A friend sent me the first link, and I thought many readers would find this to be of interest. The first link analyzes Roman slingshot projectiles or “bullets” used by the Romans against the Scots before the Scots finally drove the Romans southward behind the protection of Hadrian’s Wall. The information in these two links shows the slingers of ancient armies were much more formidable than realized by the vast majority of modern mankind. It reports that the slingers of the Roman army, using lead projectiles in their sling, hit their targets with “slightly less stopping power than a .44 magnum cartridge.” In other words, ancient slingers were firing stones or projectiles that were much more lethal that we thought. They also could be incredibly accurate.

The second link gives a history of the slingers of ancient times. It begins with an account of David and Goliath, confirming that David could have easily killed the giant, Goliath, with a stone flung from his sling. It also relates that the ancient Israelites used detachments of slingers in their wars; for example, picking off soldiers stationed on or inside the walls of cities that they were besieging. The Bible confirms that slings were a well-known part of the Israelites’ ancient culture. Judges 20:16 records that the tribe of Benjamin had a unit of 700 slingers who were so skilled that they rarely missed their intended targets. The account of David and Goliath is found in I Samuel 17. II Chronicles 26:14 relates that the later Kingdom of Judah used slings along with a variety of other types of offensive and defensive weaponry in their army. The use of slings was so common in ancient Israelite culture that references to slings even were made in their metaphoric literature (Proverbs 26:8, Zechariah 9:14).

The second link mentions that various other ancient civilizations also utilized slingers in their armies. The armies of Carthage were especially known for their use of skilled slingers and they had detachments of slingers from the Balearic Islands who were raised from childhood to be exceptionally skilled with slings in warfare. My books, Israel’s Lost Empires and The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!, both offer much documentation that the Carthaginians were founded as a colony of the  kingdom of Israel, which was comprised of the ten tribes of Israel. Secular history notes that the Carthaginians were also called “Western Phoenicians” because they inherited their culture and ancestry from the Phoenician Empire of the Levant. As my books point out, the Greeks gave the alliance of the Israelites and the city-states of Tyre and Sidon that name; those people never referred to themselves as Phoenicians. We know them by that name only because our literature has been based on Greco-Roman sources. The people of Carthage called their city by the name of Kirjath-Hadeschath, a Hebrew name meaning “new city”–an appropriate name for a city which began as an Israelite colony.  You can learn all about the hidden history of the Carthaginians and their Israelite forebears by reading the above-named books.

Let’s close with a thought from the encounter between Goliath and David. David used stones as his projectiles to be fired at Goliath; he did not use lead projectiles like the Romans cited in the first link. The first link stated that the lead stones hurled by the Roman slingers hit with a stopping power close to that of a .44 magnum slug. That would be quite fatal to anyone hit in the head with one of those objects. David, a very skilled slinger, used stones instead of lead pellets when he hurled one at Goliath and hit him in the forehead–dropping him instantly to the ground (I Samuel 17:40, 48-49). We do not know the size of the stone hurled by David, but allowing for a lesser density for his stone than the Roman lead pellets, we can assume that David’s stone hit Goliath in the head with a lesser force than a .44 magnum slug. This means that David perhaps hit Goliath in the forehead with a hurled stone with the stopping power of perhaps a .357 magnum or at least a .38 special slug. That puts an entirely different perspective on the lethality of the weaponry used by David and many other ancient warriors, doesn’t it?

  1. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/ancient-slingshot-lethal-44-magnum-scotland/
  2. http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/military-history/ancient-weapons-the-sling/