refers to “spearthrowers”. In fact, it is still a very interesting kind of arms, but we often find that people used this kind of arms in ancient Europe. In ancient China, it seems that this kind of arms is very rare. So what is the reason? Is it not in line with the battlefield conditions of ancient China, or is there another reason? Let’s analyze and uncover the secrets of these problems together!

the so-called “spearthrower” popular in ancient Europe should refer to javelin.

has always been a saying among lovers of ancient military history in China that “the Chinese army does not use javelin, and only the Western army uses javelin”. Some people think that there was a powerful weapon “crossbow” in ancient China, and there was no need for such a stupid thing as javelin; In his paper on the battle of Talos, an old professor of northwest history in the Sui and Tang Dynasties directly believed that the Tang army’s lack of Javelin used by Arabs was an important reason for the failure of the battle.

why did the so-called “spearthrowers” popular in ancient Europe have no market in China? ” Is this true?

as early as the late Paleolithic, our ancestors have begun to make stone spears that can stab and throw. It is also this weapon that can kill prey from a long distance, which finally helped mankind defeat and eliminate all kinds of huge beasts in ancient times, and finally reached the top of the food chain.

▲ hunting scenes of primitive people using stone spears

a small spear existed in China as early as the Shang Dynasty. In the study of bronze weapons in Yin Ruins, it is mentioned that “among the bronze spears unearthed in Yin Ruins, there is also a small spear with a length of more than 10 cm and a small C diameter… This kind of wooden spear seems not suitable for fighting”. In later archaeological excavations, such small spears emerged one after another. Two types of spears were unearthed in the cemetery of the state of Guo. The large spear head was about 20cm long and the small spear head was about 10cm long. A number of Shang and Zhou bronze spears were also excavated in Changxing, Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, including large and small spears.

▲ small bronze spears unearthed in Changxing, with a length of 10cm up and down.

it is generally believed that this is the Chinese javelin in the bronze age.

in the Han Dynasty called the javelin a (pronunciation ch á n). “Shi Ming Shi Bing” said: “a, Yan ye, Da Ye, go here to the other.” In other words, throw it from here to there. Ma Rong’s Ode to Guangcheng in the Eastern Han Dynasty describes the scene of field Hunting: “flying a electric shock, flowing arrows and falling rain, each referring to the quality.” Flying a in the air is very vivid compared to shining lightning. According to the book of Jin and biography of Zhu Shou, Zhu Shou, a general of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, once caught an a thrown by the enemy in a battle and threw it back.

▲ the Han Dynasty iron a


Song Gaocheng’s “Shijiyuan rongrongbing weapons and side cards”: “Huiyao” said: Taizong heard that the South used the side cards of Javelin as soldiers and ordered Xiao Yanhao to learn from the Guangde army. This is the beginning of the signboard used by sergeants. ” Song Wang Yinglin’s “Yuhai · military system IV · Xianping Guangjie military” also said: “first, the emperor heard that the South used the sign next to the javelin as the weapon, and ordered a company to make it.” The Javelin of Song Dynasty is also called “shuttle gun”. The nine colors of the gun in the book “general essentials of Wu Jing” of Song Dynasty have the pattern of shuttle gun.

▲ the illustration

in the general essentials of the martial arts classic also records and supplements the shuttle gun in the book of war. In the annals of the armed forces, military assets and equipment III: “the shuttle gun is several feet long. It is originally used by the barbarians in the south. One holds a side card and one sincerely plays in the disaster corridor for tens of steps. All the people in the middle are high. With its throwing like a shuttle, the cloud shuttle gun is also called a flying gun.”




there are four main uses of javelin in ancient Chinese Army:




. First, against the shield




, it is recorded in the Ming record that during the Jingnan war, in the face of the southern army with “overlapping shields and self concealment”, the Yan army was “unable to attack”. So the Yan army used the prepared “wooden spear six or seven feet long, across the iron nail at the end, and there was a reverse hook at the end of the nail”, so that the warrior threw the spear “to connect its shield”, and finally broke the Southern Army’s shield array. If the enemy doesn’t have a lot of bows and arrows, it’s only possible to throw more bows and arrows on the opposite side.

second, the Southern Army used

▲ small darts in the Ming Dynasty (Wubei Chronicle)

. Moreover, crossbow strings and bowstrings are easy to be damaged in the humid climate in southern China, which virtually increases the logistics burden and even affects the combat effectiveness. But the javelin won’t. as long as people have strength, they can carry the javelin and go. It won’t be damaged by rain and wind. Anyway, throwing it out and hitting people is as powerful as hitting people, so it won’t be damaged in heavy rain like a bow and crossbow. Therefore, the people in the south prefer to use javelin, which leads to the following series of records: “today’s Yunnan soldiers use javelin in the air, which is called the standard” (Tongya? Weapons) “” tusk children’s weapons, one for each hole, and the iron blade of those who practice Javelin weighs two kilograms “(Miscellaneous notes of Lushui Pavilion).

third, the auxiliary weapon of the shield Soldier:

for example, in the Song Dynasty, “Shijiyuan Rongbing weapon? Side plate”, it is recorded that “Taizong heard that the South used the plate next to the javelin as a soldier, so Xiao Yanhao learned from Guangde army”. Later, the javelin was regarded as the value of the sword shield hand. According to Ji Xiao’s new book, “the cane brand does not abandon the gun (javelin), if there is no brand, it is the same”. Volume 11 introduces the specific usage: “hold the mark in your right hand, cross the waist knife in the card, hold your hand above it, and hold it with your wrist. When the enemy’s long gun will reach your body, throw the mark to stab it. If you don’t hit it, the enemy will use the gun to pull it. I will enter through the gap, quickly take the knife in your right hand, and cut with the card.”

fourth, used by the Navy:

according to the records of Wubei annals, there are two kinds of Javelin used by the navy in the Ming Dynasty: one is called “small dart”, that is, the general javelin, which is seven feet long (about 2.2 meters) and has a gun headIt is made of refined steel and the handle of the gun is made of bamboo or hardwood. “All soldiers in the ship are familiar with it” and “throw it like rain.” The picture scroll of Japanese pirates painted by Ming people now hidden in Japan shows the scene of water war between the Ming army and Japanese pirates, and the scene of Javelin “throwing like rain” is quite vivid. Another kind of Javelin used by the navy in the Ming Dynasty is called “plow dart”, which is also seven feet long, but the head of the gun is large and heavy. It is used to throw enemy ships and enemies from the mast. “When the boat is in the middle, it will cave, and when the man is in the middle, it will break”.

today, there is a unique skill of traditional martial arts – “fighting” in daomadan, Peking Opera. In order to show the fighting heroism of a brave female general, four or eight enemy generals are often ordered to stand at the four corners of the stage and throw their double headed short guns at the female general in order. In the platform of female generals, they use the flower gun in their hands and kick and throw with their feet to hit back the short guns one by one. This is called shooting. The actual combat prototype of this kind of short gun that can be thrown is the javelin.

▲ the javelin

is the short gun thrown in the “fight” of Beijing opera