Ancient Brimmed Helmets as Introduction to Medieval Kettle Hats?

Keywords: arms and armour, warfare, ancient helmets, helmets with brim, kettle hats

Abstract

In many publications about arms and armour it is argued that kettle hats were known in antiquity or are derived from ancient helmets. This thesis led to the publication of European Armour circa 1066 to circa 1700 by Cloude Blair, published in 1958. This article aims to argue with Blair’s thesis by tracing the history of ancient brimmed helmets, showing that brimmed helmets were used from the 7th century BC to the first century AD in many regions and by many troop formations. However, these ancient brimmed helmets disappeared from battlefields at the beginning of the 2nd century AD, whereas the first sources concerning medieval brimmed helmets appear many centuries later, in the 11th century. Because of this issue of discontinuity, medieval ‘iron hats’ and ‘kettle hats’ cannot be identified with ancient forms they are associated with through the brim shape only; ancient helmets are distinct in their provenance and names.

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Published
2021-12-13
How to Cite
Gosk, D. (2021). Ancient Brimmed Helmets as Introduction to Medieval Kettle Hats?. Fasciculi Archaeologiae Historicae, 34, 139-152. https://doi.org/10.23858/FAH34.2021.010
Section
Essays, Reviews and Polemics