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Thracian Helmets
#1
After a good long time of research, consultation from friends, professors, and you good people, I have decided to represent a Thracian gladiator. I'm having trouble identifying helmets from different periods. Could someone post pictures of Thracian helmets from different centuries, so I can get an idea of which style of helm is appropriate for each century? Many thanks. 8-)
Tyler

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).
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#2
Up until the early first century AD a Thraex Gladiator would have worn the typical Hellenistic Phryghian cap type helmet used by the contemporary tribesmen in warfare.
There is a relief from Rome dated to 50BC showing a Thracian with such a helmet fighting a Hoplomachus wearing a Hellenistic helmet of Makedonian/Greek style.
Both helmets only show cheekpieces and the blade employed by the Thraex is still curved and not bend like the later Sica.
Around 50AD we have the first helmets with full face protection Helmets of Chiety type:
[Image: 5705465770_236f3e975f_z.jpg]
The Chiety type was still in use 79AD in Pompeji:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Also found in Pompeji were helmets of the so called Pompeji type:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
In the first halve of the 2nd century AD the so called Berlin type was introduced. We only have the Murmillo example from Berlin but Iconography also shows this kind of helmet used by Thraex:
[Image: 7219981448_88bf72773c.jpg]

The 3rd century mosaic from Kourion seems to show an even later type of helmet:
[Image: 3329107366_076e3b6958.jpg]

This one seems to be similar to the one shown in the relief that you have as your avatar.

One thing to note is, even though not all Iconography does show this, the Thraex helmets seem to all have a halve crecent crest terminating in a Gryphons head.
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
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#3
The Colchester gladiator vase is late Second Century

http://www.cimuseums.org.uk/collections/...-vase.html

Click on the six different views to see the whole thing (rather nifty, and if you hover over parts of the vase it enlarges) but the first one is the best of the gladiators.
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#4
The Colchester Vase does not show any Thraex Gladiators though.
It shows a Secutor vs Retiarius pairing and what might be two paegenarii, but these could be BEstiarii or Venatores as well, as a wild dog is pictured among them.
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
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#5
"There is a relief from Rome dated to 50BC showing a Thracian with such a helmet fighting a Hoplomachus wearing a Hellenistic helmet of Makedonian/Greek style"

the fact that you have not got a link to it means that there are no digital images available????
I would love to see this of course as it would allow me to wear my new phrygian for gladiatorial...
just kidding--its too pretty to hit!
regards
richard
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#6
Based on excavations, it appears that many gladiator helmets were bronze (or something similar). However, in just about every mosaic that I've ever seen, the gladiator helmets are steel. Does anyone have theories to explain these phenomenon?
Tyler

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).
Reply
#7
Gladiator helmets were sometimes of tinned bronze, giving them a bright silver color. The Berlin helmet is of this fabrication. I believe one of the secutor helmets found in Pompeii was of iron, all the rest were bronze.
Pecunia non olet
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#8
Wouldn't Bronze (being a rather brittle metal) be at risk of becoming structurally compromised against steel weapons?

I'm no scientist, I just read that Bronze was brittle.
Tyler

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).
Reply
#9
Quote:"There is a relief from Rome dated to 50BC showing a Thracian with such a helmet fighting a Hoplomachus wearing a Hellenistic helmet of Makedonian/Greek style"

the fact that you have not got a link to it means that there are no digital images available????
I would love to see this of course as it would allow me to wear my new phrygian for gladiatorial...
just kidding--its too pretty to hit!
regards
richard

The relief to which Olaf refers is pictured in Michael Grant's 1967 book "Gladiators," but there is no attribution.
Pecunia non olet
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#10
Quote:Wouldn't Bronze (being a rather brittle metal) be at risk of becoming structurally compromised against steel weapons?

I'm no scientist, I just read that Bronze was brittle.

There are many cupric alloys termed "bronze." Some of them are very tough, indeed. Cathedral bells take a tremendous battering for centuries. Cannon bronze withstands immense pressure. Men would not have entrusted their heads to bronze helmets had they been brittle.
Pecunia non olet
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#11
Actually the cupric alloys bronze (copper/tin) and brass (copper/zinc) were used for weapons and armor for thousands of years before the Romans-
Its not called the bronze age for nothing ;-)
Even when iron/steel weapons became widespread the Romans still used bronze and brass for helmets greaves and body armor.
Though tempered steel can has a much higher hardness (HRC) and so it can hold a sharp edge much longer it is more difficult to form then cupric alloys and has the problem of rusting in humid conditions.
Cupric alloys are a little "softer" so they can be much more easily formed. Also it develops a patina under humid conditions preserving the metal underneath. That is why all Gladiator items on display have a brown, green or black surface.
According to Junkelmann there have not been any metallurgical tests on the Gladiatorial items, so they are only called bronze because of the visible patina. This means they could either be bronze or brass and we also do not know the exact mix of copper and other metals in their alloy.
There is only a single Secutor helmet from Pompeji made of iron with cupric alloy face mask and crest.
Tinning was used on Gladiatorial as well as military equipment to give a shiny silver color and that is why you see yellow and grey used for Gladiator helmets and greaves in iconography.
The Berlin helmet and corresponding greave are even tinned in a checkerboard fashion so the small silver and gold colored rectangles would create the illusion of fish scales.

