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#227 Greek Javelin

The slim leaf shaped javelin was probably the most common weapon of the classical ancient arsenal and can be identified in many periods of history. This example is based on an original from the northern Mediterranean region. A Greek Peltast, an infantry skirmisher, who was armed with several javelins of this form, may well have carried the original into battle. They would have been used in mass to weaken and break the lines of the enemy Hoplite formations. They were often used with a cord lanyard throwing loop, or amentum in Latin, to increase accuracy.

In fact, at the battle of Lechaeum, the Athenians repeatedly hurled hit-and-run attacks against a Spartan formation. These Spartan Hoplites had no missile defenses of their own and were eventually routed by the javelin attacks. This is often seen as the first occurrence of lighter infantry troops beating the formidable Hoplite in Greek history. Infantry development continued with the appearance of the Thureophoroi and Thorakites who gradually replaced the Peltasts, but these soldiers continued to carry javelins in addition to a longer thrusting spear and a short sword.

Lanyard use on light spears was done throughout Europe. Use by Italian, Gaulish, and Spanish troops, before and after the Roman conquests is documented. It is also noted in an ancient Irish story, and artifacts in the Nydam bog finds, show us examples attached with nails. Outside of the European context they where used in New Caledonia.

The leaf shaped javelin head is found in other cultures as well, examples have been found in Norse, Welsh, Near Eastern, Iberian and North African as well as Roman contexts.

This piece has a cast tool steel head with an integral socket and has a flattened diamond cross-section. It is mounted on a 3/4 wooden haft with a rivet through the socket. The weapon is approximately 50 inches long and comes with a sharp point.



Original: 400 BC, Find place Greece

Overall length: ~50"; Head length: 6.25"

$58 + 25 shipping, $3 shipping per each additional javelin up to 4

If you have a couple of Javelins here are some competitive games one can play with friends, please be sure to always put safety first. Javelin Games by Puck Curtis

Learn how to use the Amentum or lanyard with you Javelin here.


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