Spear: Wikis


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Hupa man with spear, 1923

A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a sharpened head. The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be of another material fastened to the shaft, such as obsidian, iron or bronze. The most common design is of a metal spearhead, shaped like a triangle or a leaf.




Animal use

Spear manufacture and use is also practised by the Pan troglodytes verus subspecies of the Common Chimpanzee. Chimpanzees near Kédougou, Senegal were observed to create spears by breaking straight limbs off trees, stripping them of their bark and side branches, and sharpening one end with their teeth. They then used the weapons to hunt galagos sleeping in hollows.[1] Orangutans have also used spears to fish after observing humans fishing in a similar manner.[2]


Hunting spear and knife, from Mesa Verde National Park.

Archeological evidence documents that wooden spears were used for hunting at least 400,000 years ago.[3] However, wood does not preserve well. Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California, has suggested that the discovery of spear use by chimpanzees probably means that early humans used wooden spears as well, perhaps five million years ago.[4]

Neanderthals were constructing stone spear heads from as early as 300,000 BP. By 250,000 years ago wooden spears were made with fire-hardened points. From 200,000 BP Middle Paleolithic humans began to make complex stone blades which were used as spear heads. At these times there was still a clear difference between spears designed to be thrown and those designed to be used in hand to hand combat. By the Magdelenian period (c. 15000-9500 BCE), spear-throwers similar to the later atlatl were in use[5]

The Fighting Spear

Spears were one of the most common personal weapons from the Stone Age until the advent of firearms. They may be seen as the ancestor of such weapons as the lance, the halberd, the naginata, the bill and the pike. One of the earliest weapons fashioned by human beings and their ancestors, it is still used for hunting and fishing, and its influences can still be seen in contemporary military arsenals as the rifle-mounted bayonet.

Spears can be used as both melee and ballistic weapons. Spears used primarily for thrusting may be used with either one or two hands and tend to have heavier and sturdier designs than those intended exclusively for throwing. Those designed for throwing, often referred to as javelins, tend to be lighter and have a more streamlined head, and can be thrown either by hand or with the assistance of a spear thrower such as the atalatl or woomera.

Ancient history

Infantry spears

Sumerian Spearmen advancing in close formation with large shields. Stele of the Vultures c.2450 BC

Short one handed spears used with a shield were used by the earliest Bronze Age cultures for either single combat or in large formations. This tradition continued from the first Mesopotamian cultures through the Egyptian dynasties to the Ancient Greek city states.

The Greeks

The spear is the main weapon of the warriors of Homer's Iliad. The use of both a single thrusting spear and two throwing spears are mentioned. It has been suggested that two styles of combat are being described; an early style, with thrusting spears, dating to the Mycenaean period and a later style, with throwing spears, from the Archaic period[6].

In the 7th. Century BC, the Greeks evolved a new close-order infantry formation, the phalanx[7]. The key to this formation was the hoplite, who was equipped with a large, circular, bronze faced shield (hoplon) and a 7–9 ft. spear with an iron head and bronze butt-spike (doru)[8]. The hoplite phalanx dominated warfare among the Greek City States from the 7th. into the 4th. Century BC. The 4th. century saw major changes. One was the greater use of peltasts, light infantry armed with spear and javelins[9]. The other was the development of the Sarissa, a two-handed pike 18 ft. in length, by the Macedonians under Phillip of Macedon and Alexander the Great[10]. The pike phalanx, supported by peltasts and cavalry, became the dominant mode of warfare among the Greeks from the late 4th. century onward until Greek military systems were supplanted by the Romans.

The Romans
Re-enactor outfitted as a Roman legionnaire of the northern Roman provinces from circa 175 AD. He carries a pilum

In the pre-Marian Roman armies the first two lines of battle, the hastati and principes, often fought with swords and pila, heavy javelins which were specifically designed to be thrown at an enemy to pierce and foul a target's shield. Originally the Principes were armed with a short spear called a hasta, but these gradually fell out of use to be eventually replaced by the Gladius. The third line, the triarii, continued to use the hasta.

