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Dacian Falx
Time Period: 1st-2nd century AD
Location: Dacia/Rome (what is now Romania)
Common Construction: Iron

The dacian falx is a curved blade fastened onto a wooden pole and sharpened on the convex (inside) edge. The term falx is latin for 'sickle' and the weapon is a powerful chopping polearm. The dacian falx is the only weapon to directly cause a change in Roman armor design, due to its incredible chopping power. Roman helmets needed an extra iron reinforcing bar as a direct result of contact with the Dacians. This same change in helmet design is also attributed to the rhomphaia, a very similar weapon. However, only one of the two stories can be true, seeing as the Romans defeated the Thracians in the 4th century BC and fought the Dacians in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The rhomphaia is the older weapon, and has a less pronounced curvature than the dacian falx.

There is some ambiguity about the use of this weapon, because Trajan's column shows the Dacians with shields, meaning they could not be wielding polearms. It is possible that they were using a shorter one handed version of the falx, or the men using polearms were not portrayed on Trajan's column at all.

CE 01st Century, CE 02nd Century, History, Polearm, Rome, Weapon


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