Among the weapons of the ancient world, one of the oldest, most efficient and most lethal was the sling.

The sling is an extremely simple weapon, both in its making and usage: made out of strips of leather or vegetable fibres (es. canvas or linen), it features a small “bag” in which a bullet is put. This bullet was made out of lead, ceramic or stone, and it was thrown thanks to the power of centrifuge force.

A well-shot sling bullet could cause enormous damages even to the most armoured enemies – it could even crack helmets.

Romans learned this the hard way, when they did encounter the most skilled slingers of the ancient world during the Second Punic War, the Balearic slingers.

If you want to know more about Balearic slingers, buy Roma contro Cartagine. Tutte le truppe di Annibale, by Gioal Canestrelli

Did also the Romans use the sling?

During the monarchic and the first period of the Roman Republican History, the sling was only used by the poorest classes. In the period of the Servian military reform (ca. 6th-4th century BC), the sling was used only by the poorest fighters, belonging to the fifth and last class, armed only with “slings and throwing stones”, according to Titus Livius.

As the time passed and the conquered lands and peoples grew, the use of the sling (as well as of other throwing weapons) was more and more delegated to specialized troops, both auxiliaries and allies, called funditores (from the Latin name of the sling, funda), usually coming from the Greek world (e.g. Achaia) and, as the slingers met during the Second Punic War, from the Balearic islands.

This was true also in the Early Imperial period, during which the sling was used by specialized troops. This can ben seen also on the Trajan Column, even though the origin of the depicted slingers is not totally clear (but most probably they came from Greece and the Near East).

During Late Antiquity (4th-7th century), the sling kept its importance, and it also became a peculiar addition to the equipment of the heavy infantryman.

Not only the 5th century author Vegetius and the author of the 6th century Strategikon prescribe the sling for heavy infantrymen (Vegetius find it really useful to defend a location, since one only needs to pick up stones from the ground to have bullets), but in the Notitia Dignitatum a pseudocomitatensis unit called Funditores can be found.
Most probably, a unit of soldiers specialized in the use of the sling.

Symbol of the Funditores from the Notitia Dignitatum

If you reenact a poor Roman soldier of the early Republic, and auxiliary soldier of the later Republican period or of the Early Empire, or a legionary infantryman of the Late Antiquity, then our sling is what you’re looking for!

Made in 100% natural linen and leather, you will receive our sling already with three lead bullets!
Click here to know more about our sling.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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