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Ave! I have been reading the material on this forum for the past few weeks with great interest, and have decided to join.

I have several questions about the pugio utilized by Roman legionaries that I am hoping someone can help me with.

1. I know that the pugio, like the gladius, was based on Hispanic models, but at what point was it adopted by Roman troops? Would it have been in use as early as the Punic Wars?

2. Was the pugio limited to the legionary infantry, or would it have also been utilized by auxiliaries, marines, cavalrymen, etc?

3. At what point did the pugio drop out of use? I have read a theory that it dropped out of use during the 2nd Century but resurfaced for the early 3rd Century. In his Osprey book 'Imperial Roman Legionary AD 161 - 284', Ross Cowan suggests that the dagger was in use even up to the end of that time frame.

4. Is there evidence for pugiones, or daggers based on them, being carried by soldiers, Roman or Germanic, of the Migrations period?

Thanks,

Jon
In the 4th and 5th centuries graves with Roman military belt fittings etc. tend to have single-edged knives, which vary in size; the pugio seems to have disappeared. The knives, at least the larger specimens, could have been used as weapons, but a knife is a more utilitarian tool than a dagger.
Quote:Ave! I have been reading the material on this forum for the past few weeks with great interest, and have decided to join.
Welcome on RAT! Hope you enjoy it here and learn much.

Quote:2. Was the pugio limited to the legionary infantry, or would it have also been utilized by auxiliaries, marines, cavalrymen, etc?
I'm personnaly most interested in the 2nd half of the 1st century AD, so that's the period I know most about. As far as I know we have not much evidence for the use of the pugio by cavalrytroopers. This make sense, as a pugio is not useful on horseback. The use spatha, instead of gladius, as these are longer. There are some references of the so called 'semispathae' and 'dagger' use in later period cavalry though, but I didn't study those arguments, yet.

The pugio was used by a legionairy, but I personally think it didn't belong to the 'basic' equipment of the soldier, so it was optional, bought from his pay, in addition to the rest of the kit that was provided (but in a kind of lease) when he entered the army. The same goes for the use of the pugio in Auxilia context. I think the auxilia would buy one, as it is an investment. I sometimes even get the impression that auxilia take more care of the look of their kit and would even spend more money on this kind of stuff then their legionairy companions (although others will not support this view, I know).

Quote:3. At what point did the pugio drop out of use? I have read a theory that it dropped out of use during the 2nd Century but resurfaced for the early 3rd Century. In his Osprey book 'Imperial Roman Legionary AD 161 - 284', Ross Cowan suggests that the dagger was in use even up to the end of that time frame.
We know about late Roman daggers. These are becoming bigger then their 1st century counterparts. Although I don't know till what time these are available, but I think I read somewhere about 4th and 5th century dated ones.