Bronze Roman helmet, type “Montefortino A”
Mid-4th — mid-3rd centuries BCE. Bologna, Civic Archaeological Museum Photo by Ilya Shurygin

Bronze Roman helmet, type “Montefortino A”.

Mid-4th — mid-3rd centuries BCE.

Bologna, Civic Archaeological Museum
(Museo civico archeologico)

Benacci Necropolis near Bologna, Italy
The earliest forms of helmets were called “Montefortino”, after the first major find site of celtic and were the type of helmets that the early Republican consular armies would have used. These ranged from the 4th century BC to the 1st century AD. These helmets were made from brass and domed in shape, with a small extension at the back as a neck guard. They normally have a plug-in plume holder on the crown of the helmet, which was conical in shape and in the earliest forms with a scalloped decoration on the plume holder. Roman versions sometimes contain inscriptions of the name of the soldier who wore the helmet.

The mass armies after the reforms of Marius called for mass produced cheap but effective helmets. Little effort was spent on decorating the equipment for the mainly poor legionaries.

“The Montefortino helmet was the most successful type ever designed. It won almost total acceptance in the Roman army, where it was used virtually unchanged for nearly four centuries. At a conservative estimate some three to four million of these helmets must have been made” (Peter Connolly Greece and Rome at War, p. 122).

Dimensions: H. 210mm; L. 230mm; W. 178mm.

Paddock, J. M. (1993),The Bronze Italian Helmet: The development of the Cassis from the last quarter of the sixth century B. C. to the third quarter of the first century AD (University of London, Ph. D. Thesis).
© 2011. Photo: Ilya Shurygin.
Text: museum inscription.
© 2011. Text: Ilya Shurygin.
Keywords: bronze Roman helmet type Montefortino A
History of Ancient Rome