chapter  8
3 Pages


Big spears have a long history among Indo-Europeans. In a wall painting from around 1550 BC on the Greek island of Thera, a line of Achaean warriors hold spears more than twice their own length. Hector’s spear in the Iliad is over five meters long. In Rome, too, large spears brought prestige: Vergil’s Messapus owned a beamlike spear (hasta trabalis) as did the war goddess Bellona. Gauls are said to have had “swords larger than other peoples’ spears, and spear blades larger than other peoples’ swords.”1