The Pugio a wooden Roman dagger
What would the Roman legionaries have been without their weapons...?
One of the most important weapons was the Roman dagger, called Pugio, which every legionary carried on his belt.
Simple in design or richly decorated, it showed the status of the soldier. Thus, the Pugio could always save the life of its wearer whether as a tool or weapon!
- Length: 32cm
- Material: real beech wood
- Origin: Germany
Origin and function of the Pugio
Pugio from the Latin : "dagger" represents one of the most popular offensive weapons of an infantryman in ancient Rome of the 1st century A.D. Probably since the end of the 2nd century A.D., but at the latest in the early 3rd century, it again comes into its own as a fixed part of the equipment of a Roman warrior.
It was worn on the left side, directly at the belt (= cingulum).
The Roman pugio was used next to the sword (= gladius) as a practical secondary weapon.
Like the sword, the dagger originates from the Iberian Peninsula.
Due to its extremely strong construction, it is assumed that the Roman pugio was not only intended to deal the final death blow to the opponent, but also for blows in a narrow combat radius, optionally as a substitute for the spatha scabbard or the sword.
The Roman pugio, had a broad, double-edged blade that narrowed from the hilt to the point. In order to fulfill the function described above, the dagger was equipped with an additional longitudinal reinforcement. The point was pointed. The hilt was usually made of wood, bone or metal. There were different versions of the Roman pugio. For example, its blade could be from 17 to 25 cm long and from 3 to 5 cm wide. The differences can also be seen in the equipment.
Often the Roman pugio is confused with parazonium. Also the difference with other types of daggers or long knives mentioned by the ancient authors (like clunaculum and lingula) is nowadays rather blurred and should be specified more carefully.
The collection item is a handmade replica of the Roman findings. The replica was made of real beech wood. The handle is turned and solidly glued.
Roman pugio was usually protected in a scabbard made of metal and a wooden core. The latter sometimes bore a very rich decoration or was covered with silver. The purpose behind it was to emphasize one's status.
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