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discuss the discus (Read 207 times)
Curious Aardvark
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discuss the discus
Oct 13th, 2019 at 12:26pm
 
lol
I was watching the world athletics chamopionshipd the other day and saw the discuss competition.
And it got me thinking that ALL the field throwing events were originally weapons.

And some of them have real range. The modern Hammer can go out to 80-90 metres. Just a big ball on a chain. That sucker would take out a mounted knight in full armiour without breaking sweat.

The discuss a flat 4lb disc, that could be effective out to 60 meteres or so. Would also take out anything it hit.

These weapons appear to have been forgotten bu history, and certainly never looked at by hollywood.

It occurs to me that slings would be doubly effective as no one with any sense would have wanted to get within 50 metres of a greek army using the traditional 'field' weapons. 

If everyone had one discus and one hammer that 100-0 metre, engagement zone would have been totally lethal !

They'd propbably all prefer to stay back a bit, stick their shields over their heads and let the slingers battler it out. Smiley
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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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Kick
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #1 - Oct 13th, 2019 at 1:04pm
 
I think one problem is that you would need a lot of space around each soldier to effectively throw those more unusual weapons. Even with a sling you could have fairly tight formations with short slings and well-trained soldiers. Not so easy with hammer and discus throwers. Obviously that isn't the only thing to be looked at when it comes to distance weapons. I think the material costs would be another factor. Multiple 4lb disks would be quite a lot of (presumably) metal to throw away and then actually carrying them to the battle would get interesting logistically.
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Morphy
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #2 - Oct 13th, 2019 at 1:48pm
 
Weird. For some reason I've always just accepted they did they discus and hammer throw but never thought about the military implications.

Do we actually have historical documents talking about them using discus in war?
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #3 - Oct 13th, 2019 at 2:38pm
 
Closest thing I can think of is the chakram but that's used completely differently.
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #4 - Oct 14th, 2019 at 9:56am
 
chackram is very lightweight.

Theoros might know. But the olympiucs was originally based around skills of war.

Even the decathaletes can get a javelin out to 50-70 metres.

As far as cost in materials - whoever wins gets all their weapons back, as well as their opponents. Unlike sling missiles that tend to bury themseklves deep or get daam,ged when they hit. The heavy ordnance will just be lying around, pretty much undamaged. One of the reasons they're not often found on old battlefields. They'd just have been picked up and dumped on the scavenger cart.

Alao bear in mind that most battles and armies weren't huge.
So enough space to hurl a hammer or discus, would not have been an issue.

Think the opening of gladiator rather than 300.
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #5 - Oct 15th, 2019 at 9:39am
 
I would imagine that the original discus was probably just somebody’s small shield. When the dude ran out of javelins, plumbata, sling stones, and arrows, he still wasn’t ready to quit fighting... he probably should’ve invested in a sword.
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #6 - Oct 15th, 2019 at 9:40am
 
... but then he probably would’ve thrown the sword too! Cheesy
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Sarosh
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #7 - Oct 15th, 2019 at 10:46am
 
I'm pretty sure the disk was a millstone at first. I haven't read the whole illiad but I think it mentions heroes throwing millstones. At first I thought of the huge millstones but it is probably the small personal millstones soldiers carried to campaigns. Discus was made of stone at first...
I think the hammer throw is Scottish not Greek so it isn't in the ancient Olympics.
Google things up to make sure.
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #8 - Oct 17th, 2019 at 6:31am
 
who knows, a weight on a string is pretty universal Smiley
The traditional scottish hammer is a rigid stick with a weight on the end. Was probably an actual sledge hammer.


Yeah millstones makes sense.

Amazing how often everyday tools can be turned into weapons.
Not sure what this says about humans Smiley
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #9 - Oct 17th, 2019 at 10:11am
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on Oct 17th, 2019 at 6:31am:
Amazing how often everyday tools can be turned into weapons.
Not sure what this says about humans Smiley

That we're fragile and pretty much anything lying around can kill us.  Wink
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: discuss the discus
Reply #10 - Oct 18th, 2019 at 12:25am
 
joe_meadmaker wrote on Oct 17th, 2019 at 10:11am:
Curious Aardvark wrote on Oct 17th, 2019 at 6:31am:
Amazing how often everyday tools can be turned into weapons.
Not sure what this says about humans Smiley

That we're fragile and pretty much anything lying around can kill us.  Wink


I think it says that we’re violent and will find a way to hurt each other with anything we find lying around.
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