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Shrouds of Aryas
Reconstructive Thoughts on Аrуаn Pre-History from Post-History
© 2023 James LaFond
Copyright 2023 James LaFond
A Crackpot Book
Lynn Lockhart Publisher
Dust Cover
Herodotus wrote his Histories some 2400 years ago. Since boyhood academia has lied to me about The Father of History: that his work was uncritical and un-inquisitive, and more broadly, that “history” is a record of known acts, when, according to Herodotus and also my experience of attempting a dialogue with past reality, history is nothing but Inquiry into the past.
Shrouds of Aryas is a simple inquiry into ancient literature by an old man who has experimented in his youth with their combat rituals and who has produced more literature than any living human. This simple inquiry is a companion to the books Sons of Aryas, Beasts of Aryas and Song of Aryas and has no mission beyond curiosity.
Once Our Kind lived in an age of active inquiry. Now, within our gas lit mind hive, a place where history is truly dead and the playwrights of our lives lie to us through oracles that outnumber the living, some of us avoid the new Delphi and seek an audience with Homer, Hesiod and even Orpheus and Alexander in hopes of a more direct understanding than Modernity’s perpetual misleading.
Author’s Note
Yesterday three happenings shamed me into attempting this book I had hoped not to begin: Herman, a lawyer who offered to help me attain a passport and purchase me a ticket to Greece declared it a shame that I should not visit the land that has occupied so much of my reading. Bedford, a man who has been experimenting with ancient weaponry inquired about the throwing spear, a weapon I once made sing when I was young and strong, and my eyes failed disastrously in an attempt to read their honorable efforts. This reminded me that my editor has supplied me with a library of ancient audio books and that a sweet reader has provided a computer reader.
It is time I listened. But first, a response.
Bedford, I understand that your attempts to experiment with throwing spears as an adult, have proved frustrating. In a brief study to begin this overture I will review the misconceptions on muscle-powered missile weapons being better than hand weapons fostered by our own modern primacy having been elevated on the steely barrels of the Winchester and the Maxim Gun.
Uncoached in throwing other than with the ball, strong for my size and age, and of slightly less than average athletic ability, I spent two summers trowing steel fence-posts of thrice the weight of ancient casting spears. This resulted in my overusing my shoulder and wrecking it, limiting me to 46 years with no ability to throw overhand.
At 13 and 14 years, at 5’ 8” and 143 pounds, I was able to throw a five pound, five foot long, fence post, with a dull point, 40 yards accurately. Penetration into pine trees I used for target practice were as follows:
40 yards = 1 inch
30 yards = 2 inches
20 yards = 3 inches
10 yards = 4 inches, on flat trajectory
My friend, Jeff, found it difficult to pry the “spear” free.
Just as Nestor could no longer through punches from the shoulder in old years, I cannot throw a spear. But once, I could have defeated armor with one.
Bedford, your instinct that childhood training such as employed by Asiatic, Amerindian and English bowman, and as demonstrated by the crucial archery in the Odyssey, would be a necessity is born out by historic inference:
Youths, in Republican Rome, were employed as dart throwers and graduated into the heavy infantry, where the heaviest known throwing dart, the pilum, was thrown to disable enemy shields. The third line of soldiers, the men of middle age and older, were given spears, indicating that, like major league baseball players and NFL quarterbacks, that the throwing arm of the active and gifted thrower, gives out by 40 years and certainly by 50.
Consultation with two professional baseball pitchers and a professional softball coach and the study of a rare underhanded spear throwing illustration, as well as practice with machete fighting and an analysis of Alexander’s line of battle, suggests the following:
-That ethnic warriors such as Thracians, Agrianians, Rhodian and Baleric slingers who operated as peltasts into middle age, used throwing devices, such as chords, threw underhanded, threw at extreme close range, and were formidable swordsmen.
-Dueling tradition from a 9th century B.C. Olympic encounter has a sword fight being fought between an archer and a peltast, these men having very good body mechanics for sword and small shield work. Likewise, the Thraex, of A.D. 200 was the most feared small shield fighter of the Roman arena, and was armed with the small spiked shield and cutlass of the Thracean warrior.
Looking at the build and reach and eye activity of major League baseball players, all of whom are formidable throwers and of non-running NFL Quarterbacks, suggests that if ball sports did not exist, that these men would occupy the top 100 heavyweight boxing slots. It is no accident that Apollo was god of boxing and archery, and that Paris, the prince of Troy, a famed archer, was said to be the best boxer that town had to offer. Among boxers there is no greater compliment than to say, as was said of welterweight standout, Kermit Citron, “He has cannonball shoulders.”
Bedford, as you mentioned the English Longbowmen, recall that they beat French knights to death with camp tools. The athletic development of the thrower, who runs as he casts his weapon, makes him a terrifying duelist, skirmisher and pursuit trooper. Alexander put his Cretan bowmen and Agrianians right up front against heavy horse and foot in an offensive rather than a screening role. It is likely that King David’s 50 heroes were men of this type. Note that the pilum throwing swordsmen of Republican Rome, of the Hastati and Prime ranks, were a heavy version of the peltast, a hybrid trooper that had been pioneered by Iphacrates in the early 300s B.C.
The advantage of stabbing with a spear rather than throwing with one, will be reviewed in section 1, as a summation of the main section in Songs of Aryas.
Herman, thank you so much for offering to send me to Greece. I, however, am a small quirky creature who has only made himself two promises: to either die writing or fighting. For the later, at my small, and advanced age, I require to be armed with a knife so that I will be shot rather than arrested. Hence I cannot, according to my own, personal code, subject myself to airport security.
Inspirational Quote
“It would be an honor to swing some sticks with you.”
-John of The North
Section 1: Overture
Of Most Urgent Means
Section 2: Inquiry
Impressions of Ancient Audio Recordings
Section 3: Continuity
Expressions of Ancient Futures
The Man From Should
upon the earth
Our Projected Ideal
america the brutal
masculine axis
thriving in bad places
advent america
the greatest boxer
uncle satan
the gods of boxing
sons of aryas
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