Thread: Mercenaries
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Old 26-03-2012, 11:44 PM   #17
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Lightbulb Crosby Garrett

The Crosby Garrett Helmet is a brass Roman cavalry helmet dating to the late 1st to mid 3rd century AD.

The Crosby Garrett helmet is an almost complete example of a two-piece Roman cavalry helmet. The headpiece is in the shape of a Phrygian cap, on the crest of which is a winged griffin that stands with one raised foot resting on an amphora...Only two other Roman helmets complete with visors have been found in Britain.

There has been much debate about the symbolic meaning of the helmet's design. The griffin was the companion of Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance and fate; both were often associated with gladiatorial combat and were symbolic agents of death.

Similar examples have been found across the Roman Empire from Britain to Syria. It is of the same type as the Newstead Helmet, found in Scotland in 1905, and its facial features most closely parallel a helmet that was found at Nola in Italy and is now in the British Museum. The rendering of the hair is similar to that of a type C helmet found at Belgrade in Serbia and dated to the 2nd century AD. The griffin ornament is unique, though it may parallel a lost "sphinx of bronze" that may originally have been attached to the crest of the Ribchester Helmet, discovered in Lancashire in 1796. The headpiece is nearly unique; only one other example in the form of a Phrygian cap has been found, in a fragmentary state, at Ostrov in Romania, dated to the second half of the 2nd century AD.


IN the following part of our book we supply, in a series of figures, the succession of changes to which the most ancient head-covering--in itself a significant hieroglyph--the Phrygian cap, the classic Mithraic cap, the sacrificial cap, or bonnet conique, all deducing from a common symbolical ancestor, became subject, The Mithraic or Phrygian cap is the origin of the priestly mitre in all faiths. It was worn by the priest in sacrifice. When worn by a male, it had its crest, comb, or point, set jutting forward; when worn by a female, it bore the same prominent part of the cap in reverse, or on the nape of the neck, as in the instance of the Amazon's helmet, displayed in all old sculptures, or that of Pallas-Athene, as exhibited in the figures of Minerva. The peak, pic, or point, of caps or hats (the term 'cocked hat' is a case .in point) all refer to the same idea. This point had a sanctifying meaning afterwards attributed to it, when it was called the christa, crista, or crest, which signifies a triumphal top, or tuft. The 'Grenadier Cap', and the loose black Hussar Cap, derive remotely from the same sacred, Mithraic, or emblematical bonnet, or high pyramidal-cap.
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