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PHD thesis on Roman helmets

The PHD thesis of Astrid Bongartz on Roman helmets is available online at

It is in German only, but even for non-German speakers the extensive catalogue of helmets may be useful.

I understand that it is planned to publish this thesis with a lot more illustrations in the same series as the Miks' books on swords. I at least am sure to buy it!

Jens Horstkotte
Munich, Germany
This pdf have not ilustrations at all.
The chapter about mask helmet has some serious logical and methodological flaws.
Christian K.

No reconstruendum => No reconstruction.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.


[Image: BannerAER-1-1.jpg]
Did only do a fast scan of the text, but I also found the selection of finds unclear. Some helmets are meant and others are not. The info about other helmets is furthermore a bit outdated, it seems.
Jvrjenivs Peregrinvs Magnvs / FEBRVARIVS
A.K.A. Jurjen Draaisma
CORBVLO and Fectio
Na, I meant the discussion on pg. 53.-56. For a dissertation? I´d expect something like this in a not so good Proseminar paper.

1st: A historical comparison is difficult to make. There is a specified method for that, the author seems to be unaware of. Generally a historical comparison is useless in the most cases. See the chapter on method in: 

W. Riess, Apuleius und die Räuber. Ein Beitrag zur historischen Kriminalitätsforschung (Heidelberger Althistorische Beiträge und Epigraphische Studien vol. 35), Stuttgart 2001.

So here we get an argument stating that the criteria for development of WWI steel helmets can be compared to the criteria of Roman helmets. This is simply not correct, however, for a variety of reasons (cultural, use of weapons, function of WWI helmet mostly against dirt and debris in the trench).

2nd: There is far too few reference material. The author just quotes two titles in the whole discussion, although there is quite a lot of literature at hand about this problem. One of the two titles is a book bout the development of the German Stahlhelm.

3rd: The argumentation does not follow the rules for logic. E.g. the author simply states: 
"Die Autorin hält es für unwahrscheinlich, dass zweiteilige Helme, sprich Hinter- hauptkalotte und Maske, im Kampf eingesetzt wurden." This might be called "Argument of personal incredulity"; there are several more such examples. I would expect such things only in the field of theology.

4th: It lacks a critical discussion of the literature used. She refers to the results of Junkelmann´s publication about mask helmets, however Junkelmann´s work as such is no academic work, as he himself provides no reference about what material his replicas were made of exactly, what criteria were chosen for production, how close they are to the originals, what the exact circumstances of his tests were, etc. You just have to rely on the statements made by Junkelmann, assuming that everything he did was beyond doubt correct. This is, of course, not the case, as has been stated by many reviewers and peers again and again.
Christian K.

No reconstruendum => No reconstruction.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.


[Image: BannerAER-1-1.jpg]

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