Another Idea From the Roman Army

| February 3, 2021

This is for the weapons department. It’s a UK video of the use of the Roman pilum in battle. It is essentially a long forged spearhead embedded in a wooden handle that gave the user a huge advantage over the Barbarians across the fight line. And don’t think the Barbarians were bad fighters, either. They were Goths, Huns, Thracians – anyone who wanted a fight with Rome.

For you Weapons Peeps, the video gives you a history of the Roman Army’s way of disabling Barbarians with the use of a pilum. Nasty weapons, too. It’s like a javelin, but nastier.  Not a reusable weapon because of the arrowhead part at the head, unless there’s a weapons recovery squad behind the frontline Barbarians – basically, backup squad of Barbarians that can pull the pilum out of the damaged shield and hand it to the Barbarian horde at the front to use against the oncoming Roman troops.

Do we have anything like this in our armory?  Yes, we have rockets, short and long-range missiles, artillery, but that’s all for long distance. What about close quarters combat?  Just askin’.

Anyway, enjoy the video.

Category: Historical

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President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist

Yes, we have something similar. They’re called “bullets”. Unlike the pilum, though, they can’t be pulled from an enemies body and re-used against us.

They had removeable shafts…it was the shafts that were hard to replace, not the heads. They were made of lead, easily molded and attached to recovered shafts. The soft head would impale shields, weighing/pulling them down. Invented by Gaius Marius, 7 time Pro-Consul of Rome and one of the most decorated warriors in Roman history.

Slow Joe

I don’t like Gaius Marius. His military reforms got rid of the triple line of Hastati, Principeds and Triarii, based on social status and income. The traditional Roman maniples volunteer dudes got replaced by the new structure of Cohorts and Legions, manned by paid Soldiers.

All the youngsters throwing javalins and running away where withdrawn from the skirmish line and forced to wear professional armor and carry two pilum unstead of the brace of 10 light javelins.

How were they able to prove their speed now? And their job was given to the foreign Auxilia, made of smelly furriners with funny accents weir headdresses.


Yes, the metal shaft of the pilum was intentionally made easily bendable. This was done so that when the pilum struck and stuck in an enemy shield, the weight of the haft of the spear would bend down and make the shield ineffective with this bent spear sticking out of it.


They bent on impact, preventing throwback by the enemy. They were easily straightened in a forge after the battle for re-use by the Victor.

Slow Joe

I wonder if Roman armorers would agree with your statement of “easily straightened”.


This feature was demonstrated for me once by some Roman Legion reenactors. The metal shaft was intentionally made thin so they easily bent when striking an enemy shield.


Watched the video. It is very similar to the demo I watched in person over 25 years ago.


Hand launched flechette/beehive round. “Form squares, pilum troops to the front…Swordsmen to the ready…LAUNCH!”

“That’s the way to pile’em up boys. Pass this wine bag around to all hands.”


Just a point. But if the Romans were such badasses they would of been able to conquer and hold the homeland of my ancestors Caledonia (Mondern Day Scotland). Instead they said it “wasn’t that important” so they threw up a couple of walls and called it quits. I do agree the Romans did have good weapons.


The Romans were pussies compared to my own ancestors in Germania Magna.