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World of Weapons:

Why the Gladius Was the Perfect Weapon for the Roman Army

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Why the Gladius Was the Perfect Weapon for the Roman Army

Short | 01:42

For more than half a century, the Gladius was the de facto weapon of choice for any self-respecting Roman soldier. Its value was proven repeatedly in the close combat battles of that era.

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Hand-to-hand combat is warfare at its most visceral. Since ancient times, soldiers on the battlefield have relied on specialized weapons to survive this form of fighting. Military experts explore some of history's most effective weapons, from the Gladius, the short sword Roman legionaries relied on for centuries, to the medieval war hammer, to the bayonet, a firearm still being used today.

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