- A Roman military javelin.
- 1776 Besides a lighter spear, the Roman legionary grasped in his right hand the formidable pilum, a ponderous javelin whose utmost length was about six feet and which was terminated by a massy triangular point of steel of about eighteen inches. This instrument was indeed much inferior to our modern fire-arms; since it was exhausted by a single discharge at the distance of only ten or twelve paces. Yet when it was launched by a skilled and firm hand, there was not any cavalry that durst venture within its reach, or any shield or corslet that could withstand the impetuosity of its weight. : The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire : Edward Gibbon. This edition Penguin 2000. p. 21