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Pugio
Time Period: 3rd century BC to 4th century AD
Location: Rome
Common Construction: Horn or Wood Hilt, Iron Blade

The pugio was the ever present sidearm of every Roman soldier, and was also frequently worn by empire officials. Like most Roman weapons its primary purpose was as a stabbing weapon, although for soldiers it doubled as a utility knife from time to time.

The blade is 7-11 inches long, and leaf shaped. It is considerably wider than most daggers, almost as wide as the cinquedea, but blades in the 1st century AD began to narrow. The hilt was made of horn or wood and was usually quite small, making the dagger difficult to grip for people with large hands.

Although every soldier had a pugio, most historical accounts of the weapon come from Roman literature relating to civilian life. The pugio was worn as a ceremonial representation of power, and it was also easily concealed to defend oneself. In the assassination of Julius Caesar, the conspirators used pugios to kill the emperor, and in some cases later themselves.

BCE 01st Century, BCE 02nd Century, BCE 03rd Century, CE 01st Century, CE 02nd Century, CE 03rd Century, CE 04th Century, Dagger, History, Rome, Weapon


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