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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Antiquities by Type| ▸ |Weapons & Tools| ▸ |Lead Glandes Sling Bullets||View Options:  |  |  | 

Lead Glandes Sling Bullets

According to the contemporary report of Vegatius, Republican slingers had an accurate range of up to six hundred feet. The best sling ammunition was cast from lead. For a given mass, lead, being very dense, offered the minimum size and therefore minimum air resistance. Also, lead sling-bullets were small and difficult to see in flight. In some cases, the lead would be cast in a simple open mold made by pushing a finger, thumb, or sharpened stick into sand and pouring molten metal into the hole. The flat top end could later be carved to a matching shape. More frequently, they were cast in two-part molds. Sling-bullets were made in a variety of shapes including an ellipsoidal form closely resembling an acorn; possibly the origin of the Latin word for lead sling-bullet: glandes plumbeae (literally leaden acorns) or simply glandes (meaning acorns, singular glans). The most common shape by far was biconical, resembling the shape of an almond or an American football. Why the almond shape was favored is unknown. Possibly there was some aerodynamic advantage, but it seems equally likely that there was a more prosaic reason, such as the shape being easy to extract from a mold, or that it will rest in a sling cradle with little danger of rolling out. Almond-shaped lead sling-bullets were typically about 35 millimeters (1.4 in) long and about 20 millimeters (0.8 in) wide. Sometimes symbols or writings were molded on the side. A thunderbolt, a snake, a scorpion, or others symbols indicating how it might strike without warning were popular. Writing might include the name of the military unit or commander, or was sometimes more imaginative, such as, "Take this," "Ouch," "Catch," or even "For Pompey's backside."

Roman Republic, Lead Glans Sling Bullet, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Lead| |Glandes| |Sling| |Bullets|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Lead| |Glans| |Sling| |Bullet,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|NEW
From a Spanish collection. Probably found at site of the Battle of Munda where Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian army. Tens of thousands of Romans died at Munda, and Caesar himself fought for his life among the ranks. According to the contemporary report of Vegatius, Republican slingers had an accurate range of up to six hundred feet.
AS96249. cf. Petrie XLIV 15-23; glandes sling bullet, roughly almond shape, 87.8g, 52mm long, Choice large example, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; $75.00 SALE |PRICE| $67.00
 


Roman Republic, Lead Glans Sling Bullet, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Lead| |Glandes| |Sling| |Bullets|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Lead| |Glans| |Sling| |Bullet,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|NEW
From a Spanish collection. Probably found at site of the Battle of Munda where Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian army. Tens of thousands of Romans died at Munda, and Caesar himself fought for his life among the ranks. According to the contemporary report of Vegatius, Republican slingers had an accurate range of up to six hundred feet.
AS96248. cf. Petrie XLIV 15-23; glandes sling bullet, roughly almond shape, 68.5g, 44mm long, Choice large example, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


Greek, Inscribed Lead Glandes Sling-Bullet, c. 4th - 1st Century B.C.

|Lead| |Glandes| |Sling| |Bullets|, |Greek,| |Inscribed| |Lead| |Glandes| |Sling-Bullet,| |c.| |4th| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|
According to the contemporary report of Vegatius, Republican slingers had an accurate range of up to six hundred feet. The best sling ammunition was cast from lead. For a given mass, lead, being very dense, offered the minimum size and therefore minimum air resistance. Also, lead sling-bullets were small and difficult to see in flight. In some cases, the lead would be cast in a simple open mold made by pushing a finger, thumb, or sharpened stick into sand and pouring molten metal into the hole. The flat top end could later be carved to a matching shape. More frequently, they were cast in two-part molds. Sling-bullets were made in a variety of shapes including an ellipsoidal form closely resembling an acorn; possibly the origin of the Latin word for lead sling-bullet: glandes plumbeae (literally leaden acorns) or simply glandes (meaning acorns, singular glans). The most common shape by far was biconical, resembling the shape of an almond or an American football. Why the almond shape was favored is unknown. Possibly there was some aerodynamic advantage, but it seems equally likely that there was a more prosaic reason, such as the shape being easy to extract from a mold, or that it will rest in a sling cradle with little danger of rolling out. Almond-shaped lead sling-bullets were typically about 35 millimeters (1.4 in) long and about 20 millimeters (0.8 in) wide. Sometimes symbols or writings were molded on the side. A thunderbolt, a snake, a scorpion, or others symbols indicating how it might strike without warning were popular. Writing might include the name of the military unit or commander, or was sometimes more imaginative, such as, "Take this," "Ouch," "Catch," or even "For Pompey's backside."
AS87306. lead, almond shaped, 32.3mm long, 18mm wide 30.465g, inscribed with a wasp on one side and KAΛA on the opposite side, brown patina, KAΛA is not entirely clear on this piece but is confirmed by other specimens, ex Hixenbaugh Ancient Art (NYC, 2012); SOLD







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