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n. a dagger, poignard, especially the kind used by the Ancient Romans.


The pugio (Plural: Pugiones) was a dagger used by Roman soldiers as a sidearm. It seems likely that the pugio was intended as an auxiliary weapon, but its exact purpose to the soldier remains unknown. Attempts to identify it as a utility knife are misguided as the form of the pugio is not suited to this purpose and in any case utility knives of a variety of sizes are common finds on Roman military sites, meaning there would be no need for a pugio to be used in this way. Officials of the empire took to wearing ornate daggers in the performance of their offices, and some would wear concealed daggers as a defense against contingencies. The dagger was a common weapon of assassination and suicide; for example, the conspirators who stabbed Julius Caesar used pugiones.

Usage examples of "pugio".

It was hack and kill, pull out the blade and dodge, recover, poise and stab with pugio and gladius against the thrust of long lances.