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The Hastati (sing. Hastatus) were the first main battle line of the Roman Army during the Roman Republic, and were typically made up of younger men. The Hastati were armed with 4 foot spears with 9 inch tips, called Pila (sing. Pilum), along with the standard short sword, or gladius. Their armor consisted of the standard bronze helmet of the Roman Army at the time, decorated with additional large plumes. The Hastati also wore a bronze breastplate , or chain mail if the soldier preferred and could afford it. The armor of the Hastati was up to the person; the soldiers armored themselves, buying what they could afford.

The Hastati were organized into Centuries of 60 men, which were arranged into Maniples of 120, of which there were 10 in a battle formation. As the first battle line, the Hastati were immediately behind the Velites and in front of the Principes, which were in front of the Triarii. The Hastati were sent into battle first, and commonly withdrew to the Principe line to allow for a counterattack.

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Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45