Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Terror Weapon...!

Early warfare relied on not only physical weapons, but weapons that played on the mind as well.

The Romans were good at playing these games, inventing some of the most terrifying weapons of their time. Here is one of them.

Roman Terror Weapons

Photo credit: Peter van der Sluijs

A recent discovery suggests that the Romans employed psychological warfare using whistling slingshot bullets. They used a staff sling called a fustibalus which could throw lemon-sized rocks over a long distance. But certain bullets found at one site in Scotland have a peculiar characteristic—they are drilled through their center.

The stone bullets were found at Burnswark Hill, the site of a massive fight between Romans and Scots about 1,800 years ago. Drilling the holes would have been a time-consuming endeavor, especially for something used only once.

Archaeologist John Reid was puzzled by the stones’ purpose. But Reid’s brother, a keen fisherman, deduced the purpose of the bullets based on his experience of using holed-out lures. When thrown, the bullets caused a sharp whistling noise. Only small stones were drilled, so multiple bullets could be thrown at once, creating a stereo effect for added terror.

Seems the Romans were masters of the warfare game, both physical and mental. It's a shame that weapons design has always been a major function of powerful societies, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.


Gorges Smythe said...


linda m said...

You would think that people would put all this knowledge to better use. Like trying to save lives instead of destroying them. That is a very interesting phenomenon, though, that the ancient Romans used. Better mow the back lawn (front isn't growing due to lack of rain) today before the het wave arrives.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
It is, isn't it?
Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Linda...
Seems as though folks would rather destroy than create.
Thanks for stopping by today!

JO said...

They had some strange weapons indeed back then. Of course look whats going on these days everywhere.

Nice morning for the patio.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Just think if all the effort put into designing weapons would be put to peaceful use, what a better world it would be.