The Romans certainly did not innovate the lance, its use dating back at least as far as the Assyrians and Egyptians. They were, however, very fond of it for mounted combat, and it is from the Latin ‘lancea’ that the English name for the weapon derives. It can be difficult to distinguish between remnants of Roman lances and spears, though size gives the best indication as to intended use: smaller spearheads tended to be projectile weapons, whereas heavy lances would have been thrusted by cavalry soldiers.
Roman Lance Head
An ancient Roman lance head made from forged iron. The leaf is subtly ridged and lanceolate; the blade tapering to a narrow tip on a slight curve. The weapon’s sleeve is long, though now incomplete, from which the lance head would have been mounted on a shaft (most likely made of wood).
Supplied with a metal stand.
Provenance: Collection of Axel Guttmann, see Hermann Historica, 44 Auction, Lot 76
Condition: A substantial part of the sleeve has broken away, though the remaining metal is stable. Otherwise fine condition, with the surfaces a little uneven.