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Best slingers came from Balearic Islands

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

The best slingshots came from the Balearic Islands, where mothers ordered their sons to shoot the plates with food. The young boys did not eat until they hit the target.

In the Balearic Islands, the manner of fighting has evolved into a sports discipline over time. Until the conquest of the islands, the inhabitants used the slingshot to fight, as their most important weapon. The slingshot was made of vegetable fibers, animal tendons or horsehair. Shells made of stone usually weighed 0.5 kilograms. Strabon and Diodorus the Sicilian – Greek historians – wrote that the warriors carried three slingshots with them. Slingers in battle were the first to run ahead and shoot at the opponent. Heavy infantry attacked after them.

Hannibal greatly appreciated Balearic artillery. For the expedition, during the Second Punic War with Rome in 218 BCE, he crossed the Alps with 37 elephants and about 2,000 slingers. We can read about how they fought in the epic “Punica Silius Italicus”. The slingers were forgotten during the Pax Romana period.

Sources
  • Vegetius, De re militari
  • Majorka, Wydawnictwo Baedeker, 2012

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