pilum ( plural pila or ) pilums
( historical ) A Roman military javelin.
1776, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Penguin 2000, p. 21:
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.
2011, Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London, Gollancz 2011, p. 371:
Verica plucked a
from the hands of the nearest legionary – the soldier didn't react – and handed it to me. pilum
Proto-Italic , from *pistlom Proto-Indo-European , from *pis-tlo- ( *peys- “ to crush ”). See . pīla
pīlum ( n genitive ); pīlī second declension a
javelin, throwing spear
pilum in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) , Oxford: Clarendon Press A Latin Dictionary
pilum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s PILUM (augmented edition, 1883–1887) Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis Meissner, Carl; Auden, Henry William (1894)
Latin Phrase-Book , London: Macmillan and Co.
to throw down the javelins ( (ambiguous) pila) and fight with the sword: omissis pilis gladiis rem gerere
pilum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
pilum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin