Sphendonetai Rhodioi are armed with slings made from leather, as well as hemp and flaxen cord, and are armored in a padded linen 'half-cuirass'. Their missiles will rain death upon most foes, and they out-range most enemies.
These men hail from Rhodos, one of the most storied states and greatest mercantile powers in the Hellenistic world, famous for its fine slingers throughout the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Men like these traveled with Xenophon, fought in the armies of Phillip and Alexander, and served as mercenaries with most of the major powers even through Roman domination. They are armed with slings made from leather, as well as hemp and flaxen cord, and are armored in a padded linen 'half-cuirass'. This gives them some longevity in melee combat, but they are best withdrawn before melee begins in earnest. Their missiles will rain death upon most foes, and they out-range most enemies.
Historically, slingers from Rhodes and others trained in their methods made significant contributions to Hellenic and Successor armies. Xenophon's Anabasis is probably the clearest example, where slingers from Rhodos are able to outfight archers and presumably keep mounted archers at bay. They performed the latter function for Alexander as well, in concert with bolt-throwing engines. In the acceding Hellenistic age, their use by virtually every power is a testament to their effectiveness. Slingers from Rhodos appear later in the Roman army, but history from later periods becomes increasingly sketchy.