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AER Secutor helmet
I have recently gotten in my AER Secutor helmet and it is B E A utiful!!!! It makes me feel like I am in ancient times just looking at it. However I have run into a small problem, I am not able to get my head inside it! I can not open the two face plates wide enough to get in the bowl. I know the helmet fits, with the face plates on, bc I am able to remove them, place my head inside, and place not reattach the face plates back on with no problem.

Anyone else had a problem with this? What can be done to fix this?
Joshua B. Davis

Marius Agorius Donatus Minius Germanicus
Optio Centuriae
Legio VI FFC, Cohors Flavus

"Do or do not do, their is no try!" Yoda
I have the same problem with the Berlin subtype myrmillo helmet. It's beautiful, but I have had to make it a display helmet only because I can't get it on. It takes two people (and a bit of time)to get it on, and once on it has to stay on. Not really practical. I have had to continue to use a less attractive Pompeii style helmet from DeePeeka in the actual fighting demos.
I wouldn't use a deepeeka helmet in fighting displays. That wouldn't be safe at all.

Anyway, I had the same with one of our provocator helmets. Simply bending the side-protectors (the ones that were blocking the side-panels from moving outwards when 'opening the helmet') a bit outwards the problem was solved.

I'm not totally sure how much this can be done with the secutor helmet, should have it in my hands myself to see, but there must be some room for a mod.
Jvrjenivs Peregrinvs Magnvs / FEBRVARIVS
A.K.A. Jurjen Draaisma
CORBVLO and Fectio
Interesting: I've used Deepeeka helmets for gladiator fights for ten years or more with no problems. Although I admit, we have used wooden weapons
Sometimes a look into literature helps: The original helmets were made in a fashion that prevented the gladiators to take them off by themselves in the arena. In consequence this meant, that two persons were needed to put them on as well. Gladiator helmets were not meant to be "practical" at all :-)
Christian K.

No reconstruendum => No reconstruction.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.


[Image: BannerAER-1-1.jpg]
I never had that kind of problem with any of the helmets I received from AER. I also have not heard about this from any customer of mine that I sold AER Gladiator helmets.
If you use a padded cap, try to put the padding in first and then slip in your head.

I do admit however, that the AER helmets visors can not be opened as wide as the custom made helmets from eastern europe our group uses.
Also the slanted visor of the Secutor helmet is not very friendly to people with big heads or long noses :-)
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
Thank you for the info!

Olaf, how did the members of your group get the helmet stable during fights? Did they use a lot of padding? Did they rig up some kind of chin strap? I thought about using a chin strap harness like the military uses for there helmets.

Unfortunately for me I have a large head. One of the "benefits" of having giant genes! It makes since that it is not operating as smooth as a custom piece. Really didn't expect it to but thought it would have been a little more user friendly.

A closer look at the construction I think that the hinges are not installed correctly. The bend point on the hinge is not in a place where it can move the way it is designed. Probably just bad quality control in the plant, don't think it is a bad design.

It looks like I will have to be creative on a few modifications to get the face plates to open wider or just open at all. Must think like a slave!
Joshua B. Davis

Marius Agorius Donatus Minius Germanicus
Optio Centuriae
Legio VI FFC, Cohors Flavus

"Do or do not do, their is no try!" Yoda
You might be right about the placement of the hinges, they may also be to wide, but it is very difficult to get info about the right placement and dimension of the originals.
I only use felt cap wit rolled adeges to get a tight fit around the forehead to stabilise my helmets. This has worked woith almost all helmets I have worn until know.
Only the first AER Berlin type I got was to bulbous so I needed more padding inside that one. I am experimenting with a quilted cap with chin padding now however like the kind discussed in this thread:
Inside our Essedarii helmets (AER Secutores without the crest), we found that the nose is often pressed against the visor and can be hurt easily by a frontal stab to the face. I hope the chin padding will be helpfull agsinst that.
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
Well, first off I am very excited to annouce that my large head is now able to get inside the helmet with the face plated attached! The top of the face plates were bent out a little and some pain is endured, but it can be done!

My old Deepeeka secutor helmet, the bad one that the front half lifted up, was held secure with some thick modern padding glued in place. To keep the helmet face from hitting my face I had the same padding placed at the chin. I am concerned that the chin padding will have to be removed to put the helmet on.

