Roman pugio


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PERIOD2nd – 1st Century B.C
DIMENSIONS250 mm x 56 mm
CONDITIONGood condition, cleaned and restored by professional. Includes restoration dossier
PROVENANCEEx German private collection, acquired between 1970 – 1990
BIBLIOGRAPHYTHOMAS, MIKE. Pugio-Gladius brevis est (2012). p.12, Figure A1

The Roman pugio was a distinctive and iconic short dagger that played a significant role in the weaponry and culture of ancient Rome. This weapon was characterized by its unique design and was an essential part of the Roman soldier’s equipment.

The pugio typically had a straight, double-edged blade that was around 7 to 12 inches (18 to 30 centimeters) in length, making it shorter than the Roman gladius, the primary sword of Roman soldiers. The blade was well-suited for close combat and could be used for stabbing or slashing. Its hilt often featured an ornate and decorated design, which showcased the craftsmanship and status of its owner.

Roman soldiers carried the pugio on their right side, secured in a sheath that was attached to a belt. While the gladius was the primary weapon for battle, the pugio served as a secondary weapon and had other practical uses, such as a utility tool for everyday tasks.

Apart from its utility, the pugio also had cultural and symbolic significance in Roman society. It was a symbol of the Roman soldier’s authority and loyalty to the Roman state, as it was often worn by members of the Roman legions. Additionally, it could be used for self-defense, personal protection, or even as a status symbol by high-ranking officials and officers.