8 Important Ancient Roman Weapons

One of the most powerful empires of the ancient world was the Roman Empire. The foundation of the Roman Empire includes courage, duty and honor was based on its strong military power. Roman military regime was one of the strongest military powers in the ancient world because of the superior weapons and also because of their war tactics. The Roman army was open-minded in adopting the war tactics and also the weapons of their enemies if they could be benefited from it. A sword and a spear were the main weapons of a Roman soldier.

Weapons of Ancient Rome

A few of the sophisticated weapons of an ancient Roman soldier are listed below.

Gladius – An Ancient Roman Sword

Over the centuries the sword, one of the ancient Roman weapons went through many changes. Caesar used a type of sword called “Gladius”. It was slightly curved and was used as thrusting weapon in close combat. Gladius was sheathed on the left side of the body. It was a short sword with a wide blade and infantry used this ancient Roman weapon.


A helmet is a head gear worn by an ancient Roman soldier to protect his head, neck and the sides of his face. A helmet is a part of ancient Roman weapons and was made of iron or alloy of copper.

Body Armour

A body amour is war tunic worn by an ancient Roman soldier. It was made using a combination of iron and leather. The soldiers also used flexible limp amours to protect their arms and legs.


The Roman shields were made of thick wood bordered with copper alloy or iron. The shields were oval, rectangular or hexagonal.


One of the weapons carried by an ancient Roman soldier was a sword. It was a powerful weapon used during the 3rd BC. It was long-pointed and double-edged Iberian weapon called as the “Spanish sword”. With passing of time the ancient Romans also made changes to basic design of the sword.


Another ancient Roman weapon was a dagger. A dagger had an elaborately decorated sheath with precious stones studded on it. The blade of the dagger is ridged to impart stiffness and lightness. A dagger is made of either alloy of copper or iron.


Mainly three kinds of spears were used by an ancient Roman soldier. They are light javelins, thrusting spears and two-handed lances. A spear is a conical metal head fixed to a shaft. A shaft was a pole made from wood such as ash or hazel.


This is an ancient Roman weapon used as a short-range shock weapon. A pilum resembled a heavy javelin with a pyramidal head on a long iron shank mounted on a long iron shaft.

Ancient Romans had a wide array of defense and offense weapons that helped in war tactics. Most of their weapons were superior to their contemporaries. However, the main and primary ancient Roman weapon used by the Roman legionaries was a spear.