Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Help in late Roman Reenactment
#1
Morning, I have been looking to join up a small group of Late Roman Reenactment here in Portugal and I have been looking into reading some documents that could help me in making my kit. Due to some limitations and overall interest in a certain weapon I have been thinking about going as a slinger. I have heard various things mostly about how the normal sling was replaced by the staff sling and that the Western Army slowly began using less slingers. Any of this statements are true?

Thank you
Reply
#2
Ah cool, another prospective slinger!

The staff sling did not necessarily replace the hand-sling. Staff-slings are exactly what you want if you are throwing rocks about ~300-500 grams in weight. Ordinary slings using projectiles anywhere from ~30-150 grams can reach or exceed 40 m/s, which I don't believe would be possible with a staff-sling with heavy projectiles about the size of an orange or larger, so the hand-sling likely has a range advantage over the staff-sling.

It is true that there were less slingers in the Later Roman periods, and I believe this likely has to do with a dimishing pool of experienced slingers to recruit from. Ordinary shepherds may be proficient sling-users, but they do not make for excellent battlefield slingers. Skilled slingers could probably hurl projectiles to about ~60-70 m/s, which is a large improvement over the usual 40-50 m/s that could be achieved by lesser slingers. You likely could, however, hire shepherds in siege contexts, where the advantage of having a long-ish range combined with the utter cheapness of rock or clay projectiles would be advantageous for an attacking force. I believe that this was done on multiple ocassions within the High/late medieval period.

Edit: And for the purpose of propelling Incendiaries, Slings and staff-slings reign supreme! (With the general exclusion of catapults or trebuchets)
Reply
#3
Nice subject, we certainly can use more slingers!

Btw to both gentlemen: please add your real (first) name to your signatures please? Forum rules.

Btw2 - how does a slinger throw an incendiary? Would it not damage the sling?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#4
(01-07-2019, 03:46 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: Btw2 - how does a slinger throw an incendiary? Would it not damage the sling?

From what I understand, you would soak the pouch in water before releasing the heated projectile from a tong into the pouch. With a leather pouch, you might not see much damage from this process, though if you are using a wooven wool sling pouch, you would likely have to make a new one.

Guamanian slingers, based off of several Spanish accounts, used red hot slingstones which they covered with tufty 'Pandanus' fibres (Likely coconut fibres in this case). The fibres would potentially cushion the pouch from the heat. The fibres would not have been aflame at this stage and were likely charred, but when the slingstone was in flight the charred fibres would then burst into flames.

I believe that Incan slingers might have used similar incendiary projectiles as the Guamanians, which they likely hurled from their infamous woolen slings known today as Huaraca (Which are often exceedinly beautiful and well-crafted slings, similar to Tibetan slings).

Edit: Here is an excerpt written by Olaus Magnus (From the 1500's) concerning incendiary projectiles that were thrown from Finnish forces against a Swedish fortification.

"But, where there were no stones, which was seldom seen, they cast into the forts as forcible as they may, a piece of iron that is glowing red hot, which they put with a pair of tongs, into the sling. They will make such a violent wound and torture, that it can hardly ever or never cured with the help of the physician."
Reply
#5
I would make the pouch using chain mail. With a ring about 5mm. Or could the incendiary be pre made, you light and throw it with thong attached ? Another thought  Wink
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
Reply
#6
(01-08-2019, 05:33 PM)brennivs - tony drake Wrote: I would make the pouch using chain mail. With a ring about 5mm. Or could the incendiary be pre made, you light and throw it with thong attached ? Another thought  Wink
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin

I have always considered it a possibility that mail-like pouches could be made, though I wonder if it would affect the handling characteristics.

My main concern though is that I am not sure if I feel like whipping myself with the pouch upon release, because depending on the length of the sling in question you can have the sling wrap around your back, particularly from side-arm releases. It would be sheer murder on any slinger unless they were wearing armour if this happens from time-to-time.

This is probably one reason why a lot of good slingers say "Don't put metal beads on the end of your sling!" as advice to beginning slingers.
Jack Svendsen.
Reply
#7
if you are going as a slinger contact Wim van Broekhoven (Cordvs) he is a specialist in the subject. He might help you a lot.
He wrote an article on it in AW magazine about the subject.
AgrimensorLVCIVS FLAVIVS SINISTER
aka Jos Cremers
member of CORBVLO
ESTE NIX PAX CRISTE NIX
Reply
#8
Ah thank you Robert, I will change my signature when I reach the 3 required posts (from what I heard).

John, I am glad to see more portuguese people around here! Said group is just a group of friends I have in my Uni, we are planning to present the idea of a Reenactment group to the History Department.

Thank you agrimensor, I shall contact him.

And thank you a lot Jack, your information will be very usefull while I am making my kit. For now I should search for a sling since during last year's christmas I ended up spending some money in a Plumbata (I blame myself for liking such a weapon to the point where I would buy one).
Reply
#9
(02-15-2019, 10:48 AM)Lusitani Wrote: And thank you a lot Jack, your information will be very usefull while I am making my kit. For now I should search for a sling since during last year's christmas I ended up spending some money in a Plumbata (I blame myself for liking such a weapon to the point where I would buy one).

If you would like to get your hands on a sling, I would be happy to help you. I would be willing to make you a sling free-of-charge as long as you would be happy to pay for the postage. PM me if you are interested. 

Slinging.org has a marketplace for slings, though I am not sure if you need to have an account there in order to access that section.

Amdocraft sells really good Tibetan slings for about $6 AUD each, which frankly is a steal because these slings are really damn beautiful! A Tibetan sling may not necessarily be 'Historically' accurate for your portrayal, but they are well-made woolen slings which you would find really hard to beat for the price, whilst also being beautiful objects to look at.

You might also like to look up "Shepherd Sling" on Etsy and see what you can find. I am personally a little apprehensive about Etsy for slings though, given that the vast majority seem to be, no offense to the makers... quite crappy, especially for a price tag of 20 dollars. Ryan looks to have a good reputation as a slingmaker on Etsy, so you might want to look through his products.

If you want to get your hands on sling bullets, PM me also. My pricing is roughly $2.00 AUD per glande plus postage/packaging etcetera, so I'd highly recommend buying a bunch of them. You can also leave a message over on here.

Edit: Additionally, If you would like to make your own sling, visit Slinging.org. Making your own slings is easy. Throwing, and Throwing accurately, now that's the hard part! Smile
Jack Svendsen.
Reply
#10
Yeah making a sling is not very hard. Just using it is different. First time i made myself a couple of shorter and longer ones and tried to see which one better suits. BTW for exercise find a nice quiet place with no windows in 2 stadia area and if possible no peeps, and no wood or too high bush as well might be dangerous if you hit someone coming out of them woods.
-----------------
Gelu I.
www.terradacica.ro
www.porolissumsalaj.ro
Reply


Forum Jump: