Axes

Ancient Roman axes were used for things like hunting, war, or chopping wood. The ancient romans used axes but their axes were primarily made of iron.

Iron became a primary material for the manufacture of tools in the Roman period. Man of these tools did not survive due to the amount of decay that occurs in steel over time.

The axe was the most common cutting tool as well as the first cutting tool. This a heavy wedge shaped piece with a shaft hole. The handle or shaft was inserted into that hold. The average size of the head was 6 ½ x 3 inches. The hole was 2 ¼ long x 2 inches wide. The common axe had a flat butt and curved blade. It was fitted with a straight handle made of wood.

At the same time the Romans made an axe with the same type blade but containing lugs above the below the hole in the shaft to make the handle sturdier. There is also some evidences of an axe hammer that was constructed during the Roman era. This was larger. The head was about 7 ½ inches long and the cutting edge extended in a downward position to give the tool the appearance of a hammer.

There were also more elaborate holders for these axes that were comprised of wooden sticks tied with red leather. The axe was placed inside the bundle of sticks and removed when the carrier entered a city.

The axe was used both in battle and day to day life. It was used to cut wood, kill animals and as a weapon during battle. The overall style of the Roman axe is not very different from that which is seen today. Over time the head has been redesigned to perform better, but the basic shape is the same. It is a good example of a general purpose tool that was used then and is still used today for survival, but not as frequently for defense or aggression.

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