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March 27    Scripture

Weapons & Warfare: Spears
Ancient Spears

Achaemenid Organisation & Equipment - Spears The main hand to hand weapon of the Persian infantry and their allied troops was the short stabbing-spear, about 7 ft in length fitted with a iron head. The reverse end was fitted with a counter weight of bronze, gold or silver. The spear is shown held one handed in an overhand thrusting manner in both Greek and Persian sources.

Ancient Greek Helmets,Spears and armor Photos taken from the British Museum

Ancient Greek Hoplite Reenactment The primary weapon of the Hoplite was the long, stabbing spear. A heavily counterbalanced weapon that was designed to be used in close formation and that had a number of design features built in. To begin with, the counterbalance weight, known as the sarouter or 'lizard sticker' helped bring the centre of gravity back to around 2 feet from the bottom. This 'shifting' of the centre of balance was also aided by using a tapered shaft, most likely at around 1.5 or 1.25 inches at the base thinning to around 1 inch or .75 inches at the front.

Greek Hoplite Spear The primary weapon of the Greek Hoplite was the spear, not the sword. In tight phalanx formation with a dense mass of spears pointed towards the enemy, the Greek spear was the bane of cavalry and infantry alike. This Greek Hoplite Spear is over 9 feet long! Features a carbon steel spear tip, hardwood pole and a brass end spike. The end spike would be used to anchor the spear in the ground to accept a cavalry charge, and would function as a back up weapon if the primary point was broken off in battle. (Replica)

Projectile Type Weapons of Ancient Egypt Projectile weapons were used by the ancient Egyptian army, as well as other period military, as standoff weapons, usually used in order to soften up the enemy prior to an infantry assault. At various times during Egypt's history, different weapons were used, including throw sticks, spears or javelins, bows and arrows and slingshots. Of these, certainly the bow and arrow became the primary projectile weapon for most of Egypt's history, and yet, all of these weapons continued in some use almost throughout the Dynastic period. by Troy Fox

Roman Light Pilium (Spear) - (300-100 BC) The Light Pilum (plural pila) was a light javelin. around 5-6 feet in length, commonly used by the Roman Republican army around 300 - 100 BC. During this time period, each leginoary carried two pila into battle - the light pila, and the heavy pila which was some 7 feet in length.

Roman Spears - The Weighted Pilum When the swords wouldn't do, the Roman soldiers relied heavily on their Pilum, which was essentially a long spear (javellin). The Pilum could either be thrown, or used in hand combat. It was usually thrown before engaging the enemy with swords.

Roman Verutum (Javelin) -(300 BC - AD 100) The verutum, or plural veruti (Latin: spit) was a short javelin used in the Roman army from around 300 BC onwards. During the early Republican period, this javelin was used by the Roman light infantry known as velites who would carry seven veruta into combat, proving to be quite effective weapons, even against war elephants as proven in the battle of Zama (202 BC).

Spears of Ancient Greece Photos taken from the British Museum

The Hoplite Spear The hoplite spear, used by the Ancient Greek heavy infantryman, known as a hoplite, from the mid 7th century BC through to the 4th century BC, was the archetypal "stick sharpened at both ends" having a large iron spearhead at one end and a heavy bronze spike at the other. We might very well be puzzled, just as young Ralph was, as to why a weapon like the hoplite spear should have two sharp-ends. The answer lies in understanding that a weapon is a tool, designed to do a particular job in a particular way, and that the form of a particular weapon reflects its intended function. The two ends of the hoplite spear are different shapes and made of different materials because they were intended to perform different functions, and these differences can provide us with important clues about what it was like to be on the sharp-end of a hoplite battle. [Ancient Warfare]

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