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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 253

PostPosted: Thu 18 Dec, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: Aramentum ( throwing strap) used with Roman pilum         Reply with quote

Sirs- Does anyone have a source earlier than the Antonine period showing or confirming the use of a throwing strap with the pilum. I know it was used then with the introduction of the lead-weighted pilum,but it was such a standard way to use the javelin fron earliy Greek times on,(it was tied to the center of gravity and looped around the first two fingers to act like a solid spear thrower or atlatl) that it seems a logical way to increase the range of the pilum, which was only 30-40 yards before the introduction of the lead collar around the base of the shank.It was also used by civilians in hunting and by light javelin-throwing auxillaries, so it was hardly unfamilliar to the legions.
Ja68ms
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Dec, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ave!

Yes, the throwing loop was well known with other types of javelins used by the Romans, but I've never seen it associated with the pilum--from *any* era! Mind you, the later centuries are not my strong point, so I don't claim to have a lot of knowledge of Antonine stuff.

Probably this is just because the pilum had to be grabbed and thrown very quickly as both armies charge towards each other. There is no time to mess with a throwing loop, usually. A powerful, short-range slam was more important than extra distance.

I'm pretty sure this has been discussed over on the Roman Army Talk board at some point, so you might try asking there.

http://www.romanarmy.nl/rat/

Vale,

Matthew
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Dec, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This might interest you as well. Nice photos and instructions:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=amentum

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Dec, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Weren't these types of javelins known as 'weavers beams'?
System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 253

PostPosted: Fri 19 Dec, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Natthew-I forgot to say that my reference was Adrian Goldsworthy's "Complete Roman Army" He states there are written references to using the armentum wirh the weighted pilum beginning with the Antonines.. Also Jean, if you want to see a neat collection of javelins and quivers, try George Cameron Stone's "Complete Arms and Armour". Don't leave home without it.!
Ja68ms
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,315

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hah, okay, I will cheerfully eat my words! I think I've got that book--wouldn't hurt me to read it, eh? (But that LATE Roman stuff is so icky, hee hee!)

"Weaver's beam" is used in the Bible to describe Goliath's spear. Nowadays it's usually thought to mean "really thick and big", but it's most likely a reference to the heddle rod on a loom which has loops of string to manipulate the warp threads while weaving. So probably the loop on a Philistine spear was simply unknown to the Israelites, prompting a comparison to something more familiar to them. I don't know if that term was used elsewhere.

Thanks!

Matthew
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