E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
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.)
Achilles spear. 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 tabë 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.