Military Review

Peter Connolly on Celtic helmets and chain mail (Part of 4)

49
In antiquity were weapons fist and nails and teeth.
After the stones and branches of the trees of the dense forest ...

Later, another person knew the power of bronze with iron.
Only first in the run was bronze, and later iron.
Titus Lucretius Kar "On the nature of things"

Archaeologists can say lucky. Celtic helmets are found in a variety. Their descriptions left us and the ancient authors. But what is interesting: for example, the description of the Celtic helmet, left by Diodorus, does not correspond to the information that is provided to us by archeology. It appears from them that the helmets of the Celts were bronze and decorated with a helmet decoration, which made their owners visually much higher. He also reports that they could have the shape of horns, or the type of bird or beast. And such helmets found, but they are not massive.

Peter Connolly on Celtic helmets and chain mail (Part of 4)

Helmet. Laten Culture (British Museum, London).

For example, in the area between Ancona and Rimini, the territory where the Senons settled, helmets were found with a visor in the back and a slight sharpening in the upper part. Such helmets were given the name of the Montefortinsky - by the name of the burial, where they were first found. The material for them was armor and, most likely, appeared in Italy at the same time as the Senons.


Gallic helmet. Museum Saint-Germain, France Saint-Germain.

True, the classic Montefortinsky helmet, in addition to the backstop and the rather elongated camo, also had cheek pads, and the early helmets in the burials of the Senons did not have them. In 282 BC This Celtic tribe of the Romans ousted from his places of residence. So helmets found in Senonian burials should be made before this time. The material from which they are made is either iron or iron and bronze, and only occasionally they are completely bronze. On some there is a complex holder for some unknown helmet that looks like a double plug.


Helmet culture Villanova XIX century. BC. (Metropolitan Museum, New York)

The people of this culture were the first to start processing iron in the territory of present-day Italy, and they also cremated their dead with the subsequent burial of their ashes in urns in the form of a double cone.

The helmet already has such a helmet, and, interestingly, they all have the shape of a triangle consisting of three convex disks. It is so much like the breastplates of the Samnite shells, that one might think that either the Samnites looked at these cheekbones when they made their shells, or the Senons copied them from the shells belonging to the Samnites. In the III. BC. their form was simplified, they became completely triangular in shape, and instead of the discs, three “bumps” appeared on them. The Italians themselves, however, quickly adopted the Montefortine helmets from the Celts and used it very widely. For example, on a helmet found in Bologna, there is an inscription in the Etruscan language, which makes it possible to date it to the time when the Etruscan people had not yet left the area. But this helmet also received universal recognition throughout Western Europe, and not only in Italy.

Such helmets were found in Yugoslavia, you can also see it on the victorious frieze in Pergamy, and it belonged to the Galatians obviously. Although the Celts were ousted from Italy by the first quarter of the 2nd century. BC, Montefortinsky helmet did not disappear anywhere, only to make it steel from iron. The lugs changed their shape a bit, but, as before, they remained the main recognizable feature of these helmets, which became the main type of helmet of the early Roman army, in which they were used ... for four centuries! According to experts, they could have been made about three or four million, so it is not surprising that their findings are so frequent.


Helmet from Alesia.

There was another type of helmet, similar to Montefortine, but without a “bump” on top of it. Such a helmet is called “Kulus”, after a pattern found in France. According to Connolly, he did not have such success as Montefortina, but was still widely used in the first century. BC. Its origin can be as ancient as Montefortinsky - one of them, discovered in Senonian burial, is a specimen from Hallstatt burial, which can be attributed to 400 BC.

Some of the helmets have something like wing-shaped decorations on the sides, similar to the wings of Samnite helmets. It is believed that had spread in the Balkans in the III - II centuries. BC. On the arch in Orange you can see hemispherical helmets with visors and horns. And again, an amazing example of a horned helmet of a clearly ceremonial purpose was found in the River Thames near the Waterloo Bridge. He was called so, but he is clearly not fighting, although many artists have not escaped the temptation to put it on the heads of warriors participating in the battle! Well, helmets with animal figures, described by Diodorus, are extremely rare. Actually, archaeologists have found only one such instance. And they found him in Ciumechti, in Romania. Again, this is a typical Monterfontian helmet “with a knob” and a figurine of a bird on its top. The wings spread to the sides have loops, and, in theory, they can clap during the race, when its owner raced across the battlefield.


