Pugio Damascus Steel Dagger

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During the Roman Empire, legionaries were issued a Pugio (from the Latin Pugnō, or “fight”), a doubleedged thrusting dagger. The pugio was most notably used by Sempronius Densus, a retired legionary working as a Roman Imperial Guard in 69 AD. As an army of over 1,000 mutinous Roman soldiers marched to storm the palace and execute the Emperor, Densus stood alone to defend. 

To show that he wasn't afraid of these traitors he dropped his cudgel (large whacking mallet) and pulled out his Pugio Dagger. He warned them to stop but seeing he was alone, they pressed forward. He alone with his Pugio Dagger, slaughtered hundreds until he was eventually overcome and killed. 

This Pugio Damascus Dagger is named in respect of his bravery. It is a work of art in both form and function. The Damascus twist pattern and the inlaid Stag antler handle create a visually appealing harmony. As a tool, the extremely sharp double edge on this modified dagger and solid hand will make the most finicky blade connoisseur salivate.

Pugio Damascus Dagger Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 7.75"
  • Handle Length: 4"
  • Blade Length: 3.75"
  • Blade Material: Damascus Steel 1095/15n20
  • Blade thickness: 4mm
  • Damascus pattern: Twist
  • Number of layers: 256
  • Grind: Secondary bevel
  • Handle Material: Stag Antler
  • Includes a hand stitched full grain leather sheath with belt loop

Please note: Each knife is handmade from natural materials, there will be some variation in color, Damascus pattern and overall look. The knife you receive will have the same attention to quality and detail as the one pictured but may differ slightly in appearance.

Care Instructions:

1095 steel is a high-carbon steel and will rust if not dried and oiled after use. Hand wash only with soap and hot water. Dry completely before oiling.

About Forseti Steel:

The secret to forging authentic Damascus steel knives has long been lost, but Forseti Steel stays as true to the tradition as they can by commissioning smiths with Damascus ancestry to hand-make all of their blades. The artists behind the enamoring water-like patterns of folded and pounded steel have all learned their skills and techniques from the generations that worked the metals before them.

In addition to paying tribute to the Damascus practice in technique and appearance, Forseti Steel shows its respect for history's heroes, legends, and characters with their knives' names. The 9", walnut-handled Sentinel, for example, honors the Sentinels who stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington.

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  • 5
    Beautiful blade

    Posted by Dave on Jun 27th 2017

    Purchased this blade a year ago. Sharp as a razor. Nice heft to the blade. It has not rusted. The blade is still as sharp as the day I purchased it despite my being too lazy to take a stone to it. I've dropped it. I've sliced and diced with it. I carry the blade with me every day in Afghanistan.

  • 5
    Nice knife

    Posted by Catoptric on May 16th 2017

    The antler is of a darker color and the sheath is a lighter leather, which I used neatsfoot oil on as soon as I got it (it was dry and seemed like a good idea.) The metal is non stainless (a lot of custom or specialty knife makers don't like to use stainless, because it doesn't get as sharp, but it also is not common for true Damascus. It came with a very nice wooden box. I originally was wondering if it was true Damascus because a lot of blades are fake and stenciled on, though the sharpened area of the blade reveals clear indications it is. All Damascus is stained (much like how geodes are, if you didn't know) and likely the noticeable traits are from blades that have aged over time and revealed the characteristic variations in the metal patterns. It's extremely sharp too, and I reverted from using choji oil to that of Murray's beeswax (hair product mixed with petroleum jelly) that works well for it. I suspect this knife/dagger is very different in every way from a true pugio, and most of the Roman soldiers probably had what looked like mini swords, or large combat knifes.