Ancient Rome Overview

One of the most storied and legendary civilizations in recorded history is that of ancient Rome. Although it was started as a monarchy, the political structure shifted to an oligarchic republic during its span. During a time when empires rarely lasted for than a few generations, the Roman Empire thrived for over a thousand years in various incarnations.

Although there are a myriad of facets that make up the complexion of the society, the military is one of the most important. While Ancient Roman swords and armor would obviously be rudimentary by today’s standards, they were inline with their contemporaries. Along with Ancient Greece—who had a considerable influence on Rome—the two makeup what is now referred to as the “classical period.”



‘Caesar was stabbed with twenty-three dagger thrusts and uttered not a word, but only a groan at the first stroke, though some have related that when Marcus Brutus rushed at him, he said in Greek,”You, too, child?””  This is how Suetonius the author of “The Life of Caesar”describes his death.  Nero, the most evil of Roman Emperors stabbed himself in the throat with a dagger.

This hidden weapon has resulted in the death of the unsuspecting friend, husband, or statesman.  The sharp stab is a startling blow, because it came from a woman’s bosom, or from a friend’s hand.   In Caesar’s case the daggers came from most of those he thought he could trust.  From ancient ages to the present day the knife or dagger is a popular weapon.

stiletto-daggerIn Rome and Greece the short sword was the weapon of choice.  In the Medieval and Renaissance eras the dagger was used to penetrate plate armor.  One of the most well-known daggers, the stiletto, was developed particularly for this purpose.

During the late Renaissance period, a different style of sword fighting developed in Europe.  The dagger was held in the left hand and the sword in the right with the dagger being used to deflect sword thrusts.  One of the most well know of these left-handed daggers is the Main Gauche.

scissors-daggerThe scissors dagger is a utilitarian weapon that can be used to cut and make clothes or to just as easily stab an unsuspecting soul.  This weapon was usually concealed in a woman’s bra.