Alexander's helmets

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robbie
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Alexander's helmets

Postby robbie » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:51 pm

Hi everyone!

Btw, merry christmas to all of you!

I've always wondered as to the helmets worn by Alexander in battle... does anyone know which types he wore in his various set piece battles?

Do you guys think it was ornate and exquisitely handcrafted with artistic embellishments and feathers, plumes, the works, or did he just wear a plain thracian or boetian helmet?

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Susa the Great
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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby Susa the Great » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:31 pm

Merry Christmas to you too.

I think they could be either decked with plumes (big birds, like swans or the like I expect), and those in bronze, like the ones in the Vergina museum. And I've seen one very nice helmet with fine drawings on the front part. I have the link - http://historizo.cafeduweb.com/lire/132 ... haifa.html
When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there was no *other* world to conquer :D

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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby robbie » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:17 pm

thank you Susa

Would be cool to see one of the helmets... there probably were a lot of ornate and lavish features to the helmets... didn't he have white plumes on his helmet at Issus?

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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby marcus » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:04 pm

robbie wrote:I've always wondered as to the helmets worn by Alexander in battle... does anyone know which types he wore in his various set piece battles?

Do you guys think it was ornate and exquisitely handcrafted with artistic embellishments and feathers, plumes, the works, or did he just wear a plain thracian or boetian helmet?


The only description of Alexander's armour that I have been able to find, on a quick look, is that in Plutarch. It is before Gaugamela:

Plutarch, Alexander, 32.5-6, wrote:[5] After sending this message to Parmenio, he put on his helmet, but the rest of his armour he had on as he came from his tent, namely, a vest of Sicilian make girt about him, and over this a breastplate of two-ply linen from the spoils taken at Issus. His helmet was of iron, but gleamed like polished silver, a work of Theophilus; and there was fitted to this a gorget, likewise of iron, set with precious stones. [6] He had a sword, too, of astonishing temper and lightness, a gift from the king of the Citieans, and he had trained himself to use a sword for the most part in his battles. He wore a belt also, which was too elaborate for the rest of his armour; for it was a work of Helicon the ancient, and a mark of honour from the city of Rhodes, which had given it to him; this also he was wont to wear in his battles.


Happy Christmas.

ATB
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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby robbie » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:39 pm

Hi Marcus

Thank you for replying. I read it and it sounds wonderful. I guess the helmet was fitted with feathers and plumes or plumes at the very least.. but it kinda makes you wonder... I know the greeks wore very elaborate and theatrical helmets, and as I suspect Alexander had a flair for beautiful things, it would surprise me if he didn't wear some kind of elaboreate helmet :D

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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby Taphoi » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:02 pm

Hi Robbie,

The Phrygian helmet worn by Alexander on his own Porus Medallions is the most authentic case.
Image
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A similar helmet was found in his father’s tomb.
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Such helmets are also worn by other Macedonians in contemporaneous tomb friezes.
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Macedonian cavalrymen also wore Boeotian helmets.
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And hybrids exist.
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Alexander also seems to have owned a helmet imitating the Nemean lionscalp of his putative paternal ancestor Heracles. He wears it on the Alexander sarcophagus, probably in the Battle of Issus.
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and also in some other early portrait sculptures.
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Best wishes,
Andrew

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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby amyntoros » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:09 pm

robbie wrote: I guess the helmet was fitted with feathers and plumes or plumes at the very least.. but it kinda makes you wonder...


Yes, Alexander did wear plumes! :) The following from Plutarch, Life of Alexander 16

Many rushed upon Alexander, for he was conspicuous by his buckler and by his helmet's crest, on either side of which was fixed a plume of wonderful size and whiteness. But although a javelin pierced the joint of his breastplate, he was not wounded; and when Rhoesaces and Spithridates, two Persian commanders, made at him together, he avoided the one, and smote Rhoesaces, who wore a breastplate, with his spear; and when this weapon snapped in two with the blow, he took to his sword. Then, while he was thus engaged with Rhoesaces, Spithridates rode up from one side, raised himself up on his horse, and with all his might came down with a barbarian battle-axe upon Alexander's head. Alexander's crest was broken off, together with one of its plumes, and his helmet could barely and with difficulty resist the blow, so that the edge of the battle-axe touched the topmost hair of his head.


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robbie
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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby robbie » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:08 pm

Dear Andrew!

I will regard this as an early christmas gift!!!! Awesome!!!!!Thank you so much..... one of the most incredible pics I've seen... you are an angel, my friend!!!!!!

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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby robbie » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:24 pm

Dear Amyntoros... supreme post of yours....

I enjoyed reading it... so rich with information... thanks!!! :D

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marcus
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Re: Alexander's helmets

Postby marcus » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:24 pm

amyntoros wrote:
robbie wrote: I guess the helmet was fitted with feathers and plumes or plumes at the very least.. but it kinda makes you wonder...


Yes, Alexander did wear plumes! :) The following from Plutarch, Life of Alexander 16

Many rushed upon Alexander, for he was conspicuous by his buckler and by his helmet's crest, on either side of which was fixed a plume of wonderful size and whiteness. But although a javelin pierced the joint of his breastplate, he was not wounded; and when Rhoesaces and Spithridates, two Persian commanders, made at him together, he avoided the one, and smote Rhoesaces, who wore a breastplate, with his spear; and when this weapon snapped in two with the blow, he took to his sword. Then, while he was thus engaged with Rhoesaces, Spithridates rode up from one side, raised himself up on his horse, and with all his might came down with a barbarian battle-axe upon Alexander's head. Alexander's crest was broken off, together with one of its plumes, and his helmet could barely and with difficulty resist the blow, so that the edge of the battle-axe touched the topmost hair of his head.


Best regards,


I knew there was a more specific description, including the plumes; but couldn't remember where it was. Nice one!
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