Corinthian type helmet with boars

CULTURE:
Etruscan; Apulian-Corinthian
DATE:
6th–5th century BCE
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General Description

Helmets designed at the major Greek commercial city of Corinth were popular throughout the archaic period (6th-early 5th century B.C.E). A variant of the later type of Corinthian helmet was produced in the Greek settlements of southern Italy, under strong Etruscan and Italic influence. Such helmets were part of elaborate ceremonial armor and as such were often buried with the dead in the Greek areas of Magna Graecia and in Etruria, where magnates were commonly buried with Greek-style luxury objects. This type of helmet was not worn over the face, but pushed back on the top of the head, with the rear plate protecting the warrior's neck. The piece is cold hammered. Its crest holder is attached with rivets, and there are also rivets for attaching a helmet liner. The outside of the helmet is elegantly ornamented with an incised herringbone pattern and palmettes. Two rampant boars are incised on the cheek pieces. These incised decorations are related to contemporary drawings on vases as well as to similar examples of ornamental metalwork. In the clarity of the decoration and the crisp purity of shape, this helmet is a masterpiece of military display.

Excerpted from

Anne Bromberg, "Corinthian-type helmet with boars," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Charles Venable (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1997), 33.

Fun Facts

  • The prongs on either side of the plume holder on top of this helmet may have also held animal horns, similar to certain Mycenean helmets and the familiar headgear of the Norsemen.