-- Roman Helm
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Roman Helmets
Time Period: 4th century BC to 4th century AD
Location: Roman Empire
Common Construction: Brass, Bronze, Iron

There are no universally accepted contemporary classifications for Roman helmets, so it is difficult to attempt to label them individually. The earliest helmets were made of brass and were used between the 4th century BC and the 1st century AD. They were domed helmets with an extended neck guard in the back and a plume holder on top.

Bronze helmets were used between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century AD. These helmets were quite similar except they had an additional reinforcing peak that ran across the brow of the helmet. The first two types of helmet were generally used when Rome was a republic.

Helmets found after the time when Rome became an empire are sometimes referred to as imperial helms. The helms used by the Gauls were called Imperial Gallic helms, and were more decorated than their earlier republic counterparts. They were made of iron and were used between the 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD.

Imperial Italic helms were used between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD. These differ from the Gallic helms in the fact that they were more simply constructed and less decorated, and it was believed they were made in Italy instead of Gaul.

There is a great deal of overlap concerning the time periods in which these helmets were used. The most likely cause of this is that the Roman army on the outskirts of the empire would have older equipment than the Praetorian Guard within Rome itself. Whichever local area a soldier was stationed in dictated what kind of equipment he had access to, even if it meant that equipment was inferior.

Over the long period in which Roman helmets were used, their design did not vary greatly. What did change was the type of metal they were constructed out of, which proportionally increased the helmet's defensive properties.

Armor, BCE 01st Century, BCE 02nd Century, BCE 03rd Century, BCE 04th Century, CE 01st Century, CE 02nd Century, CE 03rd Century, CE 04th Century, General Term, Helmet, History, Rome

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