From the late 2nd. century BC, all legionaries were equipped with the pilum. The pilum continued to be the standard legionary spear until the end of the second century AD. Auxilia, however, were equipped with a simple hasta and perhaps throwing spears. During the third century AD, although the pilum continued to be used, legionaries were usually equipped with other forms of throwing and thrusting spear, similar to auxilia of the previous century. By the fourth century, the pilum had effectively disappeared from common use.[11]

Cavalryman of the Roman republic. He carries his eight-foot spear overarm

Cavalry spears

During this time the spear was also used by cavalry. The majority of ancient cavalry were equipped either with javelins or a one-handed thrusting spear similar to that used by infantry. Some, however, used longer spears. The Macedonian Xyston was 12–14 ft. in length and could be used with one or two hands. The use of the two-handed Kontos by heavily-armored soldiers on horseback known as Cataphracts was first developed by nomadic eastern Iranian tribes and spread throughout the ancient world. These would be used to great effect by the Successor kingdoms and the Parthians and, later, by the Sassanians and Sarmatians. Later Roman and Byzantine armies would also make use of these troops.

European Middle Ages

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the spear and shield continued to be used by almost all Western European cultures. Since a medieval spear required only a small amount of steel along the sharpened edges (most of the spear-tip was wrought iron), it was an economical weapon. Quick to manufacture, and needing less smithing skill than a sword, it remained the main weapon of the common soldier. The Vikings, for instance, though often portrayed with axe or sword in hand, were armed mostly with spears[12], as were their Anglo-Saxon, Irish, or continental contemporaries.

Infantry Spears

Broadly speaking, spears were either designed to be kept in hand (thrusting spears), or to be thrown (throwing spears). Within this simple classification, there were a remarkable range of types. For example, M.J. Swanton identified 30 different spearhead categories and sub-categories in Early Saxon England [13]. Most medieval spearheads were, however, broadly speaking, leaf shaped. Notable types of Early medieval spears include the Angon, a throwing spear with a long head like a Roman pilum used by the Franks and Anglo-Saxons and the winged (or lugged) spear, which had two prominent wings at the base of the spearhead, either to prevent the spear penetrating too far into an enemy or to aid in spear fencing [14]. Originally a Frankish weapon, the winged spear was also popular with the Vikings[15]. It would become the ancestor of later medieval polearms, such as the partisan and spetum.

The thrusting spear also has the advantage of reach — being considerably longer than other weapon types. Exact spear lengths are hard to deduce as few spear shafts survive archaeologically but 6 ft - 8 ft (1.8m - 2.5m) would seem to be the norm. Some nations were noted for their long spears, including the Scots and the Flemish. Spears were usually used in tightly ordered formations, like the shieldwall or the schiltron To resist cavalry, spear shafts could be planted against the ground[16]. William Wallace drew up his schiltrons in a circle at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298 to deter charging cavalry[17], but it was a widespread tactic, sometimes known as the "crown" formation[18].

Throwing spears became rarer as the Middle Ages drew on but survived in the hands of specialists such as the Catalan Almogavars[19]. They were commonly used in Ireland until the end of the 16th. century[20].

Spears began to lose fashion among the infantry in the 14th. century, being replaced by pole weapons which combined the thrusting properties of the spear with the cutting properties of the axe, such as the halberd Where spears were retained they grew in length, eventually evolving into pikes which would be a dominant infantry weapon in he 16th. and 17th. centuries[21].

Cavalry Spears

Cavalry spears were originally the same as infantry spears and were often used with two hands or held with one hand overhead. In the 11th. century, after the adoption of stirrups and a high-cantled saddle, the spear became a decidedly more powerful weapon. A mounted knight would secure the lance by holding with one hand and tucking it under the armpit (the couched lance technique)[22]. This allowed all the momentum of the horse and knight to be focused on the weapon's tip whilst still retaining accuracy and control. This use of the spear spurred the development of the lance as a distinct weapon which was perfected in the medieval sport of jousting.

In the 14th century, tactical developments meant that knights and men-at-arms often fought on foot. This led to the practice of shortening the lance to about 5 ft. (1.5m.) to make it more manageable[23]. As dismounting became commonplace, specialist pole weapons such as the pollaxe were adopted by knights and this practice ceased[24].

