Roman Iron Pugio and Scabbard
An ancient Roman iron pugio and scabbard, the blade of narrow triangular tapering form the hilt with two round knobs in laid with silver. The scabbard is of an iron framework design, the organic materials now lacking.
Ca. 1st century BC.
The Iberic short sword or Gladius Hispaniensis was adapted by the Romans as early as the second century BC, and was the direct predecessor of both the Mainz-Type Gladius Romanus and the shortened, broad bladed Pugio dagger. As a close quarters weapon, the pugio was able to deliver a mortal blow in a single thrust.
cf.: Bishop & Coulston, Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, (Oxford, 2006), pp. 56-57, 83-87, no. 1 (from Oberaden, Germany).
Formerly in the collection of Axel Guttmann, Berlin, (1944 - 2001).