A javelin is a light spear designed primarily to be thrown, historically as a ranged weapon, but today predominantly for sport. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand, unlike the bow and arrow and slingshot, which shoot projectiles from a mechanism. However, devices do exist to assist the javelin thrower in achieving greater distance, generally called spear-throwers.
A warrior or soldier armed primarily with one or more javelins is a javelineer.
There is archaeological evidence that javelins and throwing sticks were already in use by the last phase of the lower Paleolithic. Seven spear-like objects were found in a coal mine in the city of Schöningen, Germany. Stratigraphic dating indicates that the weapons are about 400,000 years old. The excavated items were made of spruce (Picea) trunk and were between 1.83 and 2.25 metres long. They were manufactured with the maximum thickness and weight situated at the front end of the wooden shaft. The frontal centre of gravity suggests that these pole weapons were used as javelins. A fossilized horse shoulder blade with a projectile wound, dated to 500,000 years ago, was revealed in a gravel quarry in the village of Boxgrove, England. Studies suggested that the wound was probably caused by a javelin.
In History of Ancient Egypt: Volume 1 (1882), George Rawlinson depicts the javelin as an offensive weapon used by the Ancient Egyptian military. It was lighter in weight than that used by other nations. He describes the Ancient Egyptian javelin's features:
“It consisted of a long thin shaft, sometimes merely pointed, but generally armed with a head, which was either leaf-shaped, or like the head of a spear, or else four-sided, and attached to the shaft by projections at the angles.”
A strap or tasseled head was situated at the lower end of the javelin: it allowed the javelin thrower to recover his javelin after throwing it.
Egyptian military trained from a young age in special military schools. Focusing on gymnastics to gain strength, hardiness and endurance in childhood, they learned to throw the javelin – along with practicing archery and the battle-axe – when they grew older, before entering a specific regiment.
Javelins were carried by Egyptian light infantry, as a main weapon, and as an alternative to a spear or a bow and arrow, generally along with a shield. They also carried a curved sword, a club or a hatchet as a side-arm. An important part in battles is often assigned to javelin-men, “whose weapons seem to inflict death at every blow”.
Beyond its military purpose, the javelin was likely also a hunting instrument, both to seek food and as a sport.
The peltasts, usually serving as skirmishers, were armed with several javelins, often with throwing straps to increase stand-off power. The peltasts hurled their javelins at the enemy's heavier troops, the hoplite phalanx, in order to break their lines so that their own army's hoplites could destroy the weakened enemy formation. In the battle of Lechaeum, the Athenian general Iphicrates took advantage of the fact that a Spartan hoplite phalanx operating near Corinth was moving in the open field without the protection of any missile-throwing troops. He decided to ambush it with his force of peltasts. By launching repeated hit-and-run attacks against the Spartan formation, Iphicrates and his men were able to wear the Spartans down, eventually routing them and killing just under half. This marked the first recorded occasion in ancient Greek military history in which a force entirely made up of peltasts had defeated a force of hoplites.
Javelins were often used as an effective hunting weapon, the strap adding enough power to take down large game. Javelins were also used in the Ancient Olympics and other Panhellenic games. They were hurled in a certain direction and whoever hurled it the farthest, as long as it hit tip-first, won that game.
In the ancient world javelins were often thrown with the aid of a throwing string, or Amentum.
In 387 BC, the Gauls invaded Italy, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Roman Republican army, and sacked Rome. After this defeat, the Romans undertook a comprehensive reform of their army and changed the basic tactical formation from the Greek-style phalanx armed with the hasta spear and the clipeus round shield to a more flexible three-line formation. The Hastati stood in the first line, the Principes in the second line and the Triarii at the third line. While the Triarii were still armed with the hasta, the Hastati and the Principes were rearmed with short swords and heavy javelins. Each soldier from the Hastati and Principes lines carried two javelins. This heavy javelin, known as a Pilum (plural "pila"), was about two metres long overall, consisting of an iron shank, about 7 mm in diameter and 60 cm long, with pyramidal head, secured to a wooden shaft. The iron shank was either socketed or, more usually, widened to a flat tang. A pilum usually weighed between two and four kilograms, with the versions produced during the Empire being somewhat lighter. Pictorial evidence suggests that some versions of the weapon were weighted with a lead ball at the base of the shank in order to increase penetrative power, but no archaeological specimens have been found. Recent experiments have shown pila to have a range of about 30 metres, although the effective range is only about 15 to 20 metres. Pila were sometimes referred to as javelins, but the archaic term for the javelin was verutum.
