Roman Gladius: Pompeii


6 in stock

Description of the Product

The Roman Army’s approach to warfare was direct and pragmatic. In their trips of conquest to Iberia (now Spain) they came across a new formidable sword, now known as Gladius Hispanicus. The Romans were fast to recognize the potential of this new weapon. Abandoning their old swords, they chose the Gladius as the principal sidearm (spear was the main weapon during these times) because it was practical and efficient and excelled in any close combat situation. The Gladius evolved as time passed. There are four identified types: Hispanicus, Mainz, Fulham and Pompeii. Each type is named after the main location of the first excavation. We sell the two of the most common ones, the Mainz and the Pompeii. The early Gladius (our version is the Mainz pattern) was wasp-waisted with a long point that combined cutting power and stabbing ability in one handy weapon. This is the sword that Julius Caesar conquered most of the known world with. The later Pompeii-version was not wasp-waisted and the tip was shorter, and was therefore more economical and faster to produce. It is also possible that changes in the armories of their enemies forced these changes to some degree. What is certain is that change was slow and gradual, and it would not have been extraordinary to come across a legionnaire in the 4th Century CE carrying a sword of the old type, even though the Pompeii had first appeared already in the first Century CE. You can see examples in H. Russell Robinson’s book "What The Soldiers Wore On Hadrian’s Wall'". Turned ash and maple handle. Originals were excavated from the ruins of Pompeii. Circa 100 BCE.

Weight 850g
(1.9 lbs), overall 71 cm
(28"), blade 49.5 cm
(19-1/2") long, 5 cm
(2") wide, 4.8 mm
(3/16") thick. Made by Windlass Steelcrafts.

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