The Pilum: The Roman Heavy Javelin (Weapon, Book 55)

October 31, 2020
The Pilum: The Roman Heavy Javelin (Weapon, Book 55)

A heavy javelin, normally used as a shock weapon immediatelybefore contact, the pilum was designed with a particularspeciality: it could penetrate a shield and carry on into theindividual behind it. Relying on mass rather than velocity, atshort range a volley of pila had much the same effect on acharging enemy as musketry would in later periods. The design wasnot uniform, with a wide diversity of types throughout thedevelopmental history of the weapon, but for more than fourcenturies it remained a vital part of the arsenal of weapons at thedisposal of the Roman legionary.Drawing upon recent major finds in the Iberian Peninsula and theBalkans, as well as written records and rigorous scientificanalysis, this enthralling study lifts the veil on the evolvingnature of the pilum, the Roman heavy javelin that helpedto conquer the known world.