Hasta (spear)


A hasta was about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length, with a shaft generally made from ash, while the head was of iron.

Symbolic usage

A little spear with which a bride's hair was parted into locks.[1][2]

A spear, as a gymnastic weapon.[2][3]

Hasta pura

The hasta pura was a spear without iron – presumably without the iron tip that was used in combat, or with the tip made of another material – that was awarded as a military decoration.[4]


Hastae were also used as signs that would be conventionally understood in Roman culture as announcing an auction. Hence, an auction was called a hasta and an auction-room a hastarium.[2]

Post-Roman era

The loanwords of Latin word hasta still exists in some languanges used in regions that were previously part of Roman Empire. Portuguese with the same meaning, exists in French with the spelling haste and, having lost the aspiration, is used in Italian and Spanish with the spelling asta and may have passed in modified form or meaning into other languages such as Albanian (heshtë, "spear").

See also


  1. Ovid. F. 2, 560
  2. Lewis & Short (1879). A Latin Dictionary. Perseus Project: Clarendon Press. pp. entry 'hasta'.
  3. Plaut. Bacch. 1, 1, 38; 3, 3, 24
  4. Rev. John Selby Watson, M.A. (1899). Sallust. The Jugurthine War. Perseus project: Harper & Brothers. pp. Footnotes to Sal. Jug. 85.

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