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Question: Best/most effective Historical slinging culture

Balearics    
  4 (57.1%)
greeks    
  1 (14.3%)
Micronesians/Polynesians    
  1 (14.3%)
Tibetans/Andeans    
  1 (14.3%)




Total votes: 7
« Created by: Curious Aardvark on: Oct 11th, 2020 at 1:18pm »

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Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times. (Read 476 times)
vrod
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Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Oct 1st, 2020 at 11:39pm
 
So technically "best" is subjective. But I wanted to know where the most feared, highly regarded slingers came from. I've heard a lot of the Balearic slingers, greek slingers, slingers from Rhodes, and so on. I've asked other history forums but none had too much knowledge on this topic so I figured I'd ask here. I've seen many articles say Balearic Slingers were the best but I want to see what you guys think.

Also, whatever group it is that was the best, what did their sling look like?
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Sarosh
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #1 - Oct 2nd, 2020 at 3:16am
 
that's like asking in 2000 years which team played the best football today. PR will play a bigger role than actual skill.

Benjamites: (they used aimbot)
Quote:
the Benjamites, mentioned in the Book of Judges, could “sling stones at a an hair-breadth and not miss.


Achaeans:(greater accuracy , distance ,power than balearics)
Quote:
Livy (38.29.3-8, tr. Evan T. Sage) refers to the inhabitants of three Greek cities on the northern coast of the Peloponnesus as expert slingers:

“A hundred slingers were recruited from Aegium and Patrae and Dymae. These peoples were trained from boyhood, in accordance with a tradition of the race, in hurling with a sling at the open sea the round stones which, mingled with sand, generally strew the coasts. In consequence they use this weapon at longer range, with greater accuracy, and with more powerful effect than the Balearic slinger. Moreover, the sling is not composed of a single strap, like those of the Baleares and other peoples, but the bullet-carrier is triple, strengthened with numerous seams, that the missile may not fly out at random, from the pliancy of the strap at the moment of discharge, but seated firmly while being whirled, may be shot out as if from a bow-string. Having been trained to shoot through rings of moderate circumference from long distances, they would wound not merely the heads of their enemies but any part of the face at which they might have aimed. These slings prevented the Sameans from making sallies so frequently or so boldly, to such an extent that they begged the Achaeans to withdraw for a while and in quiet to watch them fighting with the Roman outguards.”


Balears: (massive stones, armour breakers, persistent training and tradition)
Quote:
DIODORUS SICULUS, Book XIX.109. wrote:
“The Battle of Eknomos, Sicily, 311 B.C.But when Hamilcar saw that his men were being overpowered and that the Greeks in constantly increasing number were making their way into the camp, he brought up his slingers, who came from the Balearic Islands and numbered at least a thousand. By hurling a shower of great stones, they wounded many and even killed not a few of those who were attacking, and they shattered the defensive armour of most of them. For these men, who are accustomed to sling stones weighing a mina, contribute a great deal toward victory in battle, since from childhood they practice constantly with the sling. In this way they drove the Greeks from the camp and defeated them.Their equipment for fighting consists of three slings, and of these they keep one around the head, another around the belly, and the third in the hands. In the business of war they hurl much larger stones than do any other slingers, and with such force that the missile seems to have been shot, as it were, from a catapult; consequently, in their assaults upon walled cities, they strike the defenders on the battlements and disable them, and in pitched battles they crush both shields and helmets and every kind of protective armour. And they are so accurate in their aim that in the majority of cases they never miss the target before them. The reason for this is the continual practice which they get from childhood, in that their mothers compel them, while still young boys, to use the sling continually; for there is set up before them as a target a piece of bread fastened to a stake, and the novice is not permitted to eat until he has hit the bread, whereupon he takes it from his mother with her permission and devours it.”


Rhodians: (effective against persians, great range )
Quote:
XENOPHON, Anabasis book 3 section
[33.3.17] For the latter have only a short range because the stones that are used in them are as large as the hand can hold; the Rhodians, however, are versed also in the art of slinging leaden bullets.
[3.4.15] But when the Rhodian slingers and the bowmen, posted at intervals here and there, sent back an answering volley, and not a man among them missed his mark (for even if he had been very eager to do so, it would not have been easy),1 then Tissaphernes withdrew out of range with all speed, and the other battalions followed his example.


