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The Chalcidian helmet- a bronze helm worn by warriors in the 4th & 5th century BC

Alex .A

A Chalcidian helmet was a type of bronze helmet worn by warriors of the Hellenic world, especially in Greece, during the 5th and 4th Century BC.

The design of the Chalcidian helmet is distinguished by the curved cheek pieces, which are attached by pins terminating in snake heads.

A Chaldician helmet made of bronze; second half of the 6th century BC. Photo Credit

A Chaldician helmet made of bronze; second half of the 6th century BC. Photo Credit

The Chalcidian helmet is so named as it was first depicted on pottery thought to derive from the Euboean city of Chalcis.

However, it’s not known if the helmet actually originated in Chalcis, for the matter of fact it is not proven that the pottery in question was Chalcidian.

Chalcidian pottery depicting Heracles fighting the monster Geryon, each of whose three heads is wearing a Chalcidian helmet.

Chalcidian pottery depicting Heracles fighting the monster Geryon, each of whose three heads is wearing a Chalcidian helmet.

The bronze helmet had been developed as an improved version of Corinthian helmet, allowing the wearer superior hearing and vision.

Chalcidian type helmet, circa 400 BC, discovered on north of Danube. Photo Credit

Chalcidian type helmet, circa 400 BC, discovered on north of Danube. Photo Credit

The helmet consisted of a hemispherical dome and underneath that, commonly inset from the top dome, a pair of cheek pieces and a neck guard, with a substantial loop on either side for the wearer’s ears.

The Chalcidian helmet could be entirely one piece or the cheek pieces could be attached individually by hinges. At the top of the helmet were usually placed adornments such as combs.

Chalcidian type helmet, circa 500 BC, exhibit in The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore.

Chalcidian type helmet, circa 500 BC, exhibit in The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore.

The helmet was still worn by armored warriors by the time of Alexander the Great, especially by the spear-armed heavy infantrymen Hoplites.

It is said that many Macedonian soldiers who ruled the rest of Greece and went on to forge a massive empire also wore this type of helmet.

Right chinstrap of a helmet possibly of South Italiote-Chalcidean type. The type is found in the 4th century B.C. Inv. number Καρ. 164. National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Right chinstrap of a helmet possibly of South Italiote-Chalcidean type. The type is found in the 4th century B.C. Inv. number Καρ. 164. National Archaeological Museum of AthensPhoto Credit

The Chalcidian helmet is believed to have developed in turn into the Attic helmet, which is an iconic emblem of classical warriors.