Serv. says of ‘sparus,’ “bene ‘agrestis:’ nam sparus est rusticum telum in modum pedi recurvum,” citing some words of a passage in Sall. Cat. 56, the whole of which runs thus: “Sed ex omni copia circiter pars quarta erat militaribus armis instructa: ceteri, ut quemque casus armaverat, sparos aut lanceas, alii praeacutas sudes portabant.” From passages cited by Forc. it appears to have been not uncommonly used in war, doubtless by rustic tribes, or in the absence of more regular weapons. Varro ap. Serv. derives it from a kind of fish of the same name, which he says resembled it in shape. Serv. says others took it from “spargere,” which is the view of Festus, who cites the form “sparum” from Lucilius; but Festus' explanation, “parvissimi generis iacula,” would hardly suit a passage like the present. Mr. Yates (Dict. A. ‘Hasta’） remarks that it is evidently the same word as spear, spar.
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