The Gladius was a straight-bladed sword with two cutting edges. The blade was about 18 inches long and had a tapered point for stabbing. The hilt was made from corrugated bone, with a round pommel and usually ridges for the individual fingers.
The Gladius was primarily used for thrusting, although it could also cut and slice. It was widely used in Roman legions until late in the 2nd Century AD, when the longer spatha sword began to replace it as the standard weapon.
Gladius was a generic word for a sword in Ancient Rome, and is the root of the word Gladiator.