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"Ancient Weapons: The Sling" Topic


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639 hits since 23 Aug 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse24 Aug 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

"More than 3,000 years ago, an army of Israelites led by King Saul confronted a force of Philistine invaders in the valley of Elah. As the Philistines occupied a mountain on one side of the valley, and the Israelites occupied another on the opposite side, an enormous champion clad from head to foot in bronze, wielding a gigantic spear, emerged from among the front ranks and addressed the Israelites. The warrior declared himself as Goliath of Gath and challenged any soldier among them to face him in single combat. None of the Israelites was brave enough to fight the mighty Philistine warrior, except for one. The challenger was not a soldier, but instead a young shepherd named David.

At first King Saul refused to let the youth accept the challenge, stating that the boy was too young and inexperienced to defeat such a warrior. However, David's exceptional confidence quickly changed the king's mind. Saul offered David his own armor to wear, yet the shepherd respectfully declined once he realized how greatly the armor hindered his movement. Instead, David approached Goliath unarmored, armed simply with a sling in his hand, a sword in its scabbard on his side, and five smooth stones taken from a nearby stream that he kept in a small bag. As David got closer to the Philistine, he rushed forward and loaded his sling. While still running, he released the missile and struck the giant warrior directly in the forehead, killing him instantly. David then beheaded Goliath and brought his head to Jerusalem in triumph…."
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Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo reeves lk Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2018 11:52 a.m. PST

The sling was the 44 cal of it's day.

Stryderg24 Aug 2018 12:19 p.m. PST

I got interested in slings and slinging for a while. Found out you do it like throwing a baseball, not just by whipping it around your head like I always thought.

sidley24 Aug 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

Or a seriously rubbish helmet

Aethelflaeda was framed24 Aug 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

Very good propaganda. Is there any non biblical verification to the story. I have no doubts big guys have fallen to sling stones but this one always gives me a bit of pause.

Dn Jackson24 Aug 2018 3:10 p.m. PST

" Is there any non biblical verification to the story."

LOL. That's like asking for another source for the Battle of Quadesh, or Sumerian donkey carts, or the battle of Gaugemela, or Xenophon's Anabasis, or any number of things that happened thousands of years ago.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2018 8:14 p.m. PST

Funny thing about the Bible stories, the ones that sound crazy to us. That for years were assumed to be made up – more research and archeological evidence seems to prove not disprove.

I would trust the Bible for most everything (with Ancients it does seem that numbers may be off) of course that is still true today

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse25 Aug 2018 9:38 a.m. PST

(smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2018 3:16 p.m. PST

Saw a documentary earlier this year, on the Roman soldier's use of slings -- with lead bullets. They showed what they looked like, based on samples found on ancient battlefields. They were spikey, and about the diameter of a US Quarter! They weighed in at around 1/2-pound, if I remember correctly.

Frankly, I have a new respect for Sling Bullets! They discussed how the Bullets would deform, on impact, shattering bones! They reminded me of smooth-bore muskets, in the .75 Caliber range, only not quite as powerful. It gave me pause.

In grade school, I had a guest speaker at my parochial school, who taught English, in Africa. He related how the local children, his students, would run along side of cows, hitting them with sling stones… He said these kids were deadly accurate, hitting the cow repeatedly, in the skull, knocking off its horns, finally bringing the animal down, in a bloody mess, with lethal damage to its skull. That was more than 40 years ago, so I can't say how accurate my memory really is. It made quite an impression on me, though.

I have very great respect for the humble sling, in the hands of someone trained from childhood. David, per the Bible, slew lions attacking his sheep, with the humble sling. After listening to the guest speaker's stories, it seems highly plausible to me, that David, a shepherd proficient with the sling, could take down a giant of a man, with a sling and a stone.

Anybody know if MythBusters ever tacked this story? Would make for a fascinating episode to watch! Cheers!

Toaster25 Aug 2018 6:45 p.m. PST

I have seen video footage of a modern expert with the sling smashing pieces of wood as they were thrown into the air equivalent to taking a bird on the wing.

And when you consider that those smooth pebbles David used were probably 2" or so in diameter (anything below 1" really doesn't have the mass to let you get a good swing, I know I've had a play with a sling) and travelling around 100 kph it's pretty easy to realize that a head shot will put a man down. Even if he was actually only knocked out the decapitation will finish him off.

Robert

Koxinga25 Aug 2018 7:44 p.m. PST

"That's like asking for another source for the Battle of Quadesh, or Sumerian donkey carts, or the battle of Gaugemela, or Xenophon's Anabasis"
We do have another source for the Anabasis ;)

wmyers29 Aug 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

"We do have another source for the Anabasis ;)"

Which just gives more proof to the accuracy of the Bible.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2018 4:48 a.m. PST

…….it seems highly plausible to me, that David, a shepherd proficient with the sling, could take down a giant of a man, with a sling and a stone.

I don't think that there is any doubt that the sling stone can kill someone. A more recent example is the death of Juan Pizarro, brother of conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Juan had been hit in the jaw previously by an Inca slinger. The swollen wound made it impossible for him to wear his helmet. During the defence of Cuzco Juan was struck on the side of the head by another sling stone and died soon after.

That doesn't make the biblical story true however. It does smack of post hoc myth making, somewhat similar to George Washington and the cherry tree. The stories establish positive attributes in the persons they are written about: honesty in the case of Washington and martial prowess in the case of David.

We do have another source for the Anabasis

We do?

Which just gives more proof to the accuracy of the Bible.

It does?

JC Lira05 Sep 2018 7:35 p.m. PST

The Bible doesn't explicitly say that David killed Goliath with the sling stone. It may be that he knocked Goliath down with the stone, then killed Goliath by cutting off his head with his (Goliath's) own sword.

I'm not saying a sling can't kill. I'm just saying the Bible's description is unclear.

Glencairn12 Sep 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

Seems the bullet certainly stunned Goliath sufficiently for David to decapitate him. Their are plenty of armies of the age using sling-armed LI, so they must have been a pest..imagine yourself under a stinging hail of these things..

bobm195912 Sep 2018 1:44 p.m. PST

The often forgotten aspect of sling use is that the target can't really see the missiles in flight…unlike arrows and javelins. Therefore a talented/skilled shooter has an improved chance of hitting where the target isn't capable of dodging.

LORDGHEE16 Sep 2018 9:02 p.m. PST

YouTube link

only first 5 min apply.

LORDGHEE16 Sep 2018 9:19 p.m. PST

this one is about what a modern slinger learned.


YouTube link

5 min

wmyers18 Sep 2018 5:58 p.m. PST

@Bowman

"I don't think that there is any doubt that the sling stone can kill someone. A more recent example is the death of Juan Pizarro, brother of conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Juan had been hit in the jaw previously by an Inca slinger. The swollen wound made it impossible for him to wear his helmet. During the defence of Cuzco Juan was struck on the side of the head by another sling stone and died soon after.

That doesn't make the biblical story true however. It does smack of post hoc myth making, somewhat similar to George Washington and the cherry tree. The stories establish positive attributes in the persons they are written about: honesty in the case of Washington and martial prowess in the case of David."

Are you honestly trying to make the claim the Bible was written after colonization of the Americas?!

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