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The Roman lance. In the earlier times of the army the four first classes in the Servian constitution, and in later times, the triarii, or hindmost rank, were armed with this weapon. (See LEGION.) 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 pilra) continued to be used in later times as a military decoration. The hasta indeed was employed in many symbolical connexions. The fetialis, 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. 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), and at the sittings of the court of the centumviri, which had to decide on questions of property.
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint