Archäologische Staatssammlung München


The magnificent equestrian helmet was discovered broken into numerous pieces in 1974 during a ploughing contest near the limes castle of Theilenhofen. Elaborate restoration work was able to reconstruct the original overall shape. Noticeable is the three-partite, high, central crest with stylised feather décor, which could, when needed, be equipped with a three-row panache. The central crest ends towards the front with a raised eagle with spread wings. The cheek pieces entirely cover the ears. The motifs chosen entirely belong to the realm of the victory symbolism of the Roman Army. By recess of the motifs from the extensive tinning, originally an effect of colouring in gold and silver was achieved. Distributed across the calotte, six inscriptions of former owners had been added over time. The indications of ownership make clear that despite the lavish decoration, the helmet was not made for an officer but that it formed the equipment of a normal soldier in a partially mounted cohort. The helmet, together with an infantry helmet made of iron, had been deposited in the camp settlement spreading outside the castellum within a burnt-down building. The destruction of the building probably happened during the crises of the third century AD. At this time, the magnificent helmet had already become an antiquarian treasure and had – as attested by the inscriptions – gone through many hands.


Archäologische Staatssammlung München

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