The Joy of Museums

Finding Beauty & Meaning in Museums

Greek “Illyrian type” Helmet

Hellenic Museum, Melbourne - Joy of Museums - Greek

This Greek “Illyrian type” Helmet is military bronze helmet, with ribs on the crown that were used to attach the crest. Its earliest styles were developed in ancient Greece, in the Peloponnese, during the 8th and 7th centuries BC (700–640 BC). Representations on Corinthian vases indicate that the “Illyrian” type helmet was developed before 600 BC.

The helmet was misleadingly named as an “Illyrian” type due to a large number of early finds coming from Illyria. The Illyrians were a group of tribes in antiquity, who inhabited part of the western Balkans and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula. Today this area corresponds to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, part of Serbia and most of Albania.

Hellenic Museum, Melbourne - Joy of Museums - Greek "Illyrian type" Helmet 2

According to archaeological evidence, the earliest “Illyrian” type helmets were developed in a workshop located in the northwestern Peloponnese, possibly Olympia. The Illyrian type helmet was used by the ancient Greeks, Etruscans, Scythians and became popular with the Illyrians.

Other historical antiquities at the Hellenic Museum, Melbourne include:

Essential Facts:

  • Name:                 Greek “Illyrian type” Helmet
  • Date:                    600 – 550 BCE
  • Providence:       Olympia, Peloponnese, Greece
  • Material:            Bronze
  • Museum:            Hellenic Museum, Melbourne

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“Honour is priceless and glad be he who has it.” Greek Proverb

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Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons