Roman Iron Pugio Blade
An ancient Roman iron dagger or pugio. The blade is wide at the hilt with a long tang, waisted in the middle with a central mid-rib, tapering to the triangular point.
Ca. 1st - 2nd century AD.
The Iberic short sword or Gladius Hispaniensis was adapted by the Romans as early as the second century BC, and was the direct predecessor of both the Mainz-Type gladius Romanus and the shortened, broad bladed pugio dagger. As a close quarters weapon, the pugio was able to deliver a mortal blow in a single thrust. In the later empire, the pugio grew larger with a more pronounced mid-rib.
Cf.: Bishop & Coulston, Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, (Oxford, 2006), pp. 83-87.
Formerly in the E. S. collection, Berlin, acquired in the 1990s.