Roman Mace

Roman Mace

Roman Mace

The mace was a powerful weapon of war that was utilized by Roman soldiers to break the body armor or chain mail of the opposing warrior. It was also during the medieval period when the King of England’s bodyguards were turned into the Sergeant-at-arms and these individuals also wielded maces.

A Roman mace is known as a blunt type of weapon that features a heavy and sturdy head on the end of its handle; this allows the wielder to deliver powerfully strong blows that can cause great damage to the opponent. This weapon usually consists of a heavy, strong, and very durable metallic or wooden shaft and is often supported by metal.

The weapon also has a head made of materials such as bronze, stone, steel, copper, or iron; yet the head of a military mace can be formed with the use of knobs or flanges for better penetration of an enemy’s plate armor.

For the measurement, its length varies considerably: with the foot soldiers, they wielded maces that were either two or three feet long. When it comes to the medieval mace of cavalrymen, these were much longer than that of the foot soldiers and were better for giving off blows while on horseback.

There was also a two-handed medieval mace and its measurements could be larger compared to the previously mentioned pieces.

Roman Weapons

The personal equipment of Roman soldiers was developed and created in large numbers to develop patterns to be utilized in an established manner.

These mentioned patterns were called the discipline or militaries and its continuous practice during the Roman Empire and Republic led to the military greatness and victory of the empire.

The main weapons utilized by these skilled soldiers included the Gladius, the Pilum, and the Scutum; although the Roman mace was not a popular weapon for battles, it was still utilized by the Roman soldiers as a secondary or last resort weapon.

The use of heavy-swinging arc weapons such as the flail, Roman mace, and the morning star flail during tight formations would not have been effective and practical which is why the Roman soldiers greatly preferred the spear and sword as their primary weapons.

And due to this reason, there were not many types of maces compared to the other kinds of weapons that the Romans have utilized for battle.

Roman Cavalry and the Use of the Roman Mace

The infantry was considered as the frontlines of the Roman army but the cavalry also had the ability to provide excellent cover and protection on the army flanks.

They could effectively function as a shock ploy to confuse and disrupt the enemy’s infantry formations which may eventually lead them to flee from the battlefield.

Roman Mace

Throughout the centuries, riders also eventually varied, allowing the cavalrymen to also develop into more efficient and powerful warriors; the cavalry types started ranging from the lightly armored archers to the heavy cavalrymen who wielded lances.

Both the rider and their horse were fully equipped with metal armor, leaving no part of the body exposed to enemy attacks.

The cavalry also became greatly useful during the later Roman era especially when it became essential to patrol certain bordering states.

For the standard Roman cavalrymen, they equipped themselves with a scale or mail armor while carrying a curved or flat, rounded, oval, or an extended hexagonal shield called the thyreos.

This type of shield was made of wood and covered in hiding while also being edged with fine metal; these also featured decorative designs to identify the group of warriors.

Riders also wore protective helmets that were similar to that utilized by the infantry; the only difference was that these had additional protection for the soldier’s ears and these were also usually more adorned.

The weapons that these warriors commonly utilized included the broad sword, the long sword, as well as the short throwing spears. These warriors were also able to carry additional weapons for back-ups such as the Roman mace and spiked axe.

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Roman Mace

Although these were weapons utilized during battles, it was still obvious that the Romans did not really have a specific name to call the Roman mace; this argues for the weapon’s rarity and crudity for development. It is said that the flanged maces were developed during the Early Middle Ages by the Central Asian Turks.

The Romans were also said to have numerous iron nails and these were necessary for creating an iron-tipped club that was quite similar to the Roman morning star or the Roman mace.

These iron nails provided additional weight to the weapon’s tip plus it also created a hard, durable, and uneven surface that was not easily deflected by the enemy’s armor.

Roman Flail

In ancient Europe, namely in France, Rome, and Greece, the Flail was considered as an ancient yet effective hand tool that was utilized for threshing grain. It is made up of two pieces of wood called the helve or hand staff, and the beater where both pieces are joined by a thong.

The hand staff is a lightweight rod that is a few feet long, while the beater is a much shorter piece of wood. Together with a flail, a warrior could easily thresh about seven bushels of wheat, fifteen of barely, eight of rye, eighteen of oats, as well as twenty of buckwheat in just a single day keep in mind that a bushel equates to around thirty-five liters.

Roman Mace

With that, the flail remained as the primary way of threshing until the middle of the nineteenth century where the mechanical threshers appeared and eventually became widespread.

Instead of utilizing the Roman flail as a weapon for battle, it was used for agricultural purposes such as threshing corn; this is because the tool quickly separates grain from the husk and straw

Another type of Roman flail was the tribulum / tribula – a sledge made out of boards that are joined and loaded with iron or stone.

Advantage of the Mace

Compared to the sword, Roman maces are highly effective against protective armor since a mace’s strike can give an enemy a concussion and trauma despite him wearing a good helmet; also, the blow from a Roman mace could also crush the enemy’s armor joints.

Blunt weapons such as the mace are specifically designed to crush or smash a target, and with enough power, it can readily kill just like a sword. This is why a hit from the Roman mace on any part of the body can deal significant damage to the bone whereas a nick or cut in a non-vital spot on the body will only cause some blood loss.

Another advantage of the mace over other weapons is that it is not brittle compared to the sharp weapons that are available. This is because the sharper the blade, the more brittle it is, so it decreases the chances of actually cutting through targets.

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