Andean slinger: (critical hits and KOs)
Quote:
During the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire in the 15th century, an observer recorded that an Andean slinger could shatter Spanish swords or kill a horse in a single hit (Kormann, 1973; Wise, 1980)


The invention of the sling is attributed by Pliny to the Phoenicians, by Vegetius to the Baleares, (who were Phoenician colonists,) and by Strabo to the Aetolians.
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #2 - Oct 2nd, 2020 at 3:31am
 
also I'm pretty sure sling played a huge role in warfare of the bronze age collapse but I haven't read about this period.
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #3 - Oct 2nd, 2020 at 12:33pm
 
since nobody has mentioned it yet... shepherds are another contender for the group of "best" slingers.
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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: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #4 - Oct 2nd, 2020 at 6:06pm
 
Great summation of some historical references. I'll add this one...

"Observations by Bunkerah on its use in New Caledonia revealed that natives could knock down three out of five fruit bats at 60 yards, using a river-bed stone with a sling. The Hawaiian slingstone was biconical, was 2.65 inches long and weighed 4.73 ounces, a little less than abaseball. The natives shaped it by rolling it between flat stones with motion to right and left as well as back and forth. Using a sling made from pandanus leaf, a skillful warrior hurled a stone so that it revolved on its axis like a rifle bullet."

http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1299262416/1#1
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #5 - Oct 5th, 2020 at 12:53pm
 
Well we know that the romans trained and had their own slingers in the legions.

But they still employed balearic slingers as mercenaries - something you would not do if they weren't seriously good, as you were already paying legionnaires with slings. 

And nobody spends money they don't need to.

Then you've got the micronesians.
The slingers on guam held the spanish fleet off for 3 years with slings against firearms.
That's pretty bloody impressive.

Can't recall if the history mentioned it - but i suspect it was a siege like situation and the spanish simply wore the chamorros down with blockades, rather than with force of arms.
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #6 - Oct 6th, 2020 at 12:12pm
 
@
vrod

to spice things up you can make this post a poll so people will vote what culture they think had the best slingers.
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #7 - Oct 6th, 2020 at 12:54pm
 
Sarosh wrote on Oct 6th, 2020 at 12:12pm:
@
vrod

to spice things up you can make this post a poll so people will vote what culture they think had the best slingers.

Playing with fire Sarosh Cheesy
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #8 - Oct 11th, 2020 at 1:18pm
 
Poll added

'groups' like shepherds and fishermen - are present in ALL cultures and would have made up the core of most societies slingers..
So not an actual useable category.

Let me know if I missed any or commited an unpardonable sin by lumping sworn enemies together Smiley
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #9 - Oct 11th, 2020 at 2:10pm
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on Oct 11th, 2020 at 1:18pm:
Let me know if I missed any or commited an unpardonable sin by lumping sworn enemies together



you forgot benjamites and I would put the greeks in rhodians and achaeans and the andeans and tibetians apart
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #10 - Oct 12th, 2020 at 4:14pm
 
Sarosh wrote on Oct 2nd, 2020 at 3:16am:
In consequence they use this weapon at longer range, with greater accuracy, and with more powerful effect than the Balearic slinger.


I find it extremely interesting that someone in ancient times compared slingers from two different cultures.
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #11 - Oct 12th, 2020 at 9:59pm
 
I don’t know that there were that many Tibetan fishermen CA.

+1 on the Benjamites Sarosh! They win on accuracy by a hair.  There’s not a lot of information about whether that was a one-time thing or if it spanned multiple generations, but those 700 lefties should make the list for sure.
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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: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #12 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 9:59am
 
I am agree with Slyngorm. It is interesting.
Greeks are better than Balearic slingers about accuracy and distance and sling. For Tite-live !
I vote for Greeks  Huh but obviously, I don't know if Tite-Live said the truth Undecided
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #13 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 11:38am
 
Sarosh wrote on Oct 2nd, 2020 at 3:16am:
  In the business of war they hurl much larger stones than do any other slingers   


I was recently told by a local Balearic that Carthago used slingers from Menorca while Rome used Mallorcan slingers. Either Balearic slingers as a whole specialized in using larger stones, or did just those from Menorca.
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Re: Who were the "best slingers" of the ancient times.
Reply #14 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 5:01pm
 
Sarosh wrote on Oct 2nd, 2020 at 3:16am:
that's like asking in 2000 years which team played the best football today. PR will play a bigger role than actual skill.

