Murmