The Dolabra is a versatile tool used in Italy since ancient times. It was the Special Weapon of the Roman Centurion.
The dolabra was similar to a modern pickaxe. It had a broad axe head on one side of the handle and a pick on the other.
"This was made to go through rock. This is just an after thought." Roman Centurian Expert
The dolabra was used in excavations and mines, as a priest's implement for religious animal sacrifices, and was used as an entrenching tool by the Roman legions. However, it was useful as an improvised weapon if the user was attacked and could not reach his usual weapons. The weight of the weapon combined with the force of a swing concentrated on the sharp pick could inflict serious, often fatal injuries.
Since axes are easier to mass-produce than swords, dolabras were used by every soldier while the gladius was used by the legionares.
Since the Roman soldiers were combat engineers as much as (if not more than) they were warriors, it is likely they used this tool more often than any weapon. They would chop down trees to build outposts, forts, roads, boardwalks and bridges to maintain logistics for armies across long distances.
In the middle ages pickaxes were used as mining tools and served as improvised weapons on occasions.