Old book bindings

Mallorca in the Classics
A section from the Three Graces
Strabo (64BC – 24AD), the Roman geographer, asserts that the Roman latus clavus, the broad purple strip on a Roman toga, was invented in the Balearic Islands but there is no other vestige of the clothing worn by the ancient inhabitants of the these isles.

Lycophron, (3 rd century BC), the Greek poet, wrote that the Islanders were dressing in animal skins. Diodorus (1st century BC), a Greek historian, said the Islanders wore no clothes. Is it not also likely that heavy clothing would have hampered their dexterity with the sling?

Diodorus also said they lived in perpetual peace and prosperity and were much given to wine drinking, which the Island did not produce, and so fond of women that they would exchange three or four men for one woman. When they went to war with their allies the Carthaginians, they took their pay in wine and women. When they married, the men enjoyed the bride, from the eldest down to the youngest, while the husband got drunk. They lived in caves in the rocks and broke up the bodies of their dead, depositing them in urns which they covered with great stones.

But both Diodorus and Strabo agree with the other historians of that time that the Islanders were a brave warlike people who even held out against the might of Rome, using their expertise with the sling to keep them from their shores. But eventually the Romans covered their boats with hides to protect them from the deadly hail and were able to take over the Island. And Balearic slingers went on to serve alongside their conquerors in the Roman army.