A pilum was not a sword, it was a heavy javelin thrown by the Roman soldier. His sword was called a “gladius”. The pilum, after the Marian reforms, had an iron head and a wooden shaft which would either break away or bend upon impact, thereby preventing the enemy from pulling it out of their shields and using it on the Romans. It also hindered the enemy infantry from charging, as the shafts of the pilum could be stuck in the enemy’s shield hanging down around the enemy fighter’s feet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *