Hasta is a Latin word meaning spear. Hastae were carried by early Roman Legionaries, in particular they were carried by and gave their name to those Roman soldiers known as Hastati. However, during Republican times, the hastati were re-armed with pila and gladii and the hasta was only retained by the triarii.
A hasta was about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length, with a shaft generally made from ash, while the head was of iron.
The Hasta pura was a spear without iron – presumably without the iron tip that was used in combat, or with the tip made of another material – that was awarded as a military decoration.
The Latin word hasta still exists in Portuguese with the exact same meaning, in French with the spelling haste and, having lost the aspiration, is used in Italian and Spanish with spelling asta and may have passed in modified form and/or meaning into other Romance languages such as Albanian (heshtë, "spear").
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