From the third century BC, the Roman legion added a skirmisher type of soldier to its tactical formation. The Velites were light infantry armed with a short sword (the gladius or pugio), a small round shield and several small javelins. These javelins were called veruta (singular "verutum"). The Velites typically drew near the enemy, hurled javelins against its formation and then retreated behind the legion's heavier infantry. The Velites were considered highly effective in turning back war elephants, on account of discharging a hail of javelins at some range and not presenting a "block" that could be trampled on or otherwise smashed - unlike the close-order infantry behind them. At the Battle of Zama in 202 BC, the javelin-throwing Velites proved their worth and were no doubt critical in helping to herd Hannibal's war elephants through the formation to be slaughtered. The Velites would slowly have been either disbanded or re-equipped as more-heavily armed legionaries from the time when Gaius Marius and other Roman generals reorganised the army in the late second and early first centuries BC. Their role would most likely have been taken by irregular auxiliary troops as the Republic expanded overseas. The verutum was a cheaper missile weapon than the pilum. The verutum was a short-range weapon, with a simply made head of soft iron.
Legionaries of the Late Republic and Early Empire often carried two pila, with one sometimes being lighter than the other. Standard tactics called for a Roman soldier to throw his pilum (both if there was time) at the enemy just before charging to engage with his gladius. Some pila had small hand-guards, to protect the wielder if he intended to use it as a melee weapon, but it does not appear that this was common.
In the late Roman Empire, the Roman infantry came to use a differently-shaped javelin from the earlier pilum. This javelin was lighter and had a greater range. Called a plumbata, it resembled a thick stocky arrow, fletched with leather vanes to provide stability and rotation in flight (which increased accuracy). To overcome its comparatively small mass, the plumbata was fitted with an oval-shaped lead weight socketed around the shaft just forward of the center of balance, giving the weapon its name. Even so, plumbatae were much lighter than pila, and would not have had the armour penetration or shield transfixing capabilities of their earlier counterparts.
Two or three plumbatae were typically clipped to a small wooden bracket on the inside of the large oval or round shields used at the time. Massed troops would unclip and hurl plumbatae as the enemy neared, hopefully stalling their movement and morale by making them clump together and huddle under their shields. With the enemy deprived of rapid movement and their visibility impaired by their own raised shields, the Roman troops were then better placed to exploit the tactical situation. It is unlikely plumbatae were viewed by the Romans as the killing blow, but more as a means of stalling the enemy at ranges greater than previously provided by the heavier and shorter ranged pilum.
The Gallic cavalry used to hurl several javelin volleys to soften the enemy before a frontal attack. The Gallic cavalry used their javelins in a tactic similar to that of horse archers' Parthian shot. The Gauls knew how to turn on horseback to throw javelins backwards while appearing to retreat.
The Hispanic cavalry was a light cavalry armed with a Falcata and several light javelins. The Cantabri tribes invented a military tactic to maximize the advantages of the combination between horse and javelin. In this tactic the horsemen rode around in circles, toward and away from the enemy, continually hurling javelins. The tactic was usually employed against heavy infantry. The constant movement of the horsemen gave them an advantage against slow infantry and made them hard to target. The maneuver was designed to harass and taunt the enemy forces, disrupting close formations. This was commonly used against enemy infantry, especially the heavily armed and slow moving legions of the Romans. This tactic came to be known as the Cantabrian circle. In the late Republic various auxiliary cavalry completely replaced the Italian cavalry contingents and the Hispanic auxiliary cavalry was considered the best.
The Numidians were indigenous tribes of northwest Africa. The Numidian cavalry was a light cavalry usually operating as skirmishers. The Numidian horseman was armed with a small shield and several javelins. The Numidians had a reputation as swift horsemen, cunning soldiers and excellent javelin throwers. It is said that Jugurtha, the Numidian king "...took part in the national pursuits of riding, javelin throwing and competed with other young men in running." [Sallust The Jugurthine War: 6]. The Numidian Cavalry served as mercenaries in the Carthaginian Army and played a key role in assisting Hannibal during the Second Punic War.
There is some literary and archeological evidence that the Norse were familiar with and used the javelin for hunting and warfare, but they commonly used a spear designed for both throwing and thrusting. The Old Norse word for javelin was frakka.
The Anglo-Saxon term for javelin was france. In Anglo-Saxon warfare, soldiers usually formed a shield wall and used heavy weapons like Danish axes, swords and spears. Javelins, including barbed angons, were used as an offensive weapon from behind the shield wall or by warriors who left the protective formation and attacked the enemy as skirmishers. Designed to be difficult to remove from either flesh or wood, the Angon javelin used by Anglo-Saxon warriors was an effective means of disabling an opponent or his shield, thus having the potential to disrupt opposing shield-walls.
