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ἔγκος, παλτόν). The lance. In the earlier

Spear with Amentum. (From an Etruscan Vase.)

history of the Roman army the first four classes under the Servian constitution, and in later times, the triarii, or hindmost rank, were armed with this weapon. (See Legio.) At length, however, the pilum was introduced for the whole infantry of the legion. (See Pilum.) To deprive a soldier of his hasta was equivalent to degrading him to the rank of the velites, who were armed with javelins. A blunt hasta with a button at the end (hasta pura) continued to be used in later times as a military decoration. The spear frequently had a leathern thong tied to the middle of the shaft, which was called ἀγκύλη by the Greeks, and amentum or ammentum by the Romans, and which was of assistance in throwing the spear. The javelin to which the ἀγκύλη was attached was called μεσάγκυλον (Poll.i. 136; Xen. Anab. iv. 2.28; Verg. Aen. ix. 665). The preceding figure, taken from Sir W. Hamilton's Etruscan Vases (iii. pl. 33), represents the amentum attached to the spear at the centre of gravity, a little above the middle. The amentum added to the effect of throwing the lance by giving it rotation, and hence a greater degree of steadiness and directness in its course.

The hasta was employed in many symbolical ceremonies. The fetialis (q. v.), for instance, hurled a blood-stained hasta into the enemy's territory as a token of declaration of war, and if a general devoted his life for his army he stood on a hasta while repeating the necessary formula.

Greek Warrior with Spears. (Hope.)

The hasta was also set up as a symbol of legal ownership when the censor farmed out the taxes, when state property—booty, for instance—was sold; at private auctions (hence called subhastationes), where it was the ancient equivalent of our red flag, and at the sittings of the court of the centumviri, which had to decide questions of property.

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