While hunting about looking for interesting tidbits of information I happened across this. It is from Livy's History of Rome, and may be the earliest reference to a Roman using a gladius hispaniensis. I thought someone might find it interesting. I have emphasised the most pertinent part. Now the shield that Manlius was using would have been of the early Republican type with a rounded top and bottom and was probably slightly lighter (probably not significant) than the iconic rectangular shields of the middle empire, so this technique may not have continued beyond the changes in shield design. What is interesting is the way in which he used the sword, close-in with upward thrusts from low down. It is quite different to the images we get of Roman legionaires standing with their swords slightly above waist height, pressed firmly against the rim of their shields, and apparently ready to thrust straight forward. This is, of course, an image of individual combat, but what it does do is present another way of looking at the gladius, which, due to imperial imagery, has come down to us as an almost archetypical close order fighting weapon (a task it is very well suited to). This particular variety of the gladius was probably about 75-80cm long with a 65cm blade and probably weighed around 1.4kg, a form that continued in use until about 20BC. I also quite like the name of the Roman involved - Titus Manlius.