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Continental Saxon helmets
#1
Are there any known examples of continental Saxon helmets? And if not, what would be the most likely helmet types used by them? I'm especially interested in what they would have used during the Saxon Wars (8th century AD), or is that too late for this forum? Other periods would be interesting to hear about as well.
Frank
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#2
I think anything outside the context of the Roman army (or classical society) would be outside the context.

So Saxon helmets after the 5th c. would be for another forum I think.
And I doubt that there were 'Saxon' helmets from the continent (or Britain) before the late 6th c.?
Robert Vermaat
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FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#3
I don't know of any helmet finds that can be attributed to the Saxons, from the Roman Era or beyond. I hoped anyone here would know about that.

Should this topic be removed or would it be okay when the subject is limited to Saxon helmets from the Roman Era?
Frank
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#4
(03-08-2019, 12:53 PM)Batavian Wrote: Saxon helmets from the Roman Era?

As Robert says, I don't think anything is known of helmets from the Saxon areas of mainland Europe during the Roman era, or for some time afterwards.

We can probably assume that the Saxons of the 3rd-5th century shared the same sort of material culture as their neighbours to the east on the Baltic coast. The deposits found at Vimose, Illerup and Nydam contain a lot of military gear, both of Roman and barbarian origin, dating from the Antonine era to the mid 4th century, but there's no sign of helmets (and only one example of body armour - a mail shirt probably also of Roman origin).

It is possible that the griffon 'standard' found at Vimose was originally the crest of a Roman helmet of the 'cavalry sports' type; if so, Roman helmets (or bits of them!) apparently made their way north, either as gifts or plunder, and may possibly have been worn by high ranking warriors or chieftains of these cultures. But it would appear that both body armour and head protection was otherwise rare to unknown.

For more detail on the abovementioned finds, see the excellent book from the Danish National Museum, The Spoils of Victory: the North in the Shadow of the Roman Empire (2003).
Nathan Ross
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#5
(03-08-2019, 01:44 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: We can probably assume that the Saxons of the 3rd-5th century shared the same sort of material culture as their neighbours to the east on the Baltic coast. The deposits found at Vimose, Illerup and Nydam contain a lot of military gear, both of Roman and barbarian origin, dating from the Antonine era to the mid 4th century, but there's no sign of helmets (and only one example of body armour - a mail shirt probably also of Roman origin).

Perhaps the Groningen helmet?
https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/showth...?tid=12810
   
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#6
That would be a good candidate. I've been told that the Groningen helmet is of Frisian origin, who were neighbours of the Saxons.

@ Nathan: sometimes I wonder whether "barbarians" used Roman equipment more than they used their own. Compared to them, the Romans produced equipment on an almost industrial scale, so there was probably some surplus to buy/trade. And the average Roman soldier was better equipped too, so defeating Romans meant that you could take their nice armour, helmets, swords, etcetera and use it yourself.
Frank
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#7
(03-08-2019, 09:18 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: Groningen helmet?

Oh yes - I was vaguely thinking of that one, but I couldn't remember where or when it was from!

The thread there says 5th to 7th century, which might just bring it into the end of the Roman era.


(03-08-2019, 09:50 PM)Batavian Wrote: defeating Romans meant that you could take their nice armour, helmets, swords, etcetera and use it yourself.

Absolutely - although I expect far more of it was traded or given than plundered! There are laws in the Theodosian Code prohibiting arms trading across the Roman frontier, which suggests it certainly went on before that if not after. What we don't know is the extent to which Roman styles were copied by indigenous metalworkers, who might perhaps have then developed their own traditions.
Nathan Ross
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