Bronze Artifact: Greek Greaves, Helmet, Spearhead

Greek Bronze Greaves, Helmet, and Spearhead

Greek Bronze Greaves, Helmet, and Spearhead

license: public domain
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Daderot
Description

A photograph shows an ancient pair of greaves, a helmet, and a spearhead, all made of bronze. The helmet is designed to cover the face, leaving holes for the eyes and a vertical slit for the mouth.


Date

Artifact: c. 500 BC

Photo: May 2011


Information

These pieces of Corinthian armor, dating to approximately 500 BC, were discovered in a tomb located in modern-day South Italy. The warrior’s name, Denda, is inscribed on the left greave.

Pieces of hoplite armor like these were used in an ancient Greek athletic event called hoplitodromos, featured in the ancient Olympic Games and other Panhellenic festivals. Competitors would don a helmet, shield, and a pair of greaves and sprint the length of the stadion track (though the greaves were removed from the event in the 5th century BC).

This helmet was likely never used in the hoplitodromos, as most ancient illustrations of the sport depict helmets with more exposed faces.

At the time of photograph, these artifacts were housed in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen (State Collections of Antiquities) in Munich, Germany.


Related Articles

Greek Hoplite Armor | Greek Hoplitodromos | Ancient Olympic Games | Panhellenic Games | Greek Stadium

Bibliography

Miller, S. G. (2006). Ancient Greek athletics. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Swaddling, J. (2015). The ancient Olympic games. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Sage, M. M. (1996). Warfare in ancient Greece: A sourcebook. London: Routledge.