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Lot 16: Roman Iron Pole Hook, ex-Piscopo
07 November 2016
Louisville, CO, USA
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Rome, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 4th century CE. A slightly curved iron hook with a wide, cylindrical socket. The blade of the hook is flat, and they were made by Roman blacksmiths to be versatile weapons and tools. These hooks, placed on the end of long wooden poles were used aboard ships to pull on ropes (or drag another ship close) and Titus Livius's account of Roman history describes their use in sieges: "The consul, having now finished his lines and engines, assaulted the town in five places at once
He battered the walls with rams, and pulled down the battlements with poles armed with iron hooks" (Chapter V). Size: 10.3" L x 1.75" W (26.2 cm x 4.4 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Estate of John Piscopo. Mr. Piscopo was one of the largest collectors of ancient weapons in the US with a collection that spanned all cultures, all ages.
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Condition Report: Corrosion/rusting/pitting, with losses to the socket as shown, but clear shape.