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The Roman Pilum Was Unmatched as a Ranged Weapon

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The Roman Pilum Was Unmatched as a Ranged Weapon

Short | 02:05

The pilum, a vital weapon in Rome?s imperial ambitions, was a simple iron spear fixed with two bolts onto a heavy wooden post. It was remarkably effective against an attacker charging at high speed.

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The pilum, which played a vital role in the rise of the Roman Empire. The longbow, which made England a medieval superpower. The Minie ball, which revolutionized 19th century firearm capabilities. Three ranged weapons that transformed combat over the course of thousands of years. What was the secret to their lethal success? Through unique experiments with weapons experts, we reveal how they worked and how, over the centuries, ranged weapons evolved in accuracy and in the distances they can travel.

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