Unveiling History: Journey into the Ancient Roman Helmet of the Late 5th-4th Centuries BC Unearthed in Vulci

This panoply comprises a meticulously crafted ensemble of helmet, cuirass, and greaves (shin guards), which are rare Etruscan works exemplifying the finest qualities of the form and decoration that characterize the greatest armorers made in Etruria during the Classical period. In addition to exhibiting ornate design and exceptional workmanship, this ensemble occupies an important place in the historical development of Etruscan armor.

It includes one of the finest Etruscan cuirasses known to survive and a helmet that has no parallels in the Ancient World. Various few Etruscan panoplies appear to have ever included anatomically cuirasses, and among them, the few specimens known to remain, many are extensively damaged or restored, unlike this example. The helmet, with its delicate embossment, chased, and engraved ornament, and its striking bronze and silver appliqués, is one of the most luxurious examples of a type found only in Etruria and, by far, the best-preserved representative of this exclusive group.

It is most important, however, for its unparalleled construction with hinge cheekpieces that would have completely enclosed the wearer’s face, and for the subtle modeling of the components of the encompassing palates to follow the contours of the nose, cheekbones, and jaw. No other helmet with comparable facial features is known to exist. – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This armored clash has been won during the Roman-Etruscan Wars of the early 4th century BCE. After the Gauls defeated Rome at the Battle of the Allia, the Etruscans, the Volsci, and the Aequi all raised armies in hope of exploiting this blow to Roman power. According to Livy, the leading men of all of Etruria gathered at the sanctuary of Voltumna to form a hostile alliance against Rome. Besides by dangers on all sides, the Romans appointed Marcus Furius Camillus dictator. Camillus inflicted crushing victories against the Volsci and the Aequi, then turned his attention to the Etruscans. Livy, Plutarch, and Diodorus Siculus detail the struggle in which the Etruscans lay siege to Sutrium, a Roman ally.

The Sutrines sent forth aid, and Camillus marched to their relief. But, before he could conduct reinforcements into a condition suitable for campaigning, being allowed to leave without weapons and only one garment apiece, Sutrines ordered that some of the deserters should be sent back in and matched his newly unencumbered army to Sutrines where he found the enemy still dispersed and busy plundering the city.

Camillus ordered all the gates closed and attacked before the Etruscans could conclude their triumphant return to the city. The new-trapped Etruscans at first intended to fight to the end, but when hearing that their lives would be spared, they surrendered in great number. Livy says Camillus, having won three simultaneous wars, returned to Rome in triumph.

The Etruscan prisoners were publicly sold. After the gold owed to Rome’s matrons had been repaid (they had contributed gold to ransom Rome from the Gauls), enough was left for the feed of the geese kept inscribed with the name of Camillus and placed in the Temple of Juno.

In 387 BCE, Livy recounts that the Etruscans again attacked Satricum and the border stronghold of Nepete. By the time Camillus and his colleague, Valerius, arrived at Satricum, the Etruscans had taken hold of the city. The Satinenses desperately defended the rest of the borderland barriers.

Camillus divided his army into two and ordered his colleague to attack the walls on the side where the enemy was holding. Attacked from both within and without the city, the Etruscans fled in panic and were killed in great numbers. Having recaptured Satricum, the Roman army marched to Nepete, which by that time had surrendered to the Etruscans after the townspeople learned of the approaching Roman forces.

Camillus first attempted to convince the Nepeians to throw out the Etruscans. When they refused, he captured the city by storm. All the Etruscans and those who had sided with them were killed, and a Roman garrison put in place.

Experience the majestic Etruscan panoply of the late 5th to early 4th century BCE, featuring an exquisite helmet from the Italo-Chalcidian type, an anatomical cuirass, and a captivating bronze greave, proudly borrowed from Vulci, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Related Posts

Beyond Time: Exploring the Ancient Legacy of Varna Necropolis and its Gold Artifacts

The “Oldest Gold Of Mankind” was foυnd in the Varna Necropolis, on The Bυlgarian Black Sea Coast In 1972, an excavator operator working in the indυstrial zone…

Ancient Wonders Revealed: Unearthed Giants (3.28m) Rewrite Philippines’ History

Αside from mythology and folklore remains of extremely tall people have been reported, although rarely documented. Everyone will decide for himself whether or not to believe they…

Shivers of History: Skeleton Carrying Ancient Torture Mystery Found Bound at the Neck

A sk𝚎l𝚎t𝚘n ch𝚊in𝚎𝚍 𝚊t th𝚎 n𝚎ck w𝚊s 𝚞n𝚎𝚊𝚛th𝚎𝚍 𝚛𝚎c𝚎ntl𝚢, s𝚎n𝚍in𝚐 shiʋ𝚎𝚛s 𝚍𝚘wn th𝚎 s𝚙in𝚎s 𝚘𝚏 м𝚊n𝚢. This м𝚊c𝚊𝚋𝚛𝚎 𝚍isc𝚘ʋ𝚎𝚛𝚢 h𝚊s n𝚘t 𝚘nl𝚢 c𝚊𝚙tiʋ𝚊t𝚎𝚍 th𝚎 𝚊tt𝚎nti𝚘n 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚛ch𝚊𝚎𝚘l𝚘𝚐ists…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *