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Thread: Question about Greek helmets.

  1. #1

    Default Question about Greek helmets.

    Hello folks!

    I have some questions regarding Greek helmet types - namely, when did they appear and when were they phased out?

    I'll list the ones I'm interested about below, feel free to give your input.

    Cheers!

    Phrygian?
    Attic?
    Boeotian?
    Chalcidian?
    Corinthian?
    Illyrian?
    Pilos?

  2. #2
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Question about Greek helmets.

    I don't know firm or even rough estimates for initial and terminal dates on each of these helmet types, but without consulting any scholarly sources, I can make an educated guess just to waste time and make small chat before someone more knowledgeable about the subject wanders into the saloon here to order whiskey and set me straight.

    One thing is clear enough to me: all of these helmet types appeared after the Bronze Age. That's obvious enough, I think, with some appearing as early as the first half of the Iron Age. I know as a fact that the Corinthian helmet predates even the Classical period and is found among Archaic era Greeks. That's largely because I'm familiar with ancient Greek artworks such as the sculpted frieze on the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi from the 6th century BC showing warriors wearing that helmet type along with protective greaves and wielding hoplon shields with dory spears. Such artworks were made decades and in some cases centuries before the Achaemenid Persians stepped foot in Greece.

    It's not all about Greece, though, since such Greek armaments were found throughout the Greek speaking world of the Mediterranean, especially in Sicily and Magna Graecia in southern Italy. I remember Etruscans and Romans using modified Italic Corinthian helmets, but these obviously didn't last into the Principate period. I don't even think they existed during the reign Augustus, or at least they certainly do not appear in artworks by that time. You see them all over the place in pigmented painted relief decorations of soldiers and warriors on Etruscan sarcophagi, though.

    I vaguely remember the Pilos helmet being adopted by armies of Macedon during the Classical period after being influenced by Sparta, but I forget the origin of it or rather when it first appeared. I'm aware that the Phrygian helmet long outlived many others and for whatever reason was revived on many occasions throughout antiquity. If I remember correctly there are even examples from late antiquity (although I believe these were more imitative than genuine attempts at recreation).

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