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Armor and helmets have been worn since before the Middle Ages to protect warriors during combat.

Archaeological findings prove the first headgear which can be evaluated as helmets emerged from the time of the Sumerians around 3,000 BC.

The first metal helmets were made of copper, with sporadic use of gold, from around the 14th century BC as well as helmets made of iron.

The first uniform mass production of helmets can be attributed to the Romans, who thereby brought influences of different cultures together.

Even simple Roman foot soldiers were equipped with uniform helmets from about the first century B.C. under Julius Caesar.

When thinking of the Roman Empire, steeped in history, which in its heyday spanned three continents, the image of the Roman legionnaire springs to mind.

Known above all is the imperial-Gallic Weisenau helmet type, named after the archaeological site of Mainz-Weisenau. The bronze helmet with an initially flat, later high round bell, characteristic cheek flaps, and an almost horizontal neck guard, is in sculpture and to this day in film and television the symbol of the Roman soldier’s gear. This is not always depicted completely correctly and appropriately for the time depicted. Equipped with a helmet bush, the helmet was also used to indicate different military ranks.

Bread, Games, Helmets

Another rich source for helmets of various designs is the Roman gladiatorial fights.

The first clear evidence of these bloody competitions can be found from the third century B.C. In the fights depicted in many films to this day, prisoners and slaves competed against each other and usually fought to the death. Historians do not quite agree on whether this was a variant of human sacrifice or an almost ritual tribute to the deceased.

In any case, gladiator fights quickly gained public popularity, which lasted until they were finally banned in the 5th century and cost many gladiators their lives.

Initially Gladiator fights were privately financed meetings, only starting from 44 B.C. did it become a public affair, which was used purposefully, to win the favor of the masses.

Accordingly, Gladiators were well-trained and equipped. Only in this way was it guaranteed that the fights could trigger the desired enthusiasm of the audience.

Gladiator helmets are known in a variety of forms. Particularly remembered is, for example, the Boeotian helmet of Murmillo. The hat-like helmet with a wide brim was worn in various detailed forms, usually with a closed or latticed face mask, and can still be found today in every gladiator film.

Your Fantasy, Your Helmet

If you're into reenactment or follow historical archetypes in LARP, it probably goes without saying that you're eager to give your character a historically accurate appearance. With Zeughaus, you will find helmets from antiquity to the late Middle Ages, which are oriented in detail to historical models and make it clear at first glance which period it originated from.

However, if this is not enough for you, if your appearance should be a reflection of your imagination and the exact science of history thereby providing only a basic orientation for you, you will find with us a selection of fantasy helmets that use the historical framework imaginatively to give your character an impressive, perhaps especially awe-inspiring appearance.

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