Roman Iron Gladius

Roman Iron Gladius

An ancient Roman iron gladius blade of the early Hispaniensis Type with a long parallel double edged blade, waisted at the center from resharpening in antiquity with a long tapering triangular point.

Ca. 2nd - 1st century BC.
Length: 24 in. (61 cm).

This gladius was the preeminent Roman infantry weapon. It was a short thrusting sword that also could deliver devastating slashing blows. The long slender Hispaniensis Type was the earliest model. The succeeding Mainz type, being shorter and wider replaced the Hispaniensis type. The later Pompeii type had distinct parallel blades and a shortened triangular point.

Cf.: Bishop & Coulston, Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, (Oxford, 2006), p. 79.

Formerly in the J. S. collection, Pennsylvania; acquired in London in 2015, previously in the collection of I. Roper, London, 1990s.

Inv#: 7530


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