Skip to comments.Roman helmet turns history on its head
Posted on 01/11/2012 8:44:20 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Every school child used to learn how the British defended their land during the Roman Conquest.
But the discovery of a 2,000-year-old Roman helmet beneath a Leicestershire hillside suggests a different story. Rather than repel the invaders, some Britons fought in the Roman ranks.
The ornate helmet was awarded to high-ranking cavalry officers and was found at the burial site of a British tribal leader. According to experts, it transforms our understanding of the Roman Conquest...
The treasure, known as the Hallaton Helmet after the area where it was found, dates to around the time of the Roman invasion in AD43. A Roman goddess flanked by lions adorns the brow, while the cheek pieces feature a Roman emperor trampling a barbarian beneath his horse's hooves...
It was first unearthed in 2000 by Ken Wallace, a retired design and technology teacher who was out testing his £260 second-hand metal detector near his Leicestershire home...
The site yielded 5,500 coins -- the largest Iron Age hoard ever found in Britain -- and the helmet, which had been broken into nearly 1,000 pieces... The helmet was unveiled at the British Museum yesterday after a decade of restoration work paid for by a £650,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
The identity of the Briton commemorated at the burial site is unknown but the artefacts show that he was an important figure.
It is difficult to put a price on the helmet, but in 2010 a bronze Roman helmet with face mask was sold for £2.3 million at Christie's.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The Hallaton helmet will go on permanent display at Harborough Museum later this monthÂ Photo: Christopher Pledger
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Why couldn’t it be the helmet of a Roman Top Dog that the Briton had brought down in battle and they buried the trophy with him?
And they’re 100% sure that this was a presentation to this tribal chief, and not one of his particularly prized trophies from the field of battle?
It`s a War trophy.
The Indians in Massachusetts during the New England Indian Wars wore captured/killed British 3-pointed hats and braided gold jackets.
During the 1690`s & 1709 up until 1753, the French, in skirmishes with Dutch-English combined forces out of Fort Edward and Schuylerville, wore Spanish chest armor captured from the Dutch, still to be seen in Fort Ticonderoga Museum glass case.
save for later
Thought it was common knowledge that some of the Celtic tribes aligned with the Romans.
So what has changed exactly? My 1991 edition of “The Oxford History of Britain” discusses the Claudian invasion of 43AD and reads....
“The invasion met with fierce resistance from some of the British tribes. Others, no doubt not sorry to see the Catuvellaunian hegemony in southern Britain destroyed, surrendered easily or joined the Romans.”
———————Thought it was common knowledge that some of the Celtic tribes aligned with the Romans.-———————
Some Americans sided with the communists too.
Reagan spoke about this in his Rendezvous with Destiny speech. “Better red than dead”, or, “I’d rather live on my knees than die on my feet”.
Wonder how many banquets the chief had to throw to get rewarded with that.
Booty taken from a dead Roman or dead Romans, then lost somehow seems as likely an explanation.
British soldier to another British soldier, after capturing a Roman: Now let ME wear the helmet:)!
Absolutely. There were rebel tribes and others that aligned with Rome. It’s common knowledge to all but newspaper reporters, apparently.
Then again, that could be said of many topics.
And the Romans had a policy of doing just those kinds of things, while maintaining order and rule over an empire of 50 million people with thousands of miles of frontier, using an army of 140,000, and up to another 140,000 or so (probably much less) auxiliaries.
Western civilization is the last vestige of the Roman empire. Two millenia later, and here we are, still using the latin alphabet. Amazing, isn’t it. The Roman empire never went away, it just kind of spread out a bit.
They were apparently referring to what English kids are now taught in schools. Gee. Can you imagine if all that you knew was what you learned in school ? That seems like ages ago to some of us.
That was exactly my question!
The article was written by Anita Singh. That could explain a lot...
“Anita Singh is the Daily Telegraph’s Showbusiness Editor, covering film, television, music and celebrity misbehaviour.”
But this is nothing new. You can find it in (IIRC) "The History of the English Speaking People" which was written in the 1930's.
As with every other invasion some of the weaker groups joined with the invaders to overthrow the established order. For some reason the idea of living under Pax Romana where you sent Rome a bit of money every year was more appealing then seeing your villages and farms raided and your people carried off as slaves by your more powerful neighbors. I can't imagine why, but there you go.
Quite so, it has spread out over most of the Earth.
The way the Romans expanded in Gaul, Germania and down the Danube was by fighting only when potential enemies couldn’t be brought onto their side.
Not surprising to me that this would occur in Britain, as well.
Quick poll: Which spelling do you prefer?
It entirely likely that some Brits fought for the Romans, while others fought against. Celts are a fractious lot. If one tribe saw a way to clobber some much-despised neighbors with Roman help, there is a good chance they’d it!
Roman were good at driving such wedges between their enemies...
Welcome back to FR!! You haven’t posted here since 2009. I thought you may have quit totally.
it should be. But too many folks get their history from Hollywood.
it spread farther than that — for example, many of the Arab countries have currencies dinar derived from the name denarii.
“An alternative theory that the helmet was seized as booty can be discounted because it was a symbolic item not designed to be worn in battle.”
Interesting article and we do know that natives often were recruited into the Roman military during invasions. Frequently the Romans used intertribal disputes as levers to work their way into a territory.
But I simply can’t buy that argument. An article of great worth, acquired in battle as a trophy could most certainly be buried with the acquirer.
Cavalry was the main arm for which Romans used foreign troops.
....some Britons fought in the Roman ranks.
It's always that way. Some locals side always with the invaders. I would refer to them as Quislings but it is too loaded a word.
Thurought history Empires have used a divide and conquer strategy to subdue unruly tribal areas. The British were the most sucessful example of an Empire using these tactics in the 17th to 19th centruies. They subdued and ruled India using these tactics
“Use a tribial enemy when fighting a tribe” was a comon Roman tactic.
I doubt the British celtic tribes were some how exempt from this tribal weakness
No it is wrong to call them traitors. A National identy did not exist for these people. Their loyalty was to family-clan and tribe. The rival tribes were enemies. Allying with the Romans to vanquish a rival tribe was simply and example of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to them.
They knew it was a gift because the price tag was still on the helment.
Right. After the battle of Isandlwana, Zulu warriors wore British uniform jackets and helmets as trophies.
Because that wouldn’t get them a grant for further research.
Thanks to all, this is a good discussion!
Okay, let’s see now - - - . We have the burial site of a “ - - - British tribal leader. - - - “ (or maybe a Roman who fought for that British Tribe?); we have 5,500 coins; - - -hmmmmmmmm, may we assume that some of the tribe were “merry men?”
If so then this could have been the very first Robin Hood! As Robin Hood #1 he would done what Robin Hood # 2 did: he have stolen from the Government, which were the Romans.
Who was the Sheriff of Nottingham back then?
Today in un-merry America then is no Robin Hood who steals from the government, but we do have our Sheriff of Nottingham! Yep! You guessed it, none other than Timmy Gee. Whatever money that you earn he thinks he owns it.
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