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Thread: Pilum

  1. #1
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Question Pilum

    Do any of you gyus know when or why Romans abandoned the use of pilum?
    Im asking because i cant understand why so good close support weapon did
    not survive to Medieval Ages.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  2. #2
    (Insert innuendo here) Member Balloon Bomber Champion DemonArchangel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilum

    Sometime during the 200s A.D

    The thing is, the Pilum is expensive to manufacture, the shaft difficult to temper and the slots for the dowels hard to machine in.
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  3. #3
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilum

    Thanks for the info DemoArchangel
    I havent thought of the cost before.
    Apart from that if one could have created an army combined from legionary infantry and Medieval Heavy cavalry,i think it could have been force to be reckoned,even in medieval times.I think?
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pilum

    Several new types of missile appeared, some of which evolved from the pilum (such as the later angon). The plumbata is pretty well known, and was claimed to have amazing range. On surviving examples, the lead weight was cast directly onto the joint between the iron and the wood. See the Fectio site for pictures of modern reconstructions: http://www.fectio.org.uk

  5. #5
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilum

    Quote Originally Posted by Templar Knight
    Several new types of missile appeared, some of which evolved from the pilum (such as the later angon). The plumbata is pretty well known, and was claimed to have amazing range. On surviving examples, the lead weight was cast directly onto the joint between the iron and the wood. See the Fectio site for pictures of modern reconstructions: http://www.fectio.org.uk
    Thanks fascinating information Sir Templar

    The article about plumbata is very intresting,especially it was used untill 7th century ad.
    It says that soldier usually had 5 of these buggers with him.That indicates that an late Roman infantry cohort must have had an enermous firepower of "javelins".
    Could it be possible that after Roman Empire crumbled the use of this kind of weapons ended because Frankish and Gothik armies didnt have enough drill and dicipline to use them to same effect as Romans.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pilum

    Could it be possible that after Roman Empire crumbled the use of this kind of weapons ended because Frankish and Gothik armies didnt have enough drill and dicipline to use them to same effect as Romans.
    Thats a very good point - Im not really an expert on Frank/Gothic warfare but im not sure if their tactics would have allowed for the use of pilum type weaponry in terms of discipline as you have said.

  7. #7
    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilum

    Pila would also have probably been expensive just on the materials side because they were made of iron.

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  8. #8
    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilum

    In the 3rd-5th centuries the Roman Empire had too few men to defend the empire itself, so army service was made compulsory, which was an unpopular move, and seems to might have been abolished at a later date.
    Many barbarians were recruited into the Roman army in the 4th century, and this led to a "barbarization" of the Roman army. The barbarians continued to fight in their style, which seems to not have included the pila.
    One possible theory

    This is based on what I've read in a military book about ancient warfare and my curriculum at Uni
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  9. #9
    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilum

    Btw, the almogavares used a variant of the pilae during the Middle Ages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almogavares

    They were highly efficient and Aragon used them frequently.
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  10. #10
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilum

    Thanks Krusader!
    Woderfull!So Pilum never really died out like i thought before.
    Isnt it kind of nice too see that Legion like troops beated Knight Army.
    This is very intresting.
    Last edited by Kagemusha; 05-30-2005 at 19:44.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

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