Monday, 27 April 2020

CARTHGINIAN HELMET FROM EGADI

I found another photo of this helmet,  now cleaned.

Archaeologica Viva XXXV N.177
I was hoping the gunge might be hiding something exotic but it would appear this is a pilos type helmet. Though the brim is quite wide and there may be some details we cannot see and the magazine article does not mention.

The Roman poet Silius ( yes , it's true! he was a relative of Biggus maybe ? Ed.) Italicus tells us that a Carthaginian could wear a masked helmet with cheek pieces in his epic poem Punica.
The Roman champion  Asilus meets the Carthaginian Berytas in battle..
 

...while fighting in the centre of the fray, he came upon
Beryas, who had been sent by the Carthaginians to
make a treaty with the king of Syracuse and was
fighting side by side with the Syracusans ; but his
face was concealed by the brazen helmet that he
wore.
Asilus attacked him with the steel, and,
as he tottered feebly backwards, hurled him to
the ground. Then, when he heard his conqueror's
voice, the poor wretch, recalling his life as it were
from Hades in fear and trembling, tore from his chin
the straps that bound his useless helmet
, and asked
for mercy at the same time. He was about to say
more, when the Tuscan, startled by the sudden sight
of that familiar face, withdrew his sword and thus
addressed his antagonist, ere he could speak, with
sighs and tears : " Sue not, I pray, to me for hfe
with doubts and entreaties. For me it is right to
save my enemy. The noble warrior is he, whose first
and last thought is to keep faith even in time of war.
You began it and saved me from death before I saved
you. I should deserve the troubles I have met, and
should deserve to meet again with worse troubles, if
my right hand failed to clear a path for you through
fire and sword." With these words he raised Beryas
willingly from the ground and granted a life
in exchange for the life he had received. 

Well we must make do with the only Carthaginian helmet found on a maritime battle site....

The pilos helmets derived from a heavy felt cap - the pilos/pileus - which was worn as head protection in battle also - being light but capable of stopping all but the most direct blows. In the Sfakteria campaign the Spartans were not best pleased that arrows pierced their piloi easily.
HARDWEAR warrior from Pella , northern Greece 300BC (Livius.org)
SOFTWEAR : Louvre pot - Bill or Ben ?

 There is a chance another of these brimmed styles is represented....


sketches from HERE
The brim is quite broad and flared like this luxury example.
random on ewb----
Anyway, before I disappear down the rabbit hole that is helmet typology ..I did find that some of these deceptively simple helmets can have cheek guards and neck-guard attached.
This fine example resides in Australia!

Nicholson Museum Helmet:
This was probably made in southern Italy in the fourth century BC . Close to our date and place..

(Robinson, E. G. D. 1995. "South Italian Bronze Armour." In Classical Art in the Nicholson Museum, Sydney, edited by Cambitoglou, A. and Robinson, E. G. D., 145-66. Mainz)

Anyway  what might come up from the seabed in the next few years ?????

Look at it--thousands of shields helmets, armour, spears, daggers, belts... if just 1% survives!

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