Full Version: Crete: helmets and stuff
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4

Gaius Decius Aquilius


About 6 to 8 weeks ago Comerus posted pics of two (probably) Cretan helmets. Both are in the Met and found with a "cash of amour" including several "mitra" abdominal plates. (Comerus's post was under the 6th century Greek kranoi in Louvre topic.)

Obsessions being what they are, I have sent a request for a quote to have one made. This is in addition to the Argos bell and greaves.

I know of an illustration of a Cretan helmet with a brow plate embossed as Sphinx wings from a book from about 1975. I have a reference to an unpublished "Cretan helmet" found in the southern Peloponnese supposedly associated with the first Messenian War.

Can those of you who have anything relating to Crete, the above mentioned cash of amour, and above all any images of helmets, decoration, shield devices, etc. to add to this? I know most people are interested in the Persian and Peloponesian War and later. But I know good and well "the regulars" on here know a whole lot, and should be ashamed of them selves for not sharing with a poor middle aged man who's wife is going to kill him when she finds out about the panoply I am having made.

(Ralph Izard)

Gaius Decius Aquilius


Great pics... I have never seen them. Are they from the above mentioned find site as the helmets?

I am curious if the mitra was worn with a bell or not. One much later, circa 200, Etruscan representation shows a similar plate of scale with a with a padded body defense and scale upper chest and sholder guards. Given my skill level and equipment, I might be able to make a simple undecorated one, given a few abortive flops. Maybe.

Given the later reputation for Crete as having a Spartanised training regime for light skirmishers specialising in ambush (as well as the archers), I wonder how far hoplite warfare actually got on Crete. The quality of mitra you posted are obviously not the property of anyone really poor. Although they might be after paying for the things. I see no reason they would not be worn with a cuirass also.

As for the Argos and stuff on order, I hope it fits and is comfortable, because I am going to be living on the street in it after I am caught with it. I am still working out the etching on the helmet which will at least mimic the rim pattern seen on both helmets and will have the rossetts as on "same helmet 2". I found a view that I cannot seem to save to my computer that shows the other side. There is a similar rosette on the cheek piece that is obviously gone from the view above.

(Ralph Izard)
Hi Ralph

I re enact a Cretan Hoplite from the classical period. I have done quite a bit of research into my equipment. I have chiton (blue), early corinthian Helmet with crest and black Cretan headband beneath, linothorax, dory kopis and greaves. My aspis is being finished at the moment which when completed will be blue background, white waves round the edge and the knossos dolphins as the main device. The waves make me a member of the Doric tribe of Hylleis. The Doreans conquered Crete in 1100B.C. The dolphins make me an allied Hoplite of the Delian League. Many Cretan Hoplites acted as marines for the Delian League.

Also check this out: ... Greek.html

hope this has been of some use to you

All the best

Unfortuanately the site is under transfer and not availble yet but thr following might aid our friend Ralf.

Doreans conqured Crete between 1100 to 900 B.C.
Cretans resumed trading and seting up colonies arround 800 B.C.

2 confederations (East Vs West) fought for the island domination.
The Cretan plains are wide enough for hoplites. The Cretan armies were combined arms Armies in contrast to the mainaland city-state monolithic phalanx formtations. Perhaps the Doreans of Crete maintained the Minoitic military traditions more than others.

For anybody interested in the archaic period (750-600 B.C.) keep in mind that at the time hoplites were something like foot-knights.
The personal emblem of the FRATRIA/GENOS (brothehood/clan) emblem was predominant over the city emblem
Band of hoplites were traveling arround like the Norman knights of the 11th century. So the armies were smaller and more colourful compaired to the later classical armies and he Archaic Hoplite was more heavily armed than the classical hoplite.

Aslso Ralf if you wife learns about Cretan women she might want to start reancting too. (Of course she will renact a Cretan lady)
Kind regards
So where does their fame as archers fit in..? Whenever I think of a Cretan, I think of an archer. Did the Cretans combine both hoplite tactics and archery together in their armies..?

Did the Cretans wear a "black headband/turban" in the classical period..?

