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Full Version: Flavius Iosephus - gladius on the left -
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My ancient greek is sadly almost 30 years outdated - but truly it wasn't so good not even during school - so I translate in english from italian.
Josephus Flavius wrote in his " de Bello Judaico" (III , 5,5): "...Infantrymen with armours and helmets and with a sword fixed on both sides, that on the left much longer , that on the right not longer than 25 cm. (I'm writing 25 cm because I don't know the english word Sad to mean "a open hand" .
If someone has the exact english translation , please post it, because surely my above is terrific.

Anyhow, the sword -gladius - on the left and the pugio on the right (I think he meant the pugio, talking about the short one)during the judaic war 66-70 a.C. ? How is it possible?
We had this discussion before, Marco. You might like to read it here. You can find my own translation of the passage here (for what it's worth).
I have a copy of the works of Josephus and have also read this about the sword being on the left and the dagger to the right, however a thought came to me that we have to think of just how Josephus is looking at the subject he tells us of.
Is josephus talking about HIS left as he looks at a soldier from the front as he comes towards him, or is he refering to the soldier in regard to the soldiers left.
Yup -- this was a point that came up in the earlier thread, Brian.
Marcos,
The English term for the open hand i.e. from thumb tip to tip of the little finger with the hand splayed, is a "span." The breadth of the closed hand is a "palm" or a "hand." All are obsolete, with the "hand" still used only to describe the height of a horse at the shoulder.
Quote:Marcos,
The English term for the open hand i.e. from thumb tip to tip of the little finger with the hand splayed, is a "span." The breadth of the closed hand is a "palm" or a "hand." All are obsolete, with the "hand" still used only to describe the height of a horse at the shoulder.

"span" , I have to imagine that ! In italian is "spanna"; too much easy Big Grin