Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Roman military javelin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A heavy javelin used by the Roman foot-soldiers.
  • n. Any javelin used by barbarous races with whom the Romans had to do, as by the Franks, Burgundians, and others.
  • n. In pharmacy, an instrument used to triturate substances in a mortar; a pestle.

Etymologies

Latin pilum (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The pilum is a stout wooden shaft 41 feet long, with an iron spit about three feet long fixed in it.

    Caesar and Cleopatra

  • [*] The pilum was the Roman pike, and the spatha the short single-edged Roman sword.

    Historic girls; stories of girls who have influenced the history of their times,

  • But the Romans had every legionary trained in the use of the javelin pilum and and lots of archer auxiliary mostly from the east - light mounted archers with composite or recurve bows from Numidia, Osrhoene and Parthia, foot archers from Syria, even specialised slingers from the Balearic isles.

    Bowmen in medieval Wales

  • His weapons were a javelin (pilum) and a short sword (gladius).

    The Spartacus War

  • Mark picked up on the wave attack tactic - the first line hits with +3 for pilum charge, then next turn the second joins in in the gaps and they get the pilum charge bonus again.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • Any man who burns his picket stake, section of breastworks, or pilum shaft will be flogged and beheaded—we may need them to fight Parthian raids off.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • So I will learn to use the gladius and the longsword, I will shoot arrows and throw rocks from slings, I will practice casting my pilum and my hasta, I will run, hurdle, and swim.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • Further Gaul is about to drop into your lap without a pilum raised in anger.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • Moving and returning armies of labor outnumbering the legions of Rome and carrying the spade further than the latter ever carried the pilum, is probably the true solution of China's problem, not obscuring the yellow note in it, but taking away all peril which in the surmise of a timorous diplomacy used to be braided in with it. posted by davesgonechina at

    From the NYT Archives: The Yellow Peril, 1906

  • No argument, no excuses, no phone calls from the Governor, no time to pray, just a pilum up their fundament.

    Orphans of Chaos

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.