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early Irish slinging? (Read 508 times)
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early Irish slinging?
Sep 25th, 2004 at 12:24am
reread the Táin Bó Chuailgne (Cattle Raid of Cooley) the other night. has LOTS of references to slinging.

earliest written version is from the 12th c. . material may date as early as 1st c. AD or BC.

mythology, of course. but at least we know the sling was popular. and they mention the staffsling as separate and distinct.


"Cúchulainn made a pledge now that whenever he caught sight of either Ailill or Medb that he would let fly at them a stone from his sling. He lay in wait in the trees by the ford, and the host arrived and discovered the three dead warriors and the three charioteers Meslir, Meslaech and Meslethan. In rage and grief Medb came down to the reed-strewn bank of the ford, her pet squirrel fretfully leaping around her shoulders. Cúchulainn let loose a shot south across the river and it struck the squirrel as it sat nestled into her neck. To this day that area of the river’s edge is called Méthe Tog, Squirrel Neck. Further up the river as it turned away to the east Ailill had been with his guard and a stone took the head off his pet bird, which also had been perched close to his neck, and that place of ground is now called Ath Méthe nEuin, the Bird Neck Ford. This is open to dispute, however, as some say that both creatures were perched on Medb’s shoulders when their heads were torn off. At this same time Reuin was drowned in a lake now called after him, but that is another story."

"On their way there Cuchullainn gathered a stone into his sling and sent it flying at Conall’s chariot. It smashed the shaft of the vehicle and Conall tumbled to the ground."

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&&"...with slings of twisted wool from which they showered their missiles to break the ranks of the Trojans."
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Re: early Irish slinging?
Reply #1 - Sep 26th, 2004 at 10:32pm
Very interesting.  Maybe you could compile some information about the sling and it's use in ireland around that period.  I know there is considerable archeological evidence as well.

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