At the finish of the third century AD, a new typology that helmets shows up in the roman inn army, a form that will certainly be provided at the very least until the 5th century: the so referred to as “ridge helmets” – a surname given cause of the middle raised band the unites the 2 halves of the skull.

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It is regularly thought that ridge helmets were of poorer quality and less robust than previous roman inn helmets, the skull that which to be made indigenous a solitary piece of metal (es. Royal Gallic and also Italic, Niederbieber helmets, etc.), in certain concerning the “lighter” version of the ridge helmets. However, these considerations space not completely true.


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A “light” ridge helmet, form Intercisa I


In fact, typically speaking, ridge helmets sheathe the same locations that were protected by previous helmets, and in some case they can be even more protective – for instance, the “heavy” types of ridge helmets often have enclosing cheek guards and also a sleep guard.

Also, the truth that the skulls of the ridge helmets room made by more pieces doesn’t do them automatically less resistant. In fact, helmet skulls make from a single piece that metal have actually some weaker points wherein the steel sheet is diluent – one inevitable consequence of hammering metal. Having the skull do by more pieces minimizes this problem, and also the main ridge provides the allude that takes an ext hits even more robust – moreover, some species of “heavy” ridge helmet also have added lateral metal bands, that makes the skull even much more resistant.


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“Heavy” ridge helmet, type Burgh Castle


It’s usually acknowledged that ridge helmets originated in the East, in the border area in between the roman Empire and also the Sasanian Empire. A probably Sasanian helmet discovered in the site of Dura Europos, date to the 3rd century AD, was established as the “prototype” of the ridge helmets.

Ridge helmets might be categorized under two main types: a “light” one, and also a “heavy” one. “Light” ridge helmets have relatively narrow cheek pieces and also no defense for the face, while the “heavy” ones usually feature an extremely enclosing cheek pieces and nose guards. “Light” ridge helmets have been classified together infantry helmets, when “heavy” ridge helmets have been considered as cavalry helmets. However, even if we recognize for certain that some “heavy” ridge helmets did yes, really belong come cavalrymen – we space sure of this cause of inscriptions uncovered on some helmets –, over there isn’t actually any type of element that might determine such a clear distinction of use between the two types.

“Light” ridge helmets always have ear-holes, while on “heavy” people this feature is many of the times missing. However, Romans additionally experimented other solutions, prefer the ridge helmets the the Koblenz typology: this helmets have actually metallic plates v holes in the area that the ears, therefore uniting protection and also the opportunity to listen clearly.

Various specimen the ridge helmets were decorated – through gildening or silvering, by incised or embossed decorations (both top top the skull and also on the cheek pieces), by place rivets ~ above the crest and on the skull the the helmet, and also even by priceless stones in the wealthiest examples.

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Another method to decorate the helmet to be by using a crest. These might have been made that organic products – as might be seen largely on iconographical sources – or, particularly in the 4th century, indigenous metal. The latter ones regularly sported a decorate front plate the featured the Christogram.