European Renaissance and After

German reenactors of pikemen

Infantry weapons

The development of both the long, two handed pike and gunpowder in renaissance Europe saw an ever increasing focus on integrated infantry tactics[25]. Those infantry not armed with these weapons carried variations on the pole-arm, including the halberd and the bill. Ultimately, the spear proper was rendered obsolete on the battlefield. Its last flowering was the half-pike or spontoon[26], a shortened version of the pike carried by officers and NCOs. While originally a weapon, this came to be seen more as a badge of office, or leading staff by which troops were directed[27] . The half-pike, also known as a boarding pike, was also used as a weapon on board ships until the 19th. century[28]

Cavalry weapons

At the start of the Renaissance, cavalry were still predominantly lance armed; gendarmes with the heavy knightly lance and lighter cavalry with a variety of lighter lances. By the 1540s, however, pistol-armed cavalry called reiters were beginning to make their mark. Cavalry armed with pistols and other lighter firearms, along with a sword, had virtually replaced lance armed cavalry in Western Europe by the beginning of the 17th. century[29], though the lance persisted in Eastern Europe, from whence it was reintroduced into the European mainstream in the 19th. century.

The Spear in East Asia

Spears were used in Asia first as hunting weapons amongst the ancient Chinese and Koreans. They became popular as infantry weapons; Qin Chinese spearmen were especially highly disciplined in organized group attacks. Medieval Japan employed spears for infantrymen to use, but it was not until the 11th century in Japan that samurai began to use spears over swords. In Korea, spear infantry were used regularly by the Three Kingdoms of Korea armies. Koguryo and Shilla soldiers were well-trained and hardened by years of war. By fighting lifetimes of war, they discovered that heavily armored spear infantry was very effective in breaking apart thickly defended areas and charging cavalry units. The spear and pole arms were a favorite in the hwarang.

Halberd-like pole weapons were common weapons amongst Asian armies during the 14th-16th century. The most notable use of a pole weapon in Asia would be during the Imjin Wars, a war between the Koreans and the Japanese. Korean castle and fort defenders were typically armed with the dangpa, a variation of a pole weapon called a trident. The dangpa was a favorite amongst the Korean vanguards because of its usefulness in siege combat, its striking power, and its piercing capabilities. It was particularly effective against Japanese samurai and ashigaru armor and was used, en masse, to corner multiple swordsmen. The dangpa was used by a few Korean marines in Admiral Yi's naval operations as "pushing" infantry, literally meaning to push back Japanese marines; the remainder of Korean marines carried swords to board Japanese ships or bows and arrows to attack from a distance. Other Korean pole arms included the woldo, which resembled the Chinese Kwan Dao.

Several spears and pole weapons were very fearsome in the Japanese theatres; the naginata was a heavy but powerful pole arm often used by mounted samurai in the 16th century. It was described as a sword attached to a spear and though it was unwieldy, skilled users could fight many opponents at once.

Spear Hunting

Spear hunting is still practiced in the USA[30], notably by retired US Air Force Colonel Gene Morris, and "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent[31]. Animals taken are primarily wild boar and deer, though trophy animals such as cats and big game as large as a Cape Buffalo are hunted with spears. Alligator are hunted in Florida with a type of harpoon.

The Spear in Modern Martial Arts

A yari (left) in mock combat

Spears, although apparently simple weapons, have a remarkable variety of wielding methods. Some are listed here from most passive to most active motions.

  1. Holding the spear or bracing it against the ground, a charging enemy impales themselves.
  2. The spear is thrust out with the arms alone.
  3. The spear is held stiffly, and the thrust is delivered by stepping forward.
  4. The spear is thrust out with the arms while stepping forward with one or both feet.
  5. The front hand releases as the back hand and back foot move forward to perform a long thrust.
  6. The spear is slid through the front hand, propelled by the back hand (a similar action to using a Billiards Cue).
  7. The spear is thrown, often at a run, releasing when the opposite foot to the throwing arm is forward.
  8. The spear is held couched under one arm, allowing a swinging motion as well as a powerful thrust.
  9. The spear is swung rather than thrust, causing the tip of the blade to slice open the foe's flesh. The sheer momentum built up by swinging can be enough to cause serious injury even with the blunt end. The spear can then be brought around in a stabbing motion.

