The word javelin is a very broad term that covers a number of military and non-military throwing weapons. One famous example is the pilum, used by the Romans, which had an effective range of 15-20 meters. In general, the javelin was a light, short spear, well-balanced, and designed for throwing. To facilitate this, the center of balance was more forward than a usual spear. It was thrown by hand, with a leather loop, or with a throwing stick.