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Does anyone have a picture of the Venlo helmet fragment with a chi rho? Googled and searched on RAt without success....


It's been on RAT I'm sure and is actually in the new Armed Batavians book, if that's any help. Itty little bits of helmet...
Yes, Tarbicus had a picture uploaded on his ftp file (I don't even pretend to know what that is....) but the file no longer exists..... Cry

Searched RAT for Venlo helmet but no joy....
I have a colour photo Paul, if you can wait until tomorrow! :wink:
Thanks all- and yes please, Peronis!
I'd take the written caption with a good pinch of salt, especially the light reflectant part...

[Image: southholland.jpg]
Well, yes, like I said, on page 2 of the Intercisa IV thread... :twisted:

It's also referred to as the Maastricht helmet, and the provenance is very doubtful on twwo accounts:

1) the supposed findspot is supposed to be the same as that of a hoard of denarii dating from Honorius' time, but as the source is a detectorist who refused to let anyone know where wexactly they came from, the data are still in doubt.
2) the reconstruction is thought by some to be fanciful: instead of an Intercisa IV, they say that a Berkasovo II is also possible. What is sure is that the remains are so few in number and in such a bad state that both possibilitiues can be correct.

Prins, Jelle (2000): The 'fortune' of a late Roman officer, a hoard from the Meuse valley (Netherlands) with helmet and gold coins, in: Bonner Jahrbücher 200, pp. 309-28.
I take it only the sheet silver patches are original?
Quote:I take it only the sheet silver patches are original?

Those and the christogram, hopefully. :?

[Image: Maastricht3.jpg] [Image: christogram_Venlo.jpg]

Looking at this and the similar Sisak fragment, is it possible (or even more probable) that this was part of a helmet nasal decoration (on the lines of the Heteny helmet) rather than a crest decoration? The Sisak one was described as having guttering which seems to me to be more likely to be a nasal rather than a crest decoration.


Quote:Looking at this and the similar Sisak fragment, is it possible (or even more probable) that this was part of a helmet nasal decoration (on the lines of the Heteny helmet) rather than a crest decoration? The Sisak one was described as having guttering which seems to me to be more likely to be a nasal rather than a crest decoration.

The four Siscia and other fragments of so-called 'Christograms' could of course be decorations on a nasal as well as on a crest. As to the Venlo Christogram, the rivet on the back makes it improbable as a nasal decoration - you'd first need to raise a ridge on the nasal before riveting the decoration to it in the way it was done. A simple rivet through both (like in fig. 6) would seem logical for a nasal.
Thanks Robert and laudes! Fig 6 (from Siscia) looks distinctly possible as a nasal guard decoration. Its intriguing that fig 5 (labelled a brooch, which I don't buy) - with its long stem resembling a nasal with a Christogram was found at Heteny , where another nasal protector with a Chrostogram was also found.....

Is there any more information on the archaeology of the find that would potentially link them?


From Campus Mawrtius , with a comment on wearing the Chirho on the helmet and the construction of the labarum.

Probably not new to many of you experienced Late Romans, but new to me! ... chive.html

lactantius' dream seems to occur in the vicinity of rome, shortly before the battle with maxentius. eusebius' version in the Vita Constantini, in contrast, occurs before constantine marches his troops to rome, and includes both a vision and a dream. eusebius claims that constantine himself told him the story 'a long while after'; no vision is included in eusebius' account of the battle at HE 9.9.2-8. here is cameron's translation from VC 1.28-31:

About the time of the midday sun, when day was just turning, he said he saw with his own eyes, up in the sky and resting over the sun, a cross-shaped trophy formed from light, and a text attached to it whichsaid, `By this conquer' . Amazement at the spectacle seized both him and the whole company of soldiers which was then accompanying him on a campaign he was conducting somewhere, and witnessed the miracle.
29 He was, he said, wondering to himself what the manifestation might mean; then, while he meditated, and thought long and hard, night overtook him. Thereupon, as he slept, the Christ of God appeared to him with the sign which had appeared in the sky, and urged him to make himself a copy of the sign which had appeared in the sky, and to use this as protection against the attacks of the enemy.
30 When day came he arose and recounted the mysterious communication to his friends. Then he summoned goldsmiths and jewellers, sat down among them, and explained the shape of the sign, and gave them instructions about copying it in gold and precious stones. This was something which the Emperor himself once saw it to let me also set eyes on, God vouchsafing even this.
31 (1) It was constructed to the following design. A tall pole plated with gold had a transverse bar forming the shape of a cross. Up at [31] the extreme top a wreath woven of precious stones and gold had been fastened. On it two letters, intimating by its first characters the name `Christ', formed the monogram of the Saviour's title, rho being intersected in the middle by chi. These letters the Emperor also used to wear upon his helmet in later times. (2)From the transverse bar, which was bisected by the pole, hung suspended a cloth, an imperial tapestry covered with a pattern of precious stones fastened together, which glittered with shafts of light, and interwoven with much gold, producing an impression of indescribable beauty on those who saw it. This banner then, attached to the bar, was given equal dimensions of length and breadth. But the upright pole, which extended upwards a long way from its lower end, below the trophy of the cross and near the top of the tapestry delineated, carried the golden head-and-shoulders portrait of the Godbeloved Emperor, and likewise of his sons. (3) This saving sign was always used by the Emperor for protection against every opposing and hostile force, and he commanded replicas of it to lead all his armies.
32 (1) That was, however, somewhat later. At the time in question, stunned by the amazing vision, and determined to worship no other god than the one who had appeared, he summoned those expert in his words, and enquired who this
god was, and what was the explanation of the vision which had appeared of the sign. (2) They said that the god was the Onlybegotten Son of the one and only God, and that the sign which appeared was a token of immortality, and was an abiding
trophy of the victory over death, which he had once won when he was present on earth. They began to teach him the reasons for his coming, explaining to him in detail the story of his self-accommodation to human conditions. [32] (3) He listened
attentively to these accounts too, while he marvelled at the divine manifestation which had been granted to his eyes; comparing the heavenly vision with the meaning of what was being said, he made up his mind, convinced that it was as God's own teaching that the knowledge of these things had come to him. He now decided personally to apply himself to the divinely inspired writings. Taking the priests of God as his advisers, he also deemed it right to honour the God who had appeared to him with all due rites. Thereafter, fortifed by good hopes in him, he finally set about extinguishing the menacing flames of tyranny.

thus, what constantine saw in the initial vision, according to eusebius, was a cross-shaped trophy with a text attached to it. when instructed in the dream to make a copy of the sign he had seen, a chi-rho is included at the top of the cross (of course, this too could have been a part of the initial vision which is simply not included in 1.28), but is not the sign itself; it is part of the sign. this cross-cum-banner-cum-chi-rho is the sign commonly referred to as the labarum. as cameron comments (p.210),

Eusebius saw the labarum in its established form, as depicted on Constantine's late coins, and here describes what he had seen later... . Even in this form it could be described as cross-shaped, and resembled a military vexillum; Firm. Mat., Err. prof. rel. 20.7 refers to it as the vexillum fidei.

on 'the shape of a cross' in 31.1, she comments (p.210) that

The whole structure is cruciform. The fact that the military vexillum was cruciform had been noted by Methodius, Porph. 1, who claimed that earthly emperors thus used the cross 'for the destruction of wicked habits'. The description of the wreath and the first two letters of the name of Christ point clearly to the later labarum, as it was depicted on coins.

and, finally, an interesting bit on the chi-rho itself (p.210):

Like other Christian signs, the chi-rho emblem is in fact rare on Constantine's coins, and the early silver medallions of 315 from Ticinum (Pavia) showing the Emperor wearing a high-crested helmet with the Christogram are exceptional (Fig.3). See P. Bruun, 'The Christian Signs on the Coins of Constantine', Arctos, NS 3 (1962), 5-35, against A. Alfoeldi, 'The Helmet of Constantine with the Christian Monogram', JRS 22 (1932), 9-23; though the form of the chi-rho is attested before Constantine, there is no certain Christian use (E. Dinkler, Signum Crucis (Tuebingen, 1967), 134-5).

Picture here of the Ticinium medallion with the Chi rho highlighted:-

[Image: medallion.jpeg]
Hi Paul,

Yes, this account is a bit later, and seems to be relating to the labarum, indeed, rather than to the original vision itself.

Quote:Picture here of the Ticinium medallion with the Chi rho highlighted:-
[Image: medallion.jpeg]

I know of this one, and even though we think it's a relaistic helmet, it's severely stylized to reveal the emperor's face. I assume it has a peacock feather crest.

But what i never noticed before (been lookinn' at the helmet I suppose) is the design of the shield decoration: is that Rome's she-wolf with the twins underneath?
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