The relief of the early Hoplomachus vs. Thraex duel is also in Junkelmann "Gladiatoren Das Spiel mit dem Tod" the provenance is unknown but he assumes Rome and dates it to the second halve of the second century BC.
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
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#12
Quote:According to Junkelmann there have not been any metallurgical tests on the Gladiatorial items, so they are only called bronze because of the visible patina. This means they could either be bronze or brass and we also do not know the exact mix of copper and other metals in their alloy.

I have a reconstruction of the Berlin leg greave and the reconstruction report was quite detailed about the metals and alloys used.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
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#13
Very interesting, can you provide the metallurgical data from this report?
Which method was used to determine the alloy of the original?
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
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#14
The Berlin Murmillo helmet is currently worked on, AFAIK the publication will also include some info on the metallurgy...
http://www.uwepeltz.de/pages/leistungen/..._lang.html
Christian K.

No reconstruendum => No reconstruction.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.

LEGIO XIII GEMINA

[Image: BannerAER-1-1.jpg]
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#15
Quote:The Berlin Murmillo helmet is currently worked on, AFAIK the publication will also include some info on the metallurgy...
http://www.uwepeltz.de/pages/leistungen/..._lang.html


For those who speak english:

Concept for the restoration of the Gladiator helmet of Antiquities Berlin


State before restoration (Fig. 1 & 2)

Cracks and voids
- Right neck protection, with a slight deformation
- Some of the brim
- Several of the dome, particularly in the end region with a significant deformation of the breaking edges (Fig. 3)
- On in many areas Busch Box
many places until it rests loosely sintered layer
to tin (Fig. 4):
- Received mostly good
- Converted sporadically black oxide (Fig. 5)
- Chipped occasionally to considerable corrosion of the base metal (. Eg: re side bush box) (Fig. 6)
- Covered in other areas of sinter or corrosion products of the base metal (Fig. 7)

The old restorations

Description

Solders on cracks on the left side of the field:
- Directly at the transition to the dome (Fig. 8 )
- Close to the edge
Solders on all edges of the mounting bush box (Figure 9)
Solders on the tube hinges
Solders on both neck fenders
Soldering the visor mount on both fenders neck (Fig. 10)
Soldering of the eye on the top edge of the left half visor
Addition of portions of the U-shaped edge pushed sheet
Addition of large parts of the rim (Fig. 11 and 12)
Complement the front of the bush box (Fig. 13)
Complement associated with the right neck region retardants strut Intent
Complement the eyelet at the top of the left half visor

Execution of Altrestaurierungen

Soldering
- Solder
- On sheet quality and very thin (slightly thicker than the antique plate thickness) (Fig. 14)
- On castings very cautious and precise
- Touch the silver solder joints according to an archaeological patina (possibly earth pigments and / or grated corrosion products, and sand) (Fig. 15)
Supplements made from sheet metal
- Preparation of brass sheets according to the shape of the defect and the course of the ancient broken edges (Fig. 14)
- Engraving of the checkerboard pattern to match the original
- Full complement of tinning on the rim (Fig. 16) (possibly also at Busch box)
- High quality soft soldered (see above)
- Retouch the entire complement (see above)
Complement of the eye and the center bar
- Added working parts made of brass
- Possibly patination
- Soldering
- May correspond to a partial retouching archaeological patina
A sample of at 7:05:03 Malmittels was submitted for analysis of the binder and the pigments to the RFL.


Proposal for restoration

Processing of the ancient original

Cleaning of the surface
where possible, exposing the tin:
First Decrease in the sintering conditions on the outside. The sintering on the inside remains the object:
(Tests run)
- Mechanically
- Chemically

Second Reduction of corrosion products:
- Mechanically

(Tests run)
where possible reshaping of deformations
Bonding of cracks with reversible material
Addition of flaws and retouching of supplements with reversible material
any preservatives
Making a stand

Processing of old restorations

It is proposed to keep the old restoration to the original. The materials used are not harmful for the original effect. Your acceptance or partial acceptance would affect the visual impact of the helmet negative. It is necessary, if appropriate, whether for reasons of documentation, the "window" at the back of the brim is left.

graphic and photographic documentation of the supplements
Create a "window" to the complement of the brim and its documentation (already at the brim is) (Fig. 16)
Retouching of the "window" in accordance with the surrounding colors
Analysis of the materials used
Evaluation and comparison with restoration methods of the 18th and 19 Century Naples (e.g. on bronzes from Boscoreale)

Documentation of the restoration

Written, graphic and photographic documentation of the restoration steps
Documentation of the ancient traces of the same type
Documentation of Altrestaurierungen the same way
Documentation of technological information in the same way
Tyler

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).
Reply


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