Bow was part of the Doric Cretan youths training.
Cretans used archers both in the line and as psiloi.
Their archers carried buckler shields, daggers and even swords and javelins.
They were not squeamish in defending themselves in close combat if need be. There are depictions of them wearing armor and helmets.
The cretan headband appears in bronze age potery and curvings and there is a hellenistic tomb stele on mount Ida depicting archers wearing the the Cretan headband.

Later folk art has examples of red headbands except the usual black which was pehaps more suited for "guerilla" tactics.

Cretan were famous even inCarthagenian and Roman armies:

Kind regards
I guess you know what my next question is.....

Got any pics..?!

Well (Cretans in Roman service)

Ospreys "Ancient Greeks" have an artisic impresion of the IDA tomp stele
and "Spartan Army" the helmeted archers glyph.

Kind regards

Gaius Decius Aquilius

Yes thanks... I am working on a Boeotian shied at present and I did intend for the edge to have a wave pattern , so that is enlightening. Unfortunately, the site you posted is still down. I have a cheap iron Corinthian I am painting (all over) with a dolphin device on each side. This is not for reenacting, just for fun.

You comment on the archaic period hoplite being like armed foot knights certainly fits with the workmanship and quality of the equipment Gioi posted. I am getting an impression that the older Dipylon style shield was more suited to "Duel of the Champions" like events. After the phalanx evolved, this type was phased out. If you note on Gioi's first helmet post, there is a "panther" design on the cheek piece. Does this emblem have any association?

I have a reference to circa 700 employment of the Spartan king Theopompos of Cretan mercenaries. There is an implied association with the unpublished Cretan helmet mentioned in the first post from "Sparta and Lakonia" (Cartledge, second edition, 2002).

I appreciate the feedback you all are giving me. I have a wait time of about a year on the panoply, but I want to put as much research into it as possible. This is my Nashville outfit, if the event develops. It is to be given to a museum in my will, as is most of my amour.

(Ralph Izard)


Quote:I always say to her, that I would never recover of the great oportunity that I had in my life to own a "Tool maker industrial machinery workshop" ; all estimated up to $50,000 & more...From an retired old machinist man, that passed to a friend of mine because he bought his house, then he dont need that because he is a Pastor, & was saling it to me just for $4,000 .... dyes, lathes, all what you can imagine! all kinds of tools & machines and even a forge, you dont need nothing else to buy, all was there... After I give the money to him, she make me ask them back, we almost get divorce because of that!....I couldnt belive it, how womens are :evil: ... that is something that happen once in your life.[/i][/size]

So, did you keep the machinery, or get your money back? I can't wait to hear.


Quote:I appreciate the feedback you all are giving me. I have a wait time of about a year on the panoply, but I want to put as much research into it as possible. This is my Nashville outfit, if the event develops. It is to be given to a museum in my will, as is most of my amour.

(Ralph Izard)

I've had no reply from Wesley Paine, at the Nashville Parthenon, but Phil Reaney, in Texas, is still trying to find ways of making the Event happen. All those interested in this proposed event, and other major gatherings of Greek re-enactors, can register at to be kept informed of what we are doing. I have posted there a request to all who would like to hold a Festival at the Parthenon to write to Wesley Paine, stating their interest, so that he may begin to take the suggestion seriously.
Paul something is not OK with the festival page. Some sectiona are missing.
Please check the Event thread too.

Ralf, the leopard was asociated with Dionysos (Bachus) the god of wine.
It was also ascociated with a Spatran Unit but is under research.
Did you find help in the PM I sent you?

Gioi, the links you posted are not acessible any more.

Kind regards
Quote:But you know how womens are,
and some men..... :roll: :roll: :roll:
You can't afford what you want - but they can certainly afford what they want and then complain when you can't pay the bills or have holes in your jeans......i've been there :evil: :lol: :lol:
Ladies and gentlemen please stay on topic.
Kind regards

Gaius Decius Aquilius

Check this page out for an assortment of Greek objects. Of interest per this thread is the clay statue of Athena who is wearing a Cretan style helmet, dated about 650. I think this is the same one found on Cythera, but attributed to Crete based on the helmet style. There is a similar open faced crested helmet noted as a Spartan votive figure, found at Olympia. What seems to make the "Cretan" helmet distinctive is the brow plate. I guess. ... lides.html

(Ralph Izard)
Pages: 1 2 3 4