• Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

Romans Wore Red-Crested Helmets to Avoid Fratricide on the Battlefield


Feb 10, 2023

We’ve all turn into accustomed to seeing iconic red-crested helmets depicted in Hollywood battle scenes set within the Roman period. However, are these pink crests traditionally correct or only a product of inventive license? Whereas Roman-era helmets ( galea) had been clearly used for cover by armies carving out the Roman Empire, the considered troopers including to their already cumbersome stash of equipment by sporting a tall pink brush on their helmet makes you marvel why on Earth they’d hassle.

However, there was a goal to those cumbersome and colourful crests. Within the case of celebratory parades, they might have been ornamental, however when it got here to the battlefield there needed to be a extra sensible motive for carrying a crested helmet.

Many historians suspect that within the warmth of battle they helped Roman warriors to face out. That manner they might shortly determine their comrades and keep away from fratricide on the chaotic battlefield. Identical to completely different clothes and symbols assist with identification throughout fashionable warfare, crested helmets made it simpler to acknowledge explicit regiments or soldiers of various rank because of the colour, design and elegance of their helmet crest. This is able to even have been invaluable for finding.

In the meantime, The History Guy claimed that this sort of distinctive identifier was helpful in a tradition wherein males sought witnesses to their heroic deeds. In accordance with the Greek historian Polybius, nevertheless, their goal was “to make each man look twice his actual peak… similar to will strike terror into the enemy.” In actuality, we’ll in all probability by no means know.

Representational picture of Roman warrior in armor and carrying a feather-crested “brush” helmet. ( Art Gallery / Adobe Inventory)

Using plumed or crested helmets by Roman legionaries (a form of soldier who fought in a Roman legion ) seems to have various over time and site. Historians consider that these had been made out of both horsehair or feathers, and would in all probability have been coloured in pure tones of black, white or reddish-brown, slightly than the intense pink model we’re used to seeing at this time.

Whereas earlier helmets are thought to have had centrally mounted plumes, it seems that helmets had been fitted with detachable crest bins from the first century BC onwards, used to carry the hair or feathers in place. They had been seemingly constituted of wooden, and would have disintegrated over time. All that is still are steel fittings, or brackets, on the helmets themselves leaving archaeologists to hypothesize about their unique design.

Discoveries of Roman battlefield stays are few and much between, and sometimes incomplete, making it actually troublesome to know what soldiers wore throughout warfare itself. Add to that the biodegradable nature of crest bins, and archaeologists usually are not sure whether or not they had been worn throughout armed battle in any respect. It’s even more durable to decipher their colour or model. All that’s left are Roman-era sculptures and monuments which had been often rendered removed from the theater of battle.

High picture: Representational picture of a Roman soldier with a red-crested helmet. Supply: Sunshower Shots / Adobe Inventory

By Cecilia Bogaard

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