The Gladius, also known as the Gladius Hispaniensis (Latin: Spanish Sword) was the standard sword of the Roman Army for the 3rd century BC onwards. The was, as the name suggested, based on earlier Spanish swords the Romans encountered on their military campaigns in the region. Previously, early roman swords had looked similar to the Greek Xiphos. While different variants of the blade existed, such as the Mainz and Pompeii variants (named for places where they were found), the sword had a blade of 60-68 centimeters and a wooden grip with a cup-shaped guard and a roughly spherical pommel. The gladius could be used to for cutting and slashing attacks, however, its main purpose was as a stabbing weapon, used for thrusting while protected behind a large square shield. This was typically done in a massed shield wall formations. Later on when the Spatha sword was invented, the Gladius became obsolete.