Celtic warriors. Figure by Angus McBride.

In a number of Celtic burials in northern Italy, Etruscan helmets belonging to the Negau type were found. It is also a spheroconical helmet, but with a transverse ridge and rim. And the Celts borrowed this type, which is confirmed by the finds of helmets of negga in the area of ​​the Central Alps, that is, in the places of their residence.

In the 1st c. BC. Two new helmets, related to each other, entered into use at once. Therefore, it is customary to combine them into one agent-port type. The first one is an Agen type that looks like a “bowler” with fields, and the port “bowler” has a large backstop. The lugs on them are of a new type - the one that the Romans later adopted. It is believed that the port type is the direct prototype of the so-called Imperial Gallic helmet of the first century. AD Samples of these helmets, made entirely of iron, are found in northern Yugoslavia, in the Central Alps, and in Switzerland, and in many parts of central and southwestern France. All these places - the Roman frontier at the beginning of the first century. BC, so it is not necessary to be surprised at their localization.


Helmet type Montefortino (350 - 300 years. BC). Museum of National Archeology in Perugia. Italy.

Splinters from Alesia in central France in the 1st century BC. They are a rather strange mixture of the classic Italian type, because they are decorated with “knobs” and “three-disk” old types. There are also finds of conical Greek-Italic helmets, with characteristic Celtic ornaments. Why is that? Obviously, a lot of weapons were captured as trophies. The helmet is broken, but the paddles are intact: “we take it and put it on a new helmet!” It is possible that blacksmith accessories were also captured — matrices, punches for forging, well, what was then used there and again used in their own interests. Apparently, the Romans were practical (and all sources say this!) And did not consider it a betrayal to use other people's armor.

However, most of the Celts fought without armor. Diodorus writes that they smeared their heads with lime and brushed their hair on the back of the head in such a way that they resembled a horse's mane that stood upright. We see this hairstyle on a few coins, so there is no doubt that this was the case. Perhaps it was through this that the crest appeared on the helmets, only they made it not from their own hair, but from horse hair!


The shell, made in the form of a cape from Etruria. Museum of Philadelphia University.

From 420 - 250 BC. Only a few bronze disks, which could be called chest plates, have come down to us, although this could be ornate horse harness. The statue of Grezain from the south of France, dating from the IV – III centuries. BC, shows us a warrior with armor in the form of a square chest plate and a dorsal plate on belts. But this statue cannot be called typically Celtic; maybe she generally has nothing to do with them!

According to Peter Connolly, the Celtic chainmail appeared around 300 BC. And this is despite the fact that they did not have any predilection for armor. It was not, but somehow came up! Kolchugi calls the Celtic Strabo. And indeed the earliest examples of chain mail were found in Celtic burials! But since mail was an extremely time-consuming and expensive thing, only Celtic aristocrats could use it, and maybe ... priests ?!


Bronze helmet from Montefortino with lapels. I century BC er., found in the Rhine near Mainz. German National Museum (Nuremberg, Germany).

On different statues depicting soldiers dressed in chain mail that were found in southern France and in northern Italy, two types of this armor can be seen: one with wide shoulder pads in the form of a cloak; and the second, which resembles the Greek flax shell without the pelerine. Probably, the first type was just the original Celtic.

In Romania, in the burial of the III. BC. they also found fragments of chain mail, and maybe even not one, since one part of the rings consists of rows of alternating stamped and butt-joined rings, and on the second all rings are riveted. Such weaving is considered more reliable. The diameter of the rings is approximately 8 mm. The shoulder pads of the chainmail in the form of a Greek linen shell were fastened to her chest. That is, at that time they could not think of chain mail with sleeves, short or long, but the Celts simply took the flax shell and replaced it with a flexible fabric with flexible mail!


Celtic Breastplates. Museum Saint-Germain, France.

Diodorus, however, very often writes that the same Gauls went into battle naked. At first, it probably was, but he himself describes the time more later. So, for example, Polybius describes the Gazats, who crossed the Alps, to fight along with the Celts in the battle of Telamon in the 225 year. And here they just adhered to old customs. And all the other Gauls were wearing pants and light cloaks. Well, and at Caesar the Celts fought already fully clothed!


For comparison: the armor of the Greek hoplite from the museum in Argos.


