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The Gladius is a sword used as the standard and the primary equipment by the Roman Legionaries since General Marius, and is a common weapon of the Roman demigods. A fully equipped Roman Legionary was armed with a shield, several javelins, a sword, and often a dagger. Conventionally, the javelins would be thrown to disable shields of enemies before engaging the enemy, at which point the gladius would be drawn. The soldier generally led with his shield and thrust with his sword.

The Gladius was gradually replaced by the Spatha by the 2nd and 3rd Centuries AD.

Imperial Gold Sword

Jason Grace using his gladius

Design

The gladius has a comparatively shorter blade than ancient Greek swords. Possessing no cross guard and a large pommel, the sword was forged with a lighter and consequently faster blade. The gladius required a fighting style more based on thrusting than the cutting and slashing of heavier and sturdier blades. However, they could also be used for these purposes. They were generally made of steel in Roman times.

Technique and advantages

The Gladius played a major part in Rome having the one of the best armies in the Ancient World. 

Imperial gold gladius

An imperial gold gladius

The Gladius was generally used after the javelins had been thrown, hopefully disabling the opponent's shields. The Legionaries would generally lead with their shields and follow up with quick stabs to the abdominal area. The blade was best designed for stab wounds, but could also slash.

The Gladius's shorter length gave a distinct advantage to the Romans, as it was more suited to fighting in very dense formations than a longer blade would be.

In the book however, Romans are able to transform the blades into Pilums, the Roman Javelin. It is unknown if all Demigods can do this, considering only Jason and Reyna displayed this ability during the events of The Blood of Olympus.

The Heroes of Olympus

The Lost Hero

Near the end of the book, Juno presents Jason Grace with a Gladius to replace his lost weapon Ivlivs which had been destroyed in the battle against the giant Enceladus. This gladius has a leather sheath.

The Son of Neptune

Gladii are standard issue to everyone in the Twelfth Legion with the exception of Hazel Levesque, who uses a spatha and Frank Zhang, who uses a bow and arrow, along with some children of Apollo.

Items
Personal Weapons: Riptide | Annabeth's Knife | Backbiter | Frank's Spear | Hazel's Spatha | Katoptris | Nico's Sword | Thalia's Spear | Aegis | Maimer | Kronos' Scythe | Ivlivs | Master Bolt | Poseidon's Trident | Sword of Hades | Reyna's Spear | Hades' Staff | Juno's Gladius | Annabeth's Sword | Sumarbrander | Mjølnir | Thor's Staff | Khopesh | Mallory's Serrated Knife | Meg's Twin Imperial Gold siccae blades
Magical Items: Annabeth's Yankees Cap | Helm of Darkness | Keys of Hades | Flying Chariot | Golden Apple | Greek Fire | Hermes' Multivitamins | Leo's Magical Toolbelt | Nectar and Ambrosia | Pandora's Pithos | Winged Shoes | The Golden Fleece | Stygian Ice Whistle | Arrow of Dodona | Serapis' Staff | Magic 8 Ball
Spoils of War: The Minotaur's Horn | Medusa's Head | Kampê's Scimitars | Nemean Lion's Pelt | Gorgon Blood | Cornucopia | Lydian Drakon Hide | Phineas' Robe and Slippers
Items: Camp Necklace | Chameleon Armor | Daedalus' Laptop | Golden drachma | Denarius | Mark of Athena | The Pax | Video Shield | Wristwatch Shield | Golden Mango | Sibylline Books
Blessed Metals: Celestial Bronze | Imperial Gold | Stygian Iron | Bone Steel

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