The Almogavars were a class of Aragonese infantrymen armed with a short sword, a shield and two heavy javelins, known as azcona. The equipment resembled that of a Roman legionary and the use of the heavy javelins was much the same.
The Jinetes were Arabic light horsemen armed with a javelin, sword and a shield, they were proficient at skirmishing and rapid maneuver, and played an important role in Arabic mounted warfare throughout the Reconquista until the sixteenth century.
The Welsh, particularly those of North Wales, used the javelin as one of their main weapons. During the Norman and later English invasions, the primary Welsh tactic was to rain javelins on the tired, hungry and heavily armoured English troops and then retreat into the mountains or woods before the English troops could pursue and attack them. This tactic was very successful, since it demoralized and damaged the English armies while the Welsh ranks suffered little.
Many African tribes have used the javelin as their main weapon since ancient times. Typical African warfare was based on ritualized stand-off encounters involving throwing javelins without advancing for close combat. In the flag of Eswatini there is a shield and two javelins, which symbolize the protection from the country's enemies.
The Zulu warriors used a long version of the assegai javelin as their primary weapon. The Zulu legendary leader Shaka initiated military reforms in which a short stabbing spear, with a long, swordlike spearhead named iklwa had become the Zulu warrior's main weapon and was used as a mêlée weapon. The assegai was not discarded, but was used for an initial missile assault. With the larger shields, introduced by Shaka to the Zulu army, the short spears used as stabbing swords and the opening phase of javelin attack the Zulu regiments were quite similar to the Roman legion with its Scutum, Gladius and Pilum tactical combination.
In Norse mythology, Odin, the chief god, carried a javelin or spear called Gungnir. It was created by a group of dwarves known as the Sons of Ivaldi who also fashioned the ship of Freyr called Skidbladnir and the golden hair of Sif. It had the property of always finding its mark ("the spear never stopped in its thrust"). During the final conflict of Ragnarok between the gods and giants, Odin will use Gungnir to attack the wolf Fenrir before being devoured by him.
During the war (and subsequent alliance) between the Aesir and Vanir at the dawn of time, Odin hurled a javelin over the enemy host  which, according to custom, was thought to bring good fortune or victory to the thrower. Odin also wounded himself with a spear while hanging from Yggdrasil, the World Tree, in his ritual quest for knowledge  but in neither case is the weapon referred to specifically as Gungnir.
When the god Baldr began to have prophetic dreams of his own death, his mother Frigg extracted an oath from all things in nature not to harm him. However, she neglected the mistletoe, thinking it was too young to make, let alone respect, such a solemn vow. When Loki learned of this weakness, he had a javelin or dart made from one of its branches and tricked Hod, the blind god, into hurling it at Baldr and causing his death.
The god Runesocesius is identified as a "god of the javelin".
The AMC Javelin is an American front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-door hardtop manufactured and marketed by AMC across two generations, 1968–70 and 1971–74.
Styled by Dick Teague, the Javelin was available in a range of trim and engine levels, from economical pony car to muscle car variants. In addition to manufacture in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Javelins were assembled under license in Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, as well as Australia – and were marketed globally.
As the winner of Trans-Am race series in 1971, 1972, and 1976, the second-generation AMX variant was the first pony car to be used as a standard vehicle for highway police car duties by an American law enforcement agency.Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's javelin throw
The men's javelin throw competition at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens was held at the Olympic Stadium on 25–27 August.Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's javelin throw
The men's javelin throw event at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 21 and 23 August at the Beijing National Stadium. The qualification mark was set at 82.50 metres.
The qualifying standards were 81.80 m (268.37 ft) (A standard) and 77.80 m (255.25 ft) (B standard).Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's javelin throw
The women's javelin throw at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 19–21 August at the Beijing National Stadium.The qualifying standards were 60.50 m (A standard) and 56.00 m (B standard).Mariya Abakumova held the lead from her first throw, with Barbora Špotáková the only other competitor within 3 metres. Abakumova improved to 70.78 on her fourth throw. Christina Obergföll took third place, and Goldie Sayers took fourth (with a British national record); both of these positions were gained from their first round throws with no improvement thereafter. Then Špotáková threw 71.42 on her final throw to win the gold medal, with Abakumova taking silver.
