Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hector - the Tamer of Horses

This is a short passage about how Hector scare his son with his gleaming helmet.

An ancient war helmet.

"He [Hector] stretched his arms towards his child, but the boy cried and nestled in his nurse's bosom, scared at the sight of his father's armour, and at the horse-hair plume that nodded fiercely from his helmet. His father and mother laughed to see him, but Hector took the helmet from his head and laid it all gleaming upon the ground. Then he took his darling child, kissed him, and dandled him in his arms, praying over him the while to Jove and to all the gods. "Jove," he cried, "grant that this my child may be even as myself, chief among the Trojans; let him be not less excellent in strength, and let him rule Ilius with his might. Then may one say of him as he comes from battle, 'The son is far better than the father.' May he bring back the blood-stained spoils of him whom he has laid low, and let his mother's heart be glad.'"

Homer - The Iliad VI
translated by S.Butler


Anonymous said...

Love the aesthetics of Ancient Greek war helmets. Simple, yet beautiful designs. I guess a helmet like this one, which I believe is of the Corinthian type, must have been a bit awkward to fight in, though. The small cutouts for the eyes limited the wearer's vision, and on this particular model I can't see any cutouts for the ears either, consequently impairing his hearing too. Everything must have seemed a bit "muffled" to the warrior when donning one of these helmets. Impracticalities aside, I think it provided good basic protection when fighting in a hoplite phalanx.

Keep up the good work, man! I visit this blog regularly to educate myself! :-)


Patrik Klingborg said...

I couldn’t agree more, the helmet looks absolutely fantastic and I bet that it was even more beautiful 2400 (ish, I can’t provide an exact date on this one) years ago.

Now about the functionality, you are absolutely correct when saying that it limited the wearers hearing and vision. Now, this kind of helmets were used in phalanx formation, which mean that you want all of your attention straight forward, where the enemy is. The sides should be covered by your comrades and the battle is probably lost unless they keep them safe.

And thank you very much for your comment, it makes me very happy that you appreciate all the work I put into this.