Benjamites: (they used aimbot)
Quote:
the Benjamites, mentioned in the Book of Judges, could “sling stones at a an hair-breadth and not miss.


Achaeans:(greater accuracy , distance ,power than balearics)
Quote:
Livy (38.29.3-8, tr. Evan T. Sage) refers to the inhabitants of three Greek cities on the northern coast of the Peloponnesus as expert slingers:

“A hundred slingers were recruited from Aegium and Patrae and Dymae. These peoples were trained from boyhood, in accordance with a tradition of the race, in hurling with a sling at the open sea the round stones which, mingled with sand, generally strew the coasts. In consequence they use this weapon at longer range, with greater accuracy, and with more powerful effect than the Balearic slinger. Moreover, the sling is not composed of a single strap, like those of the Baleares and other peoples, but the bullet-carrier is triple, strengthened with numerous seams, that the missile may not fly out at random, from the pliancy of the strap at the moment of discharge, but seated firmly while being whirled, may be shot out as if from a bow-string. Having been trained to shoot through rings of moderate circumference from long distances, they would wound not merely the heads of their enemies but any part of the face at which they might have aimed. These slings prevented the Sameans from making sallies so frequently or so boldly, to such an extent that they begged the Achaeans to withdraw for a while and in quiet to watch them fighting with the Roman outguards.”


Balears: (massive stones, armour breakers, persistent training and tradition)
Quote:
DIODORUS SICULUS, Book XIX.109. wrote:
“The Battle of Eknomos, Sicily, 311 B.C.But when Hamilcar saw that his men were being overpowered and that the Greeks in constantly increasing number were making their way into the camp, he brought up his slingers, who came from the Balearic Islands and numbered at least a thousand. By hurling a shower of great stones, they wounded many and even killed not a few of those who were attacking, and they shattered the defensive armour of most of them. For these men, who are accustomed to sling stones weighing a mina, contribute a great deal toward victory in battle, since from childhood they practice constantly with the sling. In this way they drove the Greeks from the camp and defeated them.Their equipment for fighting consists of three slings, and of these they keep one around the head, another around the belly, and the third in the hands. In the business of war they hurl much larger stones than do any other slingers, and with such force that the missile seems to have been shot, as it were, from a catapult; consequently, in their assaults upon walled cities, they strike the defenders on the battlements and disable them, and in pitched battles they crush both shields and helmets and every kind of protective armour. And they are so accurate in their aim that in the majority of cases they never miss the target before them. The reason for this is the continual practice which they get from childhood, in that their mothers compel them, while still young boys, to use the sling continually; for there is set up before them as a target a piece of bread fastened to a stake, and the novice is not permitted to eat until he has hit the bread, whereupon he takes it from his mother with her permission and devours it.”


Rhodians: (effective against persians, great range )
Quote:
XENOPHON, Anabasis book 3 section
[33.3.17] For the latter have only a short range because the stones that are used in them are as large as the hand can hold; the Rhodians, however, are versed also in the art of slinging leaden bullets.
[3.4.15] But when the Rhodian slingers and the bowmen, posted at intervals here and there, sent back an answering volley, and not a man among them missed his mark (for even if he had been very eager to do so, it would not have been easy),1 then Tissaphernes withdrew out of range with all speed, and the other battalions followed his example.


Andean slinger: (critical hits and KOs)
Quote:
During the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire in the 15th century, an observer recorded that an Andean slinger could shatter Spanish swords or kill a horse in a single hit (Kormann, 1973; Wise, 1980)


The invention of the sling is attributed by Pliny to the Phoenicians, by Vegetius to the Baleares, (who were Phoenician colonists,) and by Strabo to the Aetolians.


So would you say those are the top slingers then? And do any of those groups of people still use a sling like the people from Mallorca in the Balearic Islands or no?
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