Celtic culture is very popular in the West (and why it is so clear!). Here is a wall calendar for 2016 year with the image of the Celtic antiquities of the British Museum can be bought in its walls for 9,99 pounds sterling.
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  1. Fox
    Fox 23 December 2015 06: 41
    +1
    helmets of ancient bikers ...
    1. Sweles
      Sweles 23 December 2015 14: 56
      +1
      on the carapace from Etrussia it is clear that something is written, the most valuable artifacts are artifacts with inscriptions.
    2. Sweles
      Sweles 23 December 2015 15: 00
      0
      It’s interesting that a football club from Scotland is called not CELTIC, but CELTIC, how can this be?
      1. kalibr
        23 December 2015 19: 44
        0
        This letter C is read as K Russian!
        1. Sweles
          Sweles 23 December 2015 20: 45
          0
          Quote: kalibr
          This letter C is read as K Russian!


          you don’t know, that’s how Celtic is.
          1. kalibr
            23 December 2015 21: 47
            0
            But what about COOL? It reads "cool", not sul! But in football I pass.
        2. The comment was deleted.
      2. Aljavad
        Aljavad 24 December 2015 01: 28
        0
        Sweles GB Yesterday, 15:00 ↑ New
        It’s interesting that a football club from Scotland is called not CELTIC, but CELTIC, how can this be?


        Double norm. it happens. (galoshes-galoshes, hall-hall, shawarma-shaverma)
  2. Igor39
    Igor39 23 December 2015 07: 02
    +1
    The top photo of the helmet, that's where the baseball cap was copied from. smile
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 23 December 2015 08: 17
    +1
    Very, very ... Thank you, I look forward to continuing the publication ...
  4. Free wind
    Free wind 23 December 2015 08: 22
    +1
    How much people knew and were able in those cruel times. Forge a shell from an ore bag! For example, I can’t even get fire, and before, even girls could make fire. No matter how much we tried to make fire in the ancient ways, nifiga did not work out, moreover, using a drilling machine. The wood is heating up. it gets dark, but no more, just like friction, rubbed, rubbed two boards, the place of contact warmed up and everything was dark.
    1. SVT
      SVT 23 December 2015 13: 32
      0
      buy flint, for example, in the "expedition" stores and most importantly do not try to light a tree! it is thick and even chips of this "thick" tree try to light a birch bark, for interest I bought a flint-box on an "expedition", got used to it for 5-10 minutes until I learned how to make a "fat" sheaf of caviar, and after about 7-10 bunches of sparks on a bunch of birch bark fire was produced)))
    2. Aljavad
      Aljavad 24 December 2015 01: 43
      0
      The wood is heating up. it gets dark, but no more, just like friction, rubbed, rubbed two boards, the place of contact warmed up and everything was dark.


      Wise ancestors knew how to choose the right varieties. This is our "tree". And in those furry times, each stick had a name. I read that the hardness of wood matters.
    3. brn521
      brn521 24 December 2015 11: 20
      +1
      Quote: Free Wind
      No matter how much we tried to make fire in the ancient ways, nifiga did not work, moreover, using a drilling machine.

