Throughout the history of warfare, several helmet styles stand out: the Imperial helmet, the medieval knight helmet, and the Japanese helmet. Keep reading to learn more about these unique pieces from the experts at the Armor Venue.
The Imperial Helmet
By far, one of the most recognized helmets of ancient history is the Imperial helmet worn by Roman legionaries. This helmet replaced the Coolus helmet around the 2nd century AD. By comparison, the Imperial helmet was more form-fitting and ornate, and it provided better neck and ear protection. Plumes of feathers or dyed horsehair were often attached to the top of the headpiece, which helped distinguish military leaders in the heat of battle. It was also worn by famous gladiators who competed at the Roman colosseum. It’s one of the last evolutions of this style to come out of the Roman Empire.
The Medieval Helmet
The medieval era brought many innovations in the art of war. Several different helmets came out of this era including the Sugarloaf, the Norman, and the Great Helm. The most revolutionary device to come out of this time period, however, is the closed-style helmet. This protective piece of headgear had pivot points on either side of the head where a visor could attach. The visor could then be raised and lowered as needed. Ornate versions of this helm were popular at jousting tourneys where they were worn by knights in matching armor. As smithing technology improved, the design incorporated family sigils and took the shape of fearsome beasts. It’s also a must for medieval fairs and battle re-enactments.
The Japanese Helmet
The Japanese helmet, also known as the kabuto, served several purposes in the ancient orient. They were functional as well as ceremonial. The most recognized type of kabuto is the suji bachi that incorporated an angled neck guard made of metal and raised flanges on either side of the helm. The rounded top was often decorated with elaborate metalwork or etched kanji. Often, combatants would wear iron or papier-mâché masks modeled after demons. The masks were meant to intimidate the enemy into fleeing the battlefield.
The Imperial helmet, the medieval knight helmet, and the Japanese helmet are just some of the most well-known headpieces you’ll find at the Armor Venue.