Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Roman Pilum, Other Spears & Other Weapons
I think Mike is correct: 'Polybian' Legion-Hastati in the front line, Princips in the second line, Triarii in reserve.
To add to the confusion I recall that Livy or another Roman writer commented (in translation) that in the front rank are 'hastati who hurl hastae'!!! Clearly the writer meant the pilum, but used the generic term for spears instead!
Polybius gives the clearest description of the Republican troop types.
On checking I find I mis-dated the 'bendy' pilum - it seems this was the original version (I suspect by happy chance rarher than design) - the 'Marius' version made weapons recovered after action much easier to repair in the field. There is much debate about how long the carrying of two pila lasted, and how the second one was held inside the shield while the first was being thrown.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Roman Pilum, Other Spears & Other Weapons
The pila was adopted from the Etruscans and was originally called a "hasta longa"; I can't imagine why, as it was shorter than the 8-footer the triarii used.
Just to avoid confusion, the second lines were the "principes"; literally, the first, but this originally referred to their social position rather than their tactical one. The Romans had a long history, and some terms became "fossilized", and didn't keep up with contemporary practices.