      The tree itself will not light up. On the side of the hole into which the drill is inserted, the groove must be cut. During drilling, trash will accumulate into it, while there will be enough oxygen to begin smoldering. However, the thankless task, a lot of sweat, a lot of smoke and a weak spark as a result.
    4. Riv
      Riv 24 December 2015 12: 28
      0
      Well, with a drill, it’s not at all difficult to light a tree. Drill into the chuck with its tail forward and with a smooth shank, press harder on the board. Ten seconds will not pass - it will light up. Of course you need to pour around the friction point of sawdust.
  5. pimen
    pimen 23 December 2015 09: 31
    0
    I’m still not understanding why they didn’t make the helmet integral with the cuirass, the head could rotate freely inside, but any blow to the helmet would amortize
    1. kalibr
      23 December 2015 10: 18
      +2
      Expensive! Parts are cheaper than whole. The head does not sweat, you can scratch yourself. And then put it on, so put it on. There is a very good Soviet film "Black Arrow". What is good? The fact that there Richard constantly takes off his helmet. A little relieved - the squires take it off. 3 kg is at least hard. And here you have to shoot EVERYTHING. Long and troublesome!
      1. pimen
        pimen 23 December 2015 11: 07
        0
        scratching the stupid thing is, of course, good, but missing a good shot from above on the helmet is bad
        1. kalibr
          23 December 2015 12: 59
          0
          And people always hope for the best, don't they? What exactly their blow will pass!
          1. pimen
            pimen 23 December 2015 14: 11
            0
            I just don’t see any special technical problems, even for the level at that time, to make a rigid attachment to the removable helmet cuirass (you can even rotate it, although there is no need)
            1. cth; fyn
              cth; fyn 23 December 2015 20: 30
              +1
              Duc was, but later and not for long. By the way, there on the cuirass you can see the trace of a bullet, so that the firearm did not displace the armor, but modified it to a bulletproof vest.
              1. pimen
                pimen 23 December 2015 21: 33
                0
                It seems you are right, you did. Although not quite
    2. Aljavad
      Aljavad 24 December 2015 01: 46
      0
      pimen RU Yesterday, 09:31
      I’m still not understanding why they didn’t make the helmet integral with the cuirass, the head could rotate freely inside, but any blow to the helmet would amortize
      Reply Quote Report Abuse
      2
      General Major Avatar
      kalibr RU Yesterday, 10:18 ↑
      Expensive! Parts are cheaper than whole. The head does not sweat, you can scratch yourself. And then put it on, so put it on. There is a very good Soviet film "Black Arrow". What is good? The fact that there Richard constantly takes off his helmet. A little relieved - the squires take it off. 3 kg is at least hard. And here you have to shoot EVERYTHING. Long and troublesome!


      In the same way, the legion marched in tunics, and carried armor in baggage and wore it only before the battle formation. Hence the incident of the Teutoburg Forest
  6. Partisan Kramaha
    Partisan Kramaha 23 December 2015 10: 56
    +1
    Quote: pimen
    I’m still not understanding why they didn’t make the helmet integral with the cuirass, the head could rotate freely inside, but any blow to the helmet would amortize

    The head will have limited mobility — neither tilt nor bully, visibility is limited. As long as you turn the whole body, I’ve caught a plop, and not one. Something like that.
    1. pimen
      pimen 23 December 2015 17: 50
      0
      limited mobility of the head - no, limited visibility - well this is how closed the helmet will be in front and on the sides. I do not think that this would be critical for a heavily armed warrior. But with one chain mail such a number will not work
  7. Bashibuzuk
    Bashibuzuk 23 December 2015 11: 32
    0
    A helmet like Montefortino, the sixth photo from the top, immediately reminded me of a shot from the movie "Bluff".
    Where the old fraudster found the burial of the Nibelungs, and in such a helmet depicted a heart attack.
    Well, Italians are famous ... scammers. Therefore, they and the Celts became Nibelungs.
    Interesting stuff.
    I understand that these are the early creations of Celtic masters.
    And the safety is better than that of a typical Roman helmet - where it was only stored and what they were made of.
    .
    In general, Vyacheslav Olegovich, with each of your amazing publications, the Romans are falling lower and lower in my eyes.
    The Romans, however, before the bulldozer. Like the non-Romans too.
    But, a disturbing regularity looms, already noticed ...
    on the basis of a widespread culture, Celtic, interesting such a culture - a clearly decadent, perverse, dissident culture of Rome arose. Dead end branch.
    Parallel ... with current realities.
    1. Bashibuzuk
      Bashibuzuk 23 December 2015 13: 04
      0
      was mistaken in the word - ..not ... dissident.
      Decadence culture, Roman.
      It seems bright and enticing - but the inside is rotten anyway.
    2. kalibr
      23 December 2015 13: 09
      +1
      You are right - sorry, like my wife - she also supports this point of view. Roman culture is decadent for her. And Mommsen did not convince her. And ... I agree with that too! And the reason is ... and who created it? Outul bandyugan who were kicked out from everywhere. Even they stole women and those of their own, there were none! And so they arranged a common fund for themselves in terms of concepts and began to live. And lived by what? Robbery! All have tibrils! The Iberians have a sword, the Celts have a helmet, a shield and chain mail, the Greeks have statues, the Sarmatians have cavalry. Only one concrete is their own invention. Well, after all, do you have to think of at least something? And there is only one pattern - a sad one, which had previously taken place in relation to Assyria. So here I agree with you too.
      And I'll watch Bluff tonight and enjoy ... "Water! Bank is bad! Water!"
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn 23 December 2015 14: 56
        0
        You can judge of course by Roman law, architecture and the feat of legions, but if you look at everyday life, then Rome looks very bad.
      2. Aljavad
        Aljavad 24 December 2015 01: 50
        0
        All have tibrils!