The Spear in Myth and Legend


The Japanese ronin Miyamoto Musashi killing a giant nue. Print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 19th century.

More than a weapon, a spear may be a symbol of power. In the Chinese martial arts community, the Chinese spear (Qiang 槍) is popularly known as the "king of weapons".

The Celts would symbolically destroy a dead warrior's spear to prevent its use by another.

In Greek Mythology Zeus' bolts of lightning can be interpreted as a symbolic spear, and some would carry that into the spear that is frequently associated with Athena, interpreting her spear as a symbolic connection to some of Zeus' power beyond the Aegis.

Chiron's wedding-gift to Peleus when he married the nymph Thetis, was an ashen spear as the nature of ashwood with its straight grain made it an ideal choice of wood for a spear.

The Romans and their early enemies would force prisoners to walk underneath a 'yoke of spears', which humiliated them. The yoke would consist of three spears, two upright with a third tied between them at a height which made the prisoners stoop[32]. It has been surmised that this was because such a ritual involved the prisoners' warrior status being taken away[citation needed]. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the arrangement has a magical origin, a way to trap evil spirits.[33] The word subjugate has its origins in this practice (from Latin sub = under, jugum=a yoke)[2].

Odin's spear (called Gungnir) was made by the sons of Ivaldi. It had the special property that it never missed its mark. During the War with the Vanir, Odin symbolically throws Gungnir into the Vanir host. This practice of symbolically casting a spear into the enemy ranks at the start of a fight was sometimes used in historic clashes, to seek Odin's support in the coming battle.[34] In Wagner's opera Siegfried, the haft of Gungnir is said to be from the "World-Tree" Yggdrasil[35]

Other spears of religious significance are the Holy Lance and the Lúin of Celtchar, believed by some to have vast mystical powers.

Sir James George Frazer in The Golden Bough[36] noted the phallic nature of the spear and suggested that in the Arthurian Legends the spear or lance functioned as a symbol of male fertility, paired with the Grail (as a symbol of female fertility).

Legendary spears

Types of spears

Spears which are not usually thrown

  • Rummh

Spears usually thrown

  • Angon
  • Assegai
  • Ballam
  • Bandang
  • Bhala
  • Bilari
  • Budiak
  • Cateia
  • Chimbane
  • Cirit
  • Do-War
  • Egchos
  • Enhero
  • Fal-feg
  • Falarica
  • Framea
  • Gravo
  • Golo
  • Granggang
  • Hak
  • Hinyan
  • Hoko
  • Huata
  • Irpull
  • Ja-Mandehi
  • Jaculum
  • Jarid
  • Javelin
  • Jiboru
  • Kasita

