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Roman Gladius

Roman Gladius is the general Latin word for sword. In the Roman Republic, the term 'Gladius Hispaniensis' (Spanish Sword) referred (and refers today) specifically to the short sword, 50 cm-60 cm (24 inches) long, used by Roman legionaries from the 3rd century BC. Several different better-known designs followed; among collectors and historical reenactors, the two primary kinds of swords are known as the Mainz gladius, and the Pompeii gladius which follows the Mainz type, which had itself followed the 'Hispaniensis' (these names refer to where or how the canonical example was found). More recent archaeological finds have confirmed the appearance of the earlier version, the gladius hispaniensis ("Spanish sword"). The legionaries wear the gladius on the right hip.

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