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The Corinthian helmet

Posted November. 12, 2019 08:45,   

Updated November. 12, 2019 08:56


I’ve traveled a lot but made little effort to collect souvenirs. The only collection I’ve managed to have is magnetics, but as years go by, I feel the need to have my own item of collection. Hoplite soldiers of Ancient Greek always claim my attention and among the many items of Hoplites, my personal favorite would be their Corinthian helmet.

In comparison, the Roman helmets are better in terms of loudness or functionality. The Greek military gear was much heavier than Roman’s steel helmets as it was forged in bronze. The Corinthian helmet blocks peripheral sights and surrounding sounds. The warrior must be facing forward when in battle, and it was nearly impossible to turn their head. While it never appeared in the Korean history, it wouldn’t have fit the physique of Koreans who have a bigger head.

The protection gear of Hoplites is comprised of helmet, shield, chest armor, and shin guards. Among them, helmets are most tricky and costly to fabricate. While useful to protect the entire torso, the Greek shield left the head exposed by design. The head was susceptible to attacks as one must expose their head for both offense and defense. This added more importance to the helmet.

The Corinthian helmet was certainly durable, but its limited sight was a fatal shortcoming in monitoring the battlefield. So the Greek Hoplites were instructed to fight closely attached to each other to share the protection of a shield, but it was far from flexible in actual battle arrangements. Perhaps, this explains why many of their defeats are so abrupt, and even the wins are not so triumphant. Some cite the weak Greek cavalry and other elements for the reason behind such failures, but a limited sight must have played a role. While the design of the helmet was improved later, it was flexibility and adaptability that made a difference among the Greek Hoplites, the army of Alexander, and the Roman soldiers. An army that wear blinders and turn a blind eye to the change of situation cannot win the battle.