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Christian Borglum




Location: California
Joined: 21 Feb 2010

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu 24 Feb, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Staff Sling in medieval period Europe?         Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

There have been many previous discussions on this site about the use of longbows and crossbows during the medieval period. However, I'm curious what written documentation or archeological evidence there may be concerning the use of the staff sling. I believe it would be called a fustibalis in Latin, or possibly fustibale in French.
This weapon dates back well into antiquity and I think might have been useful in siege warfare lobbing small projectiles over city or castle walls. I've seen this period illustration (see attachment), but haven't successfully turned up more detailed information. I'm hoping that some extremely knowledgeable folks in the community may know more about this weapon.

1) Do we know how widely used the sling staff was in medieval Europe?

2) Was the staff sling used through the early and high middle ages?

3) Was it used across Europe? Or was its use more prevalent in certain areas, the western Mediterranean, the Levant, central Europe, etc...

4) Do we know if it was only used as an inexpensive siege weapon, or was it also used on the battlefield?

Any information you can share will be awesome. Thank you.

Christian Borglum



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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Likes: 15 pages
Reading list: 87 books

Posts: 643

PostPosted: Thu 24 Feb, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Christian!

Check out this previous thread as there is some good information and resources listed:

Slings!

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Staff sling to my best knowledge was used mostly to hurl greek fire canisters, as shown here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...heMonk.jpg
This depiction shows the death of Eustache le Moine (a.k.a. "the Black Monk") a notorious pirate of the early 13th century british channel. I believe this is also the earliest artistic documentation of a boarding axe.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Christian Borglum




Location: California
Joined: 21 Feb 2010

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon 28 Feb, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar Nudel wrote:
Staff sling to my best knowledge was used mostly to hurl greek fire canisters, as shown here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...heMonk.jpg
This depiction shows the death of Eustache le Moine (a.k.a. "the Black Monk") a notorious pirate of the early 13th century british channel. I believe this is also the earliest artistic documentation of a boarding axe.


Hi Sa'ar, Thanks for including that link. I think it's interesting that the only other artwork I've seen depicting a Staff Sling also showed it being used in a naval context.

Scott, I followed your suggestion reading through the earlier thread which kindly linked. There was some nice information about slings, but not as much background material about the Staff Sling.

Hm... I wonder if use of the Staff Sling is mentioned by any of the medieval chroniclers, like William of Tyre... Vegetius was really popular during the period. If I remember correctly, he did write about siege machines and equipment. Does anyone know if he discuss naval operations and gear in De Re Militari?
Thanks,

Christian
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Likes: 15 pages
Reading list: 87 books

Posts: 643

PostPosted: Mon 28 Feb, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let me check the booklet "Hurling a Shower of Great Stones" tonight to see if any primary references pertaining to staff slings are singled out.
...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Fabrice Cognot
Industry Professional



Location: Dijon
Joined: 29 Sep 2004

Posts: 354

PostPosted: Mon 28 Feb, 2011 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all

If you can read French, check this very interesting article :

http://www.1186-583.org/Le-Fustibale


Cheers

Fab

PhD in medieval archeology.
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De Taille et d'Estoc director
Maker of high quality historical-inspired pieces.
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