I do like the medieval helmet padding idea. That with a chin strap probably riveted to the helmet should do nicely!
Joshua B. Davis

Marius Agorius Donatus Minius Germanicus
Optio Centuriae
Legio VI FFC, Cohors Flavus

"Do or do not do, their is no try!" Yoda
I will have to post a photo of my beautiful brass secutor helmet one of these days. It was made in the 1970s/ early 1980s and has its visor attached similarly to roman sports helmets and definitely needs help taking off by an arena attendant.(ie there were not so many source photos available in Australia). It has always been so and we have adapted to the necessity and is part of the ritual of the combat.
I've often wondered at the weirdly cobbled-together look of post-Republican gladiator helmets, with their over-complex construction using hinges, slots, tongues, keys, wedges and so forth, when a visor could easily have been made with a single, pierced plate, a hinge and a latch. Perhaps the ritual of being locked into the helmet until the issue was decided had an important meaning to the Romens.

And, yes, Richard, please do post a picture of your helmet. I didn't know anyone was making gladiator gear back then. I tried to get a murmillo helmet made in the 80s, but couldn't get an armorer interested in undertaking the project.
Pecunia non olet
Actualy, if you examine the evolution of these helmets the reason for this construction becomes quite clear.
Early Gladiators used the same helmets as the ethnic fighters they were modeled on.
There is Iconography of Gallic style Port-Nidau and early Weissenau types used as well as Phrygian helmets and other Hellenistic helmets.
To improve the safety of the fighters as well as prolong the fights, the cheekpieces were elongated until they met in the middle of the face and only small eyeholes were left. Still they were hinged cheekpieces, so they had to be stabilized by a central box on the forehead.
While the cheekpieces became bigger on all helmets, the Boetian stile of helmet became the dominant form of helmet for all except the Celtic types of Gladiators. The brim was straightened and became more wide on those helmets which led to the Chieti type helmets with small eyegrills and a flat wide brim.
Also the cheekpieces were elongated downwards to cover the neck area as well as the face.

It is unclear when the smooth Secutor helmet was invented, as the only depiction of a Retiarius fighting a Murmillo still shows an open faced Boetian style helmet.
Probably the Secutor evolved from the Gallic line of helmets with its massive neckguard and more robust visor halves.

The next evolution on the Chieti helmets was to bring the brim further down to the shoulders and to provide a better flow of air and better visibility with bigger eyegrills.
The Pompeji type is a transitional style, while the Berlin type is the end point of this development.
Both share a much lowered "brim" to better protect the shoulders and neck, swept high around a visor of two big rectangular grills.
The former cheekpiece construction is upheld in the lower solid throat protection still hinged to the helmet bowl.

While the Berlin type became the standard helmet for all Gladiators except for the Hoplomachus and Eques who still used the Chieti type as this allowed more mobility in the shoulders needed for the use of spears, the Secutor was also modified to have a visor with multiple small holes instead of the two big ones.
As we can see on the later Mosaics the helmet style with only two eyeholes was also still used till the end of Gladiatura however.
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
Yes, the evolution of the helmet designs is quite clear. What has always intrigued me is that the design and construction never changed except to become more exagerrated. It seems that the armorers continued to make the visors as if they were still functioning cheekplates and adding separate eye shields. It's as if they had just "alwasy done it that way," so they continued to. It seems to me that a medieval armorer would have taken a look at one of those helmets, said "I can do better than that," and made one in the same shape but with a far simpler visor. But Classical craftsmen were far more conservative and it shows in many of their arts, not just armoring.
Pecunia non olet
I didn't want to open up a new thread because this one was conveniently here. My head measures 23.5 inches (59.69 cm) in circumfrance. Would I have trouble wearing an AER helmet?

Undergrad student majoring in Social Studies Education with a specialty in world history.

"conare levissimus videri, hostes enimfortasse instrumentis indigeant"
(Try to look unimportant-the enemy might be low on ammunition).
Quote:I didn't want to open up a new thread because this one was conveniently here. My head measures 23.5 inches (59.69 cm) in circumfrance. Would I have trouble wearing an AER helmet?

I have a tinned AER secutor helmet. My head is 58,5cm in circumference and there is LOTS of room for padding!
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
[Image: fectio.png]

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