=PA381&dq=irish+sling+
brains&source=bl&ots=BdX_eumNI8&sig=j25nPWdKapilS2aRAk5wJtONAsM&hl=fi&sa=X&ved=0
ahUKEwjyzJut_uzbAhXKFiwKHZAnAR8Q6AEISzAF#v=onepage&q=irish%20sling%20brains&f=fa
lse

And this but to read it you have to open an account:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/25531148?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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Kick
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #3 - Jun 24th, 2018 at 3:12pm
 
The more I Google around the more it seems that this idea comes from the book linked above A Complete History of Ireland by Geoffrey Keating. I haven't read through the section fully yet so maybe their will be some reference to the story elsewhere.
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Kick
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #4 - Jun 24th, 2018 at 3:22pm
 
He actually has a Wikipedia page which I didn't expect:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Keating

I think going from this page about him and what I read in the book... It's not exactly... concrete historical evidence. It all reads as quite legendary and they have a whiff of fairy tale about them. I wouldn't be surprised if it happened as part of a ritual/magical/intimidation practice but I doubt it was common practice. For one, actually getting hold of the brains of an enemy would be a lot of work.
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #5 - Jun 24th, 2018 at 3:26pm
 
I know I'm just adding comment after comment but I thought this was very interesting. A mythic story of the arrival of the "True Irish" in Ireland from Spain makes up a large part of the basis of the book and is actually really interesting:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milesians_(Irish)

Here is how it relates to the book:

Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn (written c.1634) used the myth to promote the legitimacy of the Stuart claim to royal authority in Ireland (related to the origin of the Lia Fáil), demonstrating that Charles I was descended, through Brian Boru, Éber and Galamh, from Noah and, ultimately, from Adam.[16] In the early modern period many Irishmen and women fled to Spain as a result of political and military turmoil in their homeland. The belief that the Gaelic Irish were descended from Míl Espáine and his Spanish followers was current in Spain as well as Ireland, and as a result the Irish in Spain were given all the rights and privileges due to Spanish subjects
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #6 - Jun 24th, 2018 at 10:07pm
 
Ok, I started looking at the chemistry of brain tanning to see if there might be any clues for why brains would enhance a cement. One of the main components that helps with tanning is lecithin. It acts as an emulsifier which might allow the cement to mix more evenly which would result in uniform curing. Another possibility is that there are enzymes that help with the curing process similar to how adobe is sometimes made with blood or petroleum products. Those are just guesses though.
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #7 - Jun 24th, 2018 at 10:12pm
 
And the first reference I found on emulsifier use in cement:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950061813003851
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“My final hour is at hand. We face an enemy more numerous and cunning than the world has yet seen. Remember your training, and do not fear the hordes of Judas. I, without sin, shall cast the first stone. That will be your sign to attack! But you shall not fight this unholy enemy with stones. No! RAZOR GLANDES!  Aim for the eyes! May the Lord have mercy, for we shall show none!“  -Jesus the Noodler
 
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #8 - Jun 25th, 2018 at 6:35am
 
Gerald of Wales mentions the Irish use of the sling in battle. In the Expungnation Hibernica, or Conquest of Ireland (1169 A.D.) Robert Strongbow has to face them
  "Robert,  with his men, went strongly to assail town, and set bowmen to war to fight of the battlements, and harried the weaponed men who filled the ditches, they defended them with sling and stake."
  Also, there were 3 sling pouches found in the Fishamble street digs in Dublin. They are  very similar in design to others found around Europe. However, not all the historians are convinced they are slings.
  As for the brain balls (tathlum). I personally am not convinced they existed. You have to look at who was writing about them. Generally, not the Irish, but their enemies. There was a lot of propaganda flying around. Gerald of Wales said that Irish women had beards and the men were basically goatmen.
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #9 - Jun 25th, 2018 at 11:49pm
 
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #10 - Jun 26th, 2018 at 6:57am
 
ireland is also one of the few places where slings were included in the grave goods of chieftains.
Possibly indicating they were given a bit more respect there than elsewehere.

And this was even before they had unlimited potatos as ammo !
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Drakolith
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #11 - Jun 26th, 2018 at 1:43pm
 
This is all very interesting, as for why brain would be used, I seem to remember wherever I saw this brain ball / tathlum stuff said that it was due to the brain being dense? Not sure if that’s true though.
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Re: Irish slingers?
Reply #12 - Jun 27th, 2018 at 7:06am
 
The brain in the skull has the consistency of jello. You could easily put your fingers right through it.  Like all mammals,it also contains small amounts of tannic acid. it would have to be extracted and handled very carefully it make anything with it.
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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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