Notes and references

  1. ^ Jill D. Pruetz1 and Paco Bertolani, Savanna Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus, Hunt with Tools", Current Biology, March 6, 2007
  2. ^ Orangutan attempts to hunt fish with spear, April 26, 2008
  3. ^ Lower Palaeolithic hunting spears from Germany. Hartmut Thieme. Letters to Nature. Nature 385, 807 - 810 (27 February 1997); doi:10.1038/385807a0 [1]
  4. ^ Rick Weiss, "Chimps Observed Making Their Own Weapons", The Washington Post, February 22, 2007
  5. ^ Wymer, John (1982). The Palaeolithic Age. London: Croom Helm. p. 192. ISBN 070992710X. 
  6. ^ Webster, T.B.L. (1977). From Mycenae to Homer. London: Methuen. pp. 166–8. ISBN 0416705707. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jJgOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA168&lpg=PA168&dq=spear+homer&source=bl&ots=C589kyDG1a&sig=mzgrgnGzfA1iKOYDhAxjCuBZJ1I&hl=en&ei=GwV5S4GkCaL40wT6rrCsCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CBoQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=spear%20homer&f=false. Retrieved 15 Feb 2010. 
  7. ^ Hanson, Victor Davis (1999). "Chapter 2 : The Rise of the City State and the Invention of Western Warfare". The Wars of the Ancient Greeks. London: Cassell. pp. 42–83. ISBN 0304359823. 
  8. ^ Hanson (1999), p. 59
  9. ^ Hanson (1999), pp.147-8
  10. ^ Hanson (1999), pp149-150
  11. ^ Bishop, M.C.; Coulston J.C. (1989). Roman Military Equipment. Princes Risborough: Shire Publications. ISBN 0747800057. 
  12. ^ Viking Spears
  13. ^ Swanton, M.J. (1973). The Spearheads of the Anglo-Saxon Settlement. London: Royal Archaeological Institute. 
  14. ^ Martin, Paul (1968). London: Herbert Jenkins. p. 226. 
  15. ^ Viking Spears, op.cit.
  16. ^ e.g. at the Battle of Steppes 1213Oman, Sir Charles (1991 (originally 1924)). The Art of War in the Middle Ages. 1. London: Greenhill Books. p. 451. ISBN 1853671002. 
  17. ^ Fisher, Andrew (1986). William Wallace. Edinburgh: John Donald. p. 80. ISBN 0859761541. 
  18. ^ Verbruggen, J.F. (1997). The Art of Warfare in Western Europe in the Middle Ages (2nd. ed.). Woodbridge: Boydell Press. pp. 184–5. ISBN 0851156304. 
  19. ^ Morris, Paul (Sept. 2000). ""We have met Devils!" : The Almogavars of James I and Peter III of Catalonia-Aragon". Anistoriton 004. http://www.anistor.gr/english/enback/v004.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  20. ^ Heath, Ian (1993). The Irish Wars 1485-1603. Oxford: Osprey. p. 36. ISBN 9781855322806. 
  21. ^ Arnold, Thomas (2001). The Renaissance at War. London: Cassel & Co.. pp. 60–72. ISBN 0304352705. 
  22. ^ Nicholson, Helen (2004). Medieval Warfare. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 102–3. ISBN 0333763319. 
  23. ^ Nicholson (2004),p. 102
  24. ^ Nicholson (2004), p101
  25. ^ Arnold (2001), pp.66-72, 78-81
  26. ^ Oakeshott, Ewart (1980). European Weapons and Armour. Guildford & London: Lutterworth Press. p. 56. ISBN 0718821262. 
  27. ^ Oakeshott (1980), p.55
  28. ^ Oakeshott (1980), p.56
  29. ^ Arnold (2001), pp.92-100
  30. ^ Hunting With Spears
  31. ^ Legal Status of Spear Hunting Challenged
  32. ^ Connolly, Peter (1981). Greece and Rome at War. London: Macdonald Phoebus. p. 89. ISBN 035606798X. 
  33. ^ M. Cary and A. D. Nock : Magic Spears, The Classical Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 3/4 (Jun. - Oct., 1927), pp. 122-127
  34. ^ Crossley-Holland, Kevin (1982). The Norse Myths. London: Penguin. pp. 51,197. ISBN 0140060561. 
  35. ^ Siegfried, Act I, Scene 2
  36. ^ Frazer, James G. : The Golden Bough, 1890

See also

External links



1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SPEAR (0. Eng. spere, 0. H. Ger. sper, mod. Ger. speer, &c., cf. Lat. spares; probably related to "spar," a beam), a weapon of offence. Developed from a sharp-headed stake, the spear may be reckoned, with the club, as among the most ancient of weapons. All the prehistoric races handled the spear; all savage folk thrust with it or hurl it; civilized man still keeps it as the lance and the boar-spear; indeed, the bayonet is a spear-head with the rifle for a shaft.

The English before the Norman conquest were a spear-bearing race. The freeman's six-foot ashen spear was always near his hand; and its head is found beside the bones of every warrior. The casting javelin was commoner than the bow. Norman horsemen made the long lance, a dozen feet long, 'its pennon fluttering below the point, the knightly weapon. Throwing spears became rare, the Black Prince's English knights wondering at the Spanish fashion of casting darts. In the 14th century the vamplate came into use as a guard for the lance hand above the grip. At this time also the coronel head was devised for the better safeguard of the jousters, many of whom, however, preferred the blunted or "rebated" point. The next step in development gave the shaft a swell towards the hand on both sides of the grip, a swell exaggerated in the jousting lance of the 16th century, which, fluted and hollowed, is found weighing twenty pounds, with a girth of as much as 27z in. at its broadest part. Leather "burres" were added below the grip and, before the end of the 14th century, the weight of the jousting lance called for the use of the lance-rest, a hook or catch screwed to the right breast of the harness.

