A peculiar kind of spear intended to be discharged as a missile from the hand, and employed
in warfare as well as the chase (Verg. Aen. ix.
; Livy, xxxiv. 14
342). It is
described as a missile of the largest dimensions ( Non. s. v.), with an immense iron head and
strong wooden shaft, weighted near the top by a circular mass of lead (Isidor.
Orig. xviii. 7, 8
), exactly as
represented by the annexed figure, from
an ancient monument published by Alstorp (De Hastis Veterum
158). Another specimen of very similar character is exhibited on a sepulchral marble
discovered at Aquileia, published by Bertoli.
A missile invented by the people of Saguntum, similar in many respects to the preceding,
but of a still more formidable description (Livy, xxi. 8
It was chiefly employed in sieges, and discharged with prodigious violence, by the assistance
of machinery (Lucan, vi. 198), from a lofty wooden tower.