Brill’s New Pauly

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Pilum
(592 words)

[German version]

In a brief reference in Servius (Serv. Aen. 7,664: “pilum proprie est hasta Romana”), the pilum, a throwing-spear, is taken for the typical Roman spear. Among the earliest evidence for the use of the pilum in the Roman army is the depiction of the Battle of Panormus in 250 BC (Pol. 1,40). In Livy (8,8), the first two battle rows of the legions in the time around 340 BC are called the antepilani ('soldiers in front of the pilum bearers'). In his description of the Roman army, Polybius speaks of the γρόσφοι/grósphoi as the javelins of the youngest soldiers, and the ὑσσοί/hyssoí as …

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Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon), “Pilum”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 25 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e925410>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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