When playing Stone Soup I've stumbled upon a weapon which name I've never heard before. The description said, more or less, that it's a sling's big brother, with its missile pouch attached to a long stick instead of a string. I've had no use for it, so I've left it where I found it. In half an hour, I've promptly forgotten the word for it, and it bugs me now greatly. How is such a weapon called?

  • 1
    That is a catapault. – Weather Vane Oct 21 '17 at 20:24
  • Do you hold tbe stick in your hand, ir is is a really big stick (log) with a counterweight mounted on a frame? – Spencer Oct 21 '17 at 20:25
  • The word wasn't 'catapult'. Exact dimensions weren't mentioned, but it was a hand-help weapon. – Michail Oct 21 '17 at 20:34
  • A catapault is of no particular size. It can be an elasticated sling shot, a hand held stick, or a major artillery peice. – Weather Vane Oct 21 '17 at 20:41
  • @WeatherVane I didn't know that about catapults, thank you. But it wasn't the word, it was something more obscure. – Michail Oct 21 '17 at 20:51

There are a large number of sling variants, but you are probably referring to the fustibalus.

(More wikipedia here):

The staff sling, also known as the stave slingfustibalus (Latin), fustibale (French), consists of a staff (a length of wood) with a short sling at one end. One cord of the sling is firmly attached to the stave and the other end has a loop that can slide off and release the projectile. Staff slings are extremely powerful because the stave can be made as long as two meters, creating a powerful lever. Ancient art shows slingers holding staff slings by one end, with the pocket behind them, and using both hands to throw the staves forward over their heads.

Popular Mechanics has an article where they describe two types of projectiles used by fustibalus-wielding Roman soldiers. Ome was large and lemon-shaped, and the other was smaller and used more like buckshot. The article speculates on the purpose of holes drilled in the smaller projectiles, namely that they made a whistling noise whose purpose was to inspire fear in the enemy. ("Incoming!")

marine use of fustibalus

(Wikimedia commons)

Two men on the stern castle of the ship in this medieval drawing are wielding pole slings, ready to let their missiles fly.

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  • 1
    What does that interesting device look like? Adding an image will make this excellent answer awesome. [1 picture speak 1000 word.] Note that the image in your wikipedia link does not show the device very clearly. Better images can be found by google search. Please edit the picture directly into the answer and not as a link. I already upvotes! – English Student Oct 21 '17 at 21:16
  • @EnglishStudent The only satisfactory non-copyrighed image I could find was this one from Wikipedia. The hand-drawn circle is beyond what I want to attempt on this phone – Spencer Oct 22 '17 at 17:04

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