Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
hoope of Iron upon it, to bee able to sustaine a blowe, and an other under, to the intente, that it being driven to the earth, it should not breake:  for to offende, they had girte on their left flanke a swoorde, the length of a yearde and a naile, on their righte side, a Dagger:  they had a darte in every one of their handes, the which they called Pilo, and in the beginning of the fight, they threwe those at the enemie.  This was the ordering, and importaunce of the armours of the Romanes, by the which they possessed all the world.  And although some of these ancient writers gave them, besides the foresayde weapons, a staffe in their hande like unto a Partasen, I cannot tell howe a heavy staff, may of him that holdeth a Targaet be occupied:  for that to handle it with both hands, the Targaet should bee an impediment, and to occupye the same with one hande, there can be done no good therewith, by reason of the weightynesse thereof:  besides this, to faight in the strong, and in the orders with such long kinde of weapon, it is unprofitable, except in the first front, where they have space enough, to thrust out all the staffe, which in the orders within, cannot be done, for that the nature of the battaile (as in the order of the same, I shall tell you) is continually to throng together, which although it be an inconvenience, yet in so doing they fear lesse, then to stande wide, where the perill is most evident, so that all the weapons, which passe in length a yarde and a halfe, in the throng, be unprofitable:  for that, if a man have the Partasen, and will occupye it with both handes, put case that the Targaet let him not, he can not hurte with the same an enemy, whom is upon him, if he take it with one hande, to the intent to occupy also the Targaet, being not able to take it, but in the middest, there remayneth so much of the staff behind, that those which are behinde him, shall let him to welde it.  And whether it were true, either that the Romans had not this Partasen, or that having it, did little good withal, read all the battailes, in the historye thereof, celebrated of Titus Livius, and you shall see in the same, most seldom times made mencion of Partasens, but rather alwaies he saieth, that the Dartes being thrown, they laid their hands on their sweardes.  Therefore I will leave this staffe, and observe, concerning the Romanes, the swoorde for to hurte, and for defense the Targaet, with the other armours aforesaide.

[Sidenote:  A brave and a terrible thing to the enemies.]

The Greekes did not arme them selves so heavyly, for their defense, as the Romans dyd:  but for to offend the enemies, they grounded more on their staves, then on their swoordes, and in especiallye the Fallangye of Macedonia, which used staves, that they called Sarisse, seven yardes and a halfe long, with the which they opened the rankes of their enemies, and they keept the orders in their Fallangy.  And although some writers saie, that they had also the Targaet, I can

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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