The Scots, always weaker than the English in archery, favoured the long spear as the chief weapon of the infantry, and from Falkirk onwards held their own in their "schiltron" formation against all cavalry, until riddled and disarrayed by the arrow-flights. Their English enemy, when harquebusiers began to oust the archers, exchanged the old bills for those 18 and 20 ft. pikes which bristled from the squares protecting the "shot." At the same time, the English horsemen began to leave the lance for sword, pistol and musketoon. During the civil wars in the 17th century every man on foot was either pikeman or musketeer. After 1675 the long pike gave way to the bayonet in its first shape of a dagger whose hilt could be struck into the muzzle of the musket, and, some fourteen years later, the bayonet with a ring-catch gave the infantryman the last form of his pike. Sergeants, however, carried through the 18th century a "halbert" (q.v.) which, in its degenerate form, became a short pike, and infantry officers were sometimes armed with the spontoon. In 1816 certain dragoon regiments were given the lance which had been seen at work in the hands of Poles and Cossacks; and the weapon is still part of the service equipment although controversy is still hot over its value in action, its supporters urging the demoralizing effect of the lance against broken troops. Queen Victoria's navy gave up, in favour of the cutlass bayonet, the pikes which were once served out to repel attacks of boarders. At the present day the High Sheriff's party of javelin-men are the only Englishmen who march on foot with the ancient weapon. (See further LANCE.)

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Armour article)

From BibleWiki

is employed in the English Bible to denote military equipment, both offensive and defensive.

  1. The offensive weapons were different at different periods of history. The "rod of iron" (Ps 29) is supposed to mean a mace or crowbar, an instrument of great power when used by a strong arm. The "maul" (Prov 25:18; cognate Hebrew word rendered "battle-axe" in Jer 51:20, and "slaughter weapon" in Ezek 9:2) was a war-hammer or martel. The "sword" is the usual translation of hereb, which properly means "poniard." The real sword, as well as the dirk-sword (which was always double-edged), was also used (1Sam 17:39; 2 Sam 20:8; 1 Kg 20:11). The spear was another offensive weapon (Josh 8:18; 1Sam 17:7). The javelin was used by light troops (Num 25:7, 8; 1Sam 13:22). Saul threw a javelin at David (1Sam 19:9, 10), and so virtually absolved him from his allegiance. The bow was, however, the chief weapon of offence. The arrows were carried in a quiver, the bow being always unbent till the moment of action (Gen 27:3; 48:22; Ps 1834). The sling was a favourite weapon of the Benjamites (1Sam 17:40; 1Chr 12:2. Comp. 1Sam 25:29).
  2. Of the defensive armour a chief place is assigned to the shield or buckler. There were the great shield or target (the tzinnah), for the protection of the whole person (Gen 15:1; Ps 479; 1Sam 17:7; Prov 30:5), and the buckler (Heb. mageen) or small shield (1 Kg 10:17; Ezek 26:8). In Ps 914 "buckler" is properly a roundel appropriated to archers or slingers. The helmet (Ezek 27:10; 1Sam 17:38), a covering for the head; the coat of mail or corselet (1Sam 17:5), or habergeon (Neh. 4;16), harness or breat-plate (Rev 9:9), for the covering of the back and breast and both upper arms (Isa 59:17; Eph 6:14). The cuirass and corselet, composed of leather or quilted cloth, were also for the covering of the body. Greaves, for the covering of the legs, were worn in the time of David (1Sam 17:6). Reference is made by Paul (Eph 6:14-17) to the panoply of a Roman soldier. The shield here is the thureon, a door-like oblong shield above all, i.e., covering the whole person, not the small round shield. There is no armour for the back, but only for the front.
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

, several pila) were spears used by Roman armies]] heads and spearheads as they were common in antiquity]] A spear is a weapon used in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It is meant to primarily stab. But some spears can both stab and slash, athough stabbing is still used more often. Some kinds of spears were also meant to be thrown.

A lance is a special spear used from horseback during medieval times.


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