        Therefore, the river was so named! Tiber repeat
      3. Riv
        Riv 24 December 2015 12: 32
        0
        It seems not concrete, but cement? Concrete implies the manufacture of monolithic structures, and the Romans used the mortar only for fixing masonry.
        1. Aljavad
          Aljavad 25 December 2015 02: 11
          0
          It seems not concrete, but cement? Concrete implies the manufacture of monolithic structures, and the Romans used the mortar only for fixing masonry.


          It is concrete. Stone is expensive. Only for the most prestigious buildings. And mass building - wood (low-grade) and concrete.
          And on top - marbled plaster!
  8. Free wind
    Free wind 23 December 2015 14: 18
    0
    Something of a ch.m.oril of these Celts is not a lazy one, in Europe the Greeks, Romans, dumped on the islands, there they started to drive the Picts, they had to ask the Romans for protection. In the struggle with the Picts and vanished 9 Roman Legion
    1. kalibr
      23 December 2015 15: 32
      0
      A book was published about the Picts in England, and I even have it (just not at hand), but it says "hard", somehow without a soul. We need to see what we can take from there and write about them. The film on the 9th Legion is decent fiction! And they were chasing them because they did not have a single state education, a single leadership for a long time. They fought and parted! It was then that Caesar appeared ...
    2. Aljavad
      Aljavad 24 December 2015 01: 59
      0
      Something of a ch.m.oril of these Celts is not a lazy one, in Europe the Greeks, Romans, dumped on the islands, there they started to drive the Picts, they had to ask the Romans for protection. In the struggle with the Picts and vanished 9 Roman Legion


      The picts, most likely, are the same Celts, but from the previous wave of resettlement. And they didn’t really drive: well, they came down from the wild, cold mountains, well, the raid, well, they shouted, they fought. Savages! Especially, in comparison with the civilized (romanized) Celts after the departure of the legions. The picks were brutal rather than formidable.

      And the Celts - "we did not make a scandal, we lacked a leader ...."

      A rich culture without a political component remained the characters of legends ...
  9. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 23 December 2015 16: 06
    0
    Why did helmets be so tall?
    After all, being overweight, and a greater chance to offend a warrior
    (knock down helmet), if you wave your sword over your head.
    1. saigon
      saigon 23 December 2015 17: 27
      0
      A glide blow, a direct out-of-round missed with a flat helmet. And so a blow to the shoulder, though also not a gift. knock down my own helmet, well, I don’t know, I have never seen it.
      1. Aljavad
        Aljavad 24 December 2015 02: 01
        +1
        knock down my own helmet, well, I don’t know, I have never seen it.


        I saw in a folk dance. The Cossack twisted the eight eagles. Handsomely! But the hat flew away. With all the people.

        It’s humble to think, he didn’t do it seriously, and he has little experience.
    2. kalibr
      23 December 2015 19: 47
      0
      It’s impossible to knock it down - the strap, the ties will hinder. And besides, while you get the hell out of knocking it down, the Roman will stick you in the stomach with a sword and turn the blade for more pain and blood loss, that's all!
    3. brn521
      brn521 24 December 2015 11: 30
      0
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Why did helmets be so tall?

      Probably for the leaders. To stand out in the general mass, playing the role of living banners, inspirers, screamers, or whatever else to call them.
  10. Denimax
    Denimax 23 December 2015 21: 33
    +1
    Quote: mishastich
    It takes a lot of patience to make chain mail

    Production can be quite simple. To make a cuirass, you need a good blacksmith-gunsmith, and he will forge it from beginning to end.
    Chain mail making can be put on stream. It's not tricky, put 20 or even 100 people, and show how to connect rings into shreds. Another group of "tailors" may already be "stitching" these pieces with rings into a finished product.
    1. kalibr
      23 December 2015 21: 43
      +2
      Especially in Rome it was. Traces of the mass production of chain mail were found. They were of the simplest kind. The rings are flattened, not riveted!
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn 24 December 2015 08: 55
        0
        The workshop is a great thing.
  11. Arlaud
    Arlaud 11 June 2016 18: 47
    0
    Celtic cuirasses from Saint-Germain strongly resembled the image of cuirass on the medals of Henry II of France :).