The hasta was the weapon carried by the first four classes under the Servian constitution. It frequently had a leather thong tied to the middle of the shaft to aid in directing and throwing it.

The hasta was used as a symbolic device: as a military decoration (part of the tropaeum or victory memorial), as a declaration of war (when thrown into enemy territory), and as a sign of booty for sale, from which derived the practice of setting up a spear to advertise private auctions, called subhastationes.