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H 245 x W 174 mm

110 pages

42 figures (colour throughout)

Published Nov 2023

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803276403

Digital: 9781803276410

DOI 10.32028/9781803276403

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Roman Army; Legions; Slingers; Sling Bullets; Warfare; Julius Caesar

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Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 108

Slingers and Sling Bullets in the Roman Civil Wars of the Late Republic, 90-31 BC

By Lawrence Keppie

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Slingers were an element in the Roman army over many centuries, their activities frequently reported in literary accounts of the Late Republic. Despite an ever-expanding body of ancient evidence, some books on the Roman army scarcely mention slingers. This monograph seeks to redress the balance and draws attention to their role and effectiveness.





Chapter 1: Slingers and slinging in the Roman world


Slings, slingers and sling bullets

Inscriptions on lead bullets

Balearic slingers

A case study: the siege of Numantia, 134-133 BC


Chapter 2: The Social War and the siege of Asculum, 90-89 BC


Chapter 3: Sulla, Sertorius and Caesar, 89-50 BC

Quintus Sertorius

Caesar in Gaul, 58-50 BC

Sosus, King of Mauretania


Chapter 4: Civil war 1: Caesar against Pompey and his sons, 49-45 BC

The battle of Ilerda, 49 BC

Dyrrhachium and Pharsalus, 48 BC

Campaigns in Africa and Spain, 46-45 BC

The battle of Munda, 45 BC


Chapter 5: Civil war 2: Caesar’s heirs and successors, 44-42 BC

The battle of Mutina, 43 BC

Events of 42 BC: Calabria, Sicily, Philippi


Chapter 6: The siege of Perusia, 41-40 BC


Chapter 7: From Perusia to Actium, 40-31 BC


Chapter 8: Slingers under the Roman Empire


Chapter 9: The role of slingers in battle and their effectiveness


Chapter 10: Conclusion


Reference 1: Glossary


Reference 2: Bibliography

Epigraphic corpora




About the Author

Professor Lawrence Keppie studied at the University of Glasgow, Balliol College Oxford, and The British School at Rome, where he was Scholar in Classical Studies. For 30 years he was a curator of archaeology at The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, before retiring in 2003. He has excavated widely on Roman sites in Scotland, and in Italy. His many books include The Making of the Roman Army (1984, 1998), Understanding Roman Inscriptions (1991, 2001) and The Romans on the Bay of Naples (2009). He has held visiting appointments at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., The British School at Rome and The University of British Columbia, Vancouver.