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  1. DerAuslander is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 7:43am

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    Quote Originally Posted by nils View Post
    But assuming it was meant literal, then David seems to be quite the dickhead. The narrative of the bible tells of a fair duel which was fought for kingship. And David cheated, using a weapon which was neither common nor considered honorable by the philistenes.
    Exactly what are your sources for the claim that slings were not common military weapons in the Levant during this era?

    What are your sources for the claim that they were not considered a valid weapon for use in a duel by champion?
  2. nils is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 8:13am


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhi108 View Post
    Exactly what are your sources for the claim that slings were not common military weapons in the Levant during this era?

    What are your sources for the claim that they were not considered a valid weapon for use in a duel by champion?
    As with all theories on that age, it relies on a bit of speculation.

    The reason I suppose that slings were not seen as a proper dueling weapon is that the Philistene culture, of which we know very little, was highly related to the Phonecians (both members of the "sea-people" who settled in the region some hundred years before David, and both former Canaanites).
    And we do know that they got very powerful because of their bronze-manufacturing, which in turn made bronze-weapons the weapons of status in the nobility and thus the proper weapon to nobly cut someoneīs head off.

    I know, itīs a long shot, but that is true for most archeology on this era.

    My main point was that this story is allegoric, maybe describing good use of slingshot-equipped troops in a battle, against a foe who relied mostly on spears and swords, (keeping in mind that in the old testament, countries and empires are very often personified); so please donīt jump at me for having suboptimal sources for a joke.
    Last edited by nils; 10/19/2012 8:56am at .
  3. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 8:42am

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    Quote Originally Posted by nils View Post
    My main point was that this story is allegoric, maybe describing good use of slingshot-equipped troops in a battle, against a foe who relied mostly on spears and swords, (keeping in mind that in the old testament, countries and empires are very often personified); so please donīt jump at me for having suboptimal sources for a joke.
    SO, you didn't read the entire thread? That's the only thing that would make you miss the consistent questioning and asking for sources.

    This stopped being funny a while back. You should have known "get your sources" was coming.
  4. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 9:58am

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    I used to have a sling. I loved my sling. So here is my ode to the sling.

    The sling is one of the oldest, most common, and well respected battlefield weapons.

    For millenia before gunpowder, it was an effective ballistic weapon, capable of cleanly killing from a large distance, and unlike the bow you could find ammunition for a sling almost anywhere you could find rocks.

    It appeared somewhere between the late Paleolithic and early New Stone Age, but I found it interesting that even as late as the first millennium AD (10,000+ years after the weapon is known to have first appeared), the humble sling was still highly respected by Roman military leaders like Vegetius Renatus:

    Recruits are to be taught the art of throwing stones both with the hand and sling. The inhabitants of the Balearic Islands are said to have been the inventors of slings, and to have managed them with surprising dexterity, owing to the manner of bringing up their children. The children were not allowed to have their food by their mothers till they had first struck it with their sling. Soldiers, notwithstanding their defensive armour, are often more annoyed by the round stones from the sling than by all the arrows of the enemy. Stones kill without mangling the body, and the contusion is mortal without loss of blood. It is universally known the ancients employed slingers in all their engagements. There is the greater reason for instructing all troops, without exception, in this exercise, as the sling cannot be reckoned any encumbrance, and often is of the greatest service, especially when they are obliged to engage in stony places, to defend a mountain or an eminence, or to repulse an enemy at the attack of a castle or city
    So the thought of lone slinger David in a massive battle...no it was much more likely that King Saul's army had entire ranks of slinger-equipped warriors, of which David was but one.
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 10/19/2012 10:06am at .
  5. DerAuslander is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 10:07am

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    Quote Originally Posted by nils View Post
    As with all theories on that age, it relies on a bit of speculation.

    The reason I suppose that slings were not seen as a proper dueling weapon is that the Philistene culture, of which we know very little, was highly related to the Phonecians (both members of the "sea-people" who settled in the region some hundred years before David, and both former Canaanites).
    And we do know that they got very powerful because of their bronze-manufacturing, which in turn made bronze-weapons the weapons of status in the nobility and thus the proper weapon to nobly cut someoneīs head off.

    I know, itīs a long shot, but that is true for most archeology on this era.

    My main point was that this story is allegoric, maybe describing good use of slingshot-equipped troops in a battle, against a foe who relied mostly on spears and swords, (keeping in mind that in the old testament, countries and empires are very often personified); so please donīt jump at me for having suboptimal sources for a joke.
    No, I basically going to say you're full of **** and should probably shut the **** up.
  6. Moenstah is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 10:44am


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    Vegetius was probably a bureaucrat, not a military leader, and wrote a tract for a Late Roman emperor, with suggestions how to turn the tide, drawn from a variety of military treatises/sources. (N.P. Milner, Vegetius: epitome of military science, 2nd ed, xvii and xxxv)
  7. Moenstah is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 10:45am


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    So you shouldn't take everything he writes at face value as a correct depiction of Roman military practice of his time. That said: yes they had auxiliarii using slings.
  8. Vince Tortelli is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 10:59am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vieux Normand View Post
    A whirling sling would be very visible to the person facing it in open duel. Rocks can be deadly, but do not fly like bullets. Have you faced thrown projectiles? I have, outside the club at closing. Bottles, bricks, and sort of detritus thrown by pissed-off idiots. Someone who sees a projectile coming--particularly a trained fighter--can avoid, parry or block the worst of it. No so if the slung rock is fired from behind in an ambush.
    So...because while bouncing you were able to block rocks and bottles thrown by idiots in bars, it is easy to block a sling launched projectile and thus slings are only viable weapons if used in an ambush scenario.

    Am I an obnoxious jerk, or is anyone else getting a "Aikido/Ving Tsun easily defeats grappling because Road House" vibe from this line of reasoning?
  9. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 11:36am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moenstah View Post
    Vegetius was probably a bureaucrat, not a military leader, and wrote a tract for a Late Roman emperor, with suggestions how to turn the tide, drawn from a variety of military treatises/sources. (N.P. Milner, Vegetius: epitome of military science, 2nd ed, xvii and xxxv)
    Source that he was probably not a military authority, please, considering there is really no record what he did for a living.

    For all we know he could have been a retired Roman general or at the very least some form of Roman military scientist.

    Based on what's survived of his writing, he was intimate with the inner workings of the Roman Army. That and veterinary medicine, which might suggest he had experience as a Roman field medic.
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 10/19/2012 11:42am at .
  10. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2012 12:03pm

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    So I went and checked your source.

    So Vegetius could have been a military intelligence or logistics planner. While not a battlefield commander, the Emperor and his generals sure seemed to care what Vegetius had to say about military operations. Milner lists at least a dozen possible leadership jobs he could have had...note he says "take for granted" as opposed to "probably" as you said....yes there is a big difference.

    He was definitely an official with influence in Roman military affairs. He also must have had quite a lot of field experience, as he was very familiar with medical conditions among both troops and horses in the Roman Army. Again, from your source.

    Milner, Ibid., pg. xxxv.

    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 10/19/2012 12:08pm at .

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