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Achaean sling (Read 526 times)
J
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Achaean sling
Sep 28th, 2021 at 12:50pm
 
Lets discuss. How do you think the Achaean sling was made?

''Et est non simplicis habenae, ut Baliarica aliarumque gentium funda, sed triplex scutale, crebris suturis duratum, ne fluxa habena volutetur in iactu glans, sed librata cum sederit, velut nervo missa excutiatur. Coronas modici circuli magno ex intervallo loci adsueti traicere non capita solum hostium vulnerabant, sed quem locum destinassent oris. Hae fundae Samaeos cohibuerunt, ne tam crebro neve tam audacter erumperent, adeo ut precarentur ex muris Achaeos ut parumper abscederent et se cum Romanis stationibus pugnantes quiete spectarent. ''
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J
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #1 - Sep 28th, 2021 at 1:42pm
 
One of the many translations gives me the following

'''...sed triplex scutale, crebris suturis duratum, ne fluxa habena volutetur in iactu glans...''
'''...but a triple pouch, hardened by frequent stitches, lest the loose strip may be rolled in the shot of a bullet...''

Lest the loose strip...are they talking about the release cord (=loose strip) here rolling into the way of the projectile or rather the projectile rolling into the release cord?
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #2 - Sep 28th, 2021 at 1:48pm
 
The first sentence isn't too hard.

'''...Et est non simplicis habenae, ut Baliarica aliarumque gentium funda'''.
'''...not a simple strap/thong/whip, like out of the Balaeric Islands and that of other nations slings''.

The more I try to unpuzzle this translation the less I can think of it being a conventional sling design. He is specifically stating it's unlike the sling of both the Balearics and the other nations, who likely all used the conventional design (retention cord - pouch section - release cord = one long string) that is still the most popular to this day
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« Last Edit: Sep 28th, 2021 at 5:01pm by J »  
 
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J
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #3 - Sep 28th, 2021 at 1:54pm
 
''...sed librata cum sederit''
''...but in balance when he shall give''



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« Last Edit: Sep 28th, 2021 at 5:08pm by J »  
 
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #4 - Sep 28th, 2021 at 2:05pm
 
He does talk about glans or ''bullet'' but before that he was talking about how they trained with round stones from the beach.
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Sarosh
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #5 - Sep 28th, 2021 at 3:51pm
 
It is a very interesting passage.

Did the balearic slings looked the same as they do now?
were they braided fibers or leather straps? so we can understand what the writer compares
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #6 - Sep 28th, 2021 at 4:58pm
 
''Habenae''

-reins (pl.)
-halter
-thong
-strap
-whip

All of these seem to imply a rather thick sling
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #7 - Sep 28th, 2021 at 5:26pm
 
''ne fluxa habena volutetur in iactu glans..''
''lest the loose strip may be rolled in the shot''

Again we see the word ''habena'' which is a form of ''habenae.''. It makes sense
that a ''strip'' or rather flat and/or thick release 'thong' can interferes with accuracy as the ''bullet'' can roll into it causing deflection. I'd never pick my all leather slings or flat wide braided slings for slinging glands either.

Could it mean the Achaean sling was really just a conventional sling, with lets say, a 3 strip leather aussie pouch, with cords sewn to it? Round cords, compared to flat thongs. But what strikes me as odd is that I can't place this model of sling as being special, it must have been used by other nations right? It's not like the Achaeans invented cordage.

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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #8 - Sep 29th, 2021 at 3:26am
 
my thought is if the balearics used wide leather strap slings or big cloth slings, then maybe achaeans used 3 narrow and thin leather straps sewn together, not side by side but one over the other, so they become less pliant.

or the achaeans used y slings.

J wrote on Sep 28th, 2021 at 5:26pm:
Round cords, compared to flat thongs. But what strikes me as odd is that I can't place this model of sling as being special, it must have been used by other nations right? It's not like the Achaeans invented cordage.

it is just a text that survived, we don't know how attached to a design people were. He is talking about 100 slingers maybe there was even variation in the design of each individual.
But if a design is objectively superior it is going to be adapted by most, I think that becomes clear with lead ammo.

Maybe their superiority is in casting lead because not all slings are good for that. Overall I dont think the slings were extraordinary but the slingers.
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #9 - Sep 29th, 2021 at 4:06am
 
it does lend itself to the Y-sling theory and it could be true. The problem with this is that there is just zero hard evidence, no historical findings I have seen that resemble this sling. There was one historical sling with a ring pouch and 4 cords but that is not a Y sling. I have seen conventional slings with 4 cords but the space between the two release cords is too narrow for most stones and it causes erratic behavior, sometimes they fly through the cords other times not. And here is not talked about ''quadruplex'' but ''triplex scutale''.

At the same time it could be that the Achaean sling was simply a conventional sling but with a more dedicated pouch and cords. It is likely. The problem I have with this is that it hardly can be considered unique because we have such slings from many nations and places all around the globe. 
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #10 - Sep 29th, 2021 at 4:59am
 
if he is describing a Y sling then his description is inadequate.
if he is describing a phi sling then the sling surely is not special
if he describes a sewn leather as said above then the description seems more suitable because maybe no one else sew his sling's cords

P.S.: sewing sling cords might not make a sling extraordinary but to the eye or to someone who is used to other common types then he may find it important to notice
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #11 - Sep 29th, 2021 at 5:10am
 
Who is the author of this text ?
I'm agree with Sarosh.
Your reasonning is based on your assertion that the balearic sling was the same of today. Which is just an unverifiable assumption.
Habena may be made with leather. Like this one.
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #12 - Sep 30th, 2021 at 6:34am
 
I think either are possible. He could also be describing this problem of the stone getting caught in the release cord, a problem which Achaeans seem to have solved one way or another (using the better sling techniques we know to prevent this kind of event,  or by using a  Y sling.)
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« Last Edit: Sep 30th, 2021 at 2:28pm by J »  
 
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #13 - Sep 30th, 2021 at 7:55am
 
Hmm, so Achaean, basically Greek.
As with pretty much all Latin texts the problem is with the translation.

And it's just occurred to me that I do know an Oxford graduate Latin scholar.

I'll have to get Isobel's email from her mum and drop this across.

With it being Greek, it could be anything, they had every material and technology available in the ancient world.

Where's this quote actually from ?
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Re: Achaean sling
Reply #14 - Sep 30th, 2021 at 10:20am
 
I agree with all of you.
The important thing is to work on the subject. Translation, analysis and hypothesis.
Of course, the assumptions are unverifiable. Therefore do not believe them. But this work makes it possible to deepen our reflections.
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