Eight years after the competition, the IOC retested samples from the event in connection with the Russian doping scandal. Mariya Abakumova tested positive for chlorodehydromethyltestosterone (turinabol), so she was disqualified and stripped of her silver medal, which was reallocated to Christina Obergföll. On 26 July 2018, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed the award of the bronze medal to Goldie Sayers.Athletics at the 2012 Summer Paralympics – Men's javelin throw
The Men's Javelin Throw athletics events for the 2012 Summer Paralympics took place at the London Olympic Stadium from September 1 to September 8. A total of 8 events were contested incorporating 14 different classifications.Athletics at the 2012 Summer Paralympics – Women's javelin throw
The Women's javelin throw athletics events for the 2012 Summer Paralympics took place at the London Olympic Stadium from August 31 to September 8. A total of 6 events were contested over this distance for 14 different classifications.Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's javelin throw
The men's javelin throw competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium between August 17–20.Breaux Greer
Breaux Greer (born October 19, 1976) is a retired American track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. He is the current American record holder in the event with a throw of 91.29 m (299.5 ft), achieved on June 21, 2007. This was also the best throw in the world for almost eight years until surpassed by Julius Yego in 2015. He is an eight-time American Champion.
His coach was Finnish javelin thrower Kari Ihalainen. He appeared on the second season of American Gladiators as Hurricane.British Rail Class 395
The British Rail Class 395 Javelin is a dual-voltage electric multiple unit (EMU) built for high-speed commuter services on High Speed 1 and elsewhere on the Integrated Kent Franchise.
The six-car trains were built in Japan by Hitachi and operate at a maximum speed of 140 mph (225 km/h) under 25 kV AC overhead electrification on High Speed 1, and 100 mph (160 km/h) on 750 V DC third rail supply on conventional lines.
The use of the high-speed trains as part of the transport infrastructure for the Olympic Park formed part of the original bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The service was named the Olympic Javelin Shuttle, and was the origin for the Javelin nickname. The Olympic services began 28 July 2012.Decathlon
The decathlon is a combined event in athletics consisting of ten track and field events. The word decathlon is of Greek origin, from δέκα (déka, meaning "ten") and ἄθλος (áthlos, or ἄθλον, áthlon, meaning "contest" or “prize”). Events are held over two consecutive days and the winners are determined by the combined performance in all. Performance is judged on a points system in each event, not by the position achieved. The decathlon is contested mainly by male athletes, while female athletes typically compete in the heptathlon.
Traditionally, the title of "World's Greatest Athlete" has been given to the person who wins the decathlon, thus the world's greatest athlete of all times is the recordman of decathlon (Kevin Mayer as of September 2018). This began when King Gustav V of Sweden told Jim Thorpe, "You, sir, are the world's greatest athlete" after Thorpe won the decathlon at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. The official decathlon world record holder is French Kevin Mayer, who scored 9,126 points at the 2018 Décastar.
The event developed from the ancient pentathlon. Pentathlon competitions were held at the ancient Greek Olympics. Pentathlons involved five disciplines – long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, sprint and a wrestling match. Introduced in Olympia during 708 BC, the competition was extremely popular for many centuries. By the sixth century BC, pentathlons had become part of religious games. A ten-event competition known as the "all-around" or "all-round" championship, similar to the modern decathlon, was first contested at the United States amateur championships in 1884 and reached a consistent form by 1890; an all-around was held at the 1904 Summer Olympics, though whether it was an official Olympic event has been disputed. The modern decathlon first appeared on the Olympic athletics program at the 1912 Games in Stockholm.FGM-148 Javelin
The FGM-148 Javelin is an American man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile fielded to replace the M47 Dragon anti-tank missile in US service. It uses an automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch, as opposed to wired-guided systems, like the Dragon, where the user has to actively guide the weapon throughout the engagement. The Javelin's HEAT warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by attacking them from above where their armor is thinnest (see top-attack), and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight.As of January 2019, over 5,000 Javelin missiles have been fired in combat.Gloster Javelin
The Gloster Javelin is a twin-engined T-tailed delta-wing subsonic night and all-weather interceptor aircraft that served with Britain's Royal Air Force from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. The last aircraft design to bear the Gloster name, it was introduced in 1956 after a lengthy development period and received several upgrades during its lifetime to its engines, radar and weapons, which included the De Havilland Firestreak air-to-air missile.
The Javelin was succeeded in the interceptor role by the English Electric Lightning, a supersonic aircraft capable of flying at more than double the Javelin's top speed, which was introduced into the RAF only a few years later. The Javelin served for much of its life alongside the Lightning; the last Javelins were withdrawn from operational service in 1968 following the introduction of successively more capable versions of the Lightning.Jan Železný
Jan Železný (Czech pronunciation: [jan ˈʒɛlɛzniː] (listen); born 16 June 1966) is a retired Czech track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. He was a World and Olympic Champion and holds the world record with a throw of 98.48 m. Widely considered to be the greatest javelin thrower of the modern era, he also has the second, third and fourth best performances of all time.Javelin (surface-to-air missile)
Javelin is a British man-portable surface-to-air missile, formerly used by the British Army and Canadian Army. It can be fired from the shoulder, or from a dedicated launcher known as Javelin LML: Lightweight Multiple Launcher. Capable of being vehicle mounted, the LML carries three rounds.
It was replaced in front line British service by the Javelin S-15, sold commercially as the Starburst surface-to-air missile in 1993 (radio frequency guided Javelin was retained for some time thereafter for training purposes), and later by the Starstreak starting around 1997. The Javelin GL was hastily purchased by the Canadian Forces to replace the existing Blowpipe surface-to-air missile system that failed last-minute tests during preparations for the deployment to the Gulf. It was later replaced by the Javelin S15 until retired without replacement in 2005.Javelin dinghy
The Javelin is a 14-foot dinghy designed by Uffa Fox in 1960 and built by the O'Day company until 1984. The boat is a comfortable daysailer. Over 5000 were produced in the United States and the older "classic" models are still being built in Japan.
The Javelin sails off a D-PN of 111.3Javelin throw
The javelin throw is a track and field event where the javelin, a spear about 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) in length, is thrown. The javelin thrower gains momentum by running within a predetermined area. Javelin throwing is an event of both the men's decathlon and the women's heptathlon.Southeastern (train operating company)
London & South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Southeastern, is a British train operating company owned by the Anglo-French joint venture Govia that provides passenger rail services in South East England. It is the key operator of commuter and regional services in South East London and Kent but also serves parts of East Sussex. Southeastern trains operate on three main routes: the Southeastern Main Line from London Cannon Street and London Charing Cross to Dover via Sevenoaks; the Chatham Main Line between London Victoria and Dover/Ramsgate via the Medway towns; and High Speed 1 from London St. Pancras.
Southeastern began operations on 1 April 2006 as the franchisee for the new Integrated Kent franchise (IKF), replacing the publicly owned South Eastern Trains on the former South Eastern franchise. Southeastern has received a number of extensions since, and the current franchise is due to end on 22 June 2019. Govia has bid to continue operating the new South Eastern franchise from that date.Stuart Farquhar
Stuart Farquhar (born 15 March 1982 in Te Aroha, Thames Valley) is a male javelin thrower from New Zealand. He was the silver medallist in the men's javelin at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Farquhar is a twelve time New Zealand National Javelin Champion. In April 2012 he recorded a new personal best of 86.31 metres in Hiroshima, Japan.He finished sixth at the 2006 IAAF World Cup. In addition he competed at the 2004 Olympic Games without reaching the final. He improved on his previous Olympic result by finishing 20th at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Farquhar finished 9th in the men's javelin final at the 2012 Summer Olympics with a throw of 80.22 metres.Track and field
Track and field is a sport which includes athletic contests established on the skills of running, jumping, and throwing. The name is derived from the sport's typical venue: a stadium with an oval running track enclosing a grass field where the throwing and some of the jumping events take place. Track and field is categorized under the umbrella sport of athletics, which also includes road running, cross country running, and race walking.
The foot racing events, which include sprints, middle- and long-distance events, race walking and hurdling, are won by the athlete with the fastest time. The jumping and throwing events are won by the athlete who achieves the greatest distance or height. Regular jumping events include long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault, while the most common throwing events are shot put, javelin, discus and hammer. There are also "combined events" or "multi events", such as the pentathlon consisting of five events, heptathlon consisting of seven events, and decathlon consisting of ten events. In these, athletes participate in a combination of track and field events. Most track and field events are individual sports with a single victor; the most prominent team events are relay races, which typically feature teams of four. Events are almost exclusively divided by gender, although both the men's and women's competitions are usually held at the same venue. If a race has too many people to run all at once, preliminary heats will be run to narrow down the field of participants.
Track and field is one of the oldest sports. In ancient times, it was an event held in conjunction with festivals and sports meets such as the Ancient Olympic Games in Greece. In modern times, the two most prestigious international track and field competitions are athletics competition at the Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. The International Association of Athletics Federations is the international governing body.
Records are kept of the best performances in specific events, at world and national levels, right down to a personal level. However, if athletes are deemed to have violated the event's rules or regulations, they are disqualified from the competition and their marks are erased.
In North America, the term track and field may be used to refer to other athletics events, such as the marathon, rather than strictly track-based events.