World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Winged helmet

Article Id: WHEBN0007305408
Reproduction Date:

Title: Winged helmet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Helmets, Horned helmet, Coins of the Manx pound, Coppergate Helmet, M1C helmet
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Winged helmet

A 19th century ship's figurehead depicting Brennus wearing a winged helmet

A winged helmet is a helmet decorated with wings, usually on both sides. Ancient depictions of the god Mercury and of Roma depict them wearing winged helmets, however in the 19th century the winged helmet became widely used to depict ancient Celtic, Germanic and Viking warriors. It was also used in romantic illustrations of legendary Norse gods and heroes. The motif, along with the horned helmet, became a clichéd signifier of the "barbarian" Northern warrior.

Contents

  • Historical evidence 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • External links 5

Historical evidence

Attic helmet with small bronze decorative wings, Southern Italy 4th Century BC

There is some limited evidence of such decorative motifs being used on actual helmets in the ancient world, but these may have functioned as ceremonial rather than functional objects. Attic helmets decorated with wings of sheet bronze were worn by the Samnites and other Italian peoples before their conquest by Rome. A number of such helmets have been excavated and can be seen in various museums.[1]

Helmets decorated with animal motifs, no doubt including wings, were described by Diodorus Siculus as being worn by Celts.

"On their heads they wear bronze helmets which possess large projecting figures lending the appearance of enormous stature to the wearer. In some cases horns form one part with the helmet, while in other cases it is relief figures of the foreparts of birds or quadrupeds."
Celtic helmet with a complete winged-bird crest from the 3rd century BC, found at Ciumesti, Romania

An actual example of this type of Celtic helmet was discovered in Romania, dating to the third century BC: it has a high-mounted crest formed as a bird, possibly an eagle or a raven, with large wings spread out to either side. The crest was cunningly made, the wings articulated at the body so that they would have flapped up and down as the wearer moved.[2] Today this kind of helmet is commonly believed to have been worn by the Celts. The Celts, however, mostly wore plainer helmets of conical or sub-conical shape, such as the 'Montefortino' type later adopted by the Romans.

The ancient depictions of Mercury with a winged helmet are taken to symbolize speed. In modern comic book mythology, this has evolved into the wings present in the helmet or head-portion of the costume of various versions of The Flash.

See also

References

  1. ^ Connoly, pp. 109-112
  2. ^ Connoly, p. 122

Bibliography

  • Connolly, P. (1981) Greece and Rome at War. Macdonald Phoebus, London. ISBN 1-85367-303-X

External links

  • The Official History of the Winged Football Helmet
  • Michigan's Winged Helmet
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.