Cairbar asks if Fingal comes in peace, to which Mor-annal
replies: “In peace he comes not, king of Erin, I have seen his forward
spear.” If a stranger kept the point of his spear forward when he
entered a strange land, it was a declaration of war; if he carried the
spear on his shoulder with the point behind him, it was a token of
friendship. (Ossian: Temora, i.)
Telephus, King of Mysia, in attempting to hinder the Greeks from
marching through his country against Troy, was wounded by Achilles'
spear, and was told by an oracle that the wound could be cured only by
the weapon that gave it; at the same time the Greeks were told that
they would never reach Troy except by the aid of Telephus. So, when the
Mysian king repaired to Achilles' tent, some of the rust of the spear
was applied to the wound, and, in return for the cure which followed,
Telephus directed the Greeks on their way to Troy.
Telephus æterna consumptus tabe perisset
Si non quæ nocuit dextra tulisset opem.
The spear of Telephus could both kill and cure. (Plutarch.)
(See Achilles' spear. The heavy spear of Valence was of great
repute in the days of chivalry.
Rone or Ron. To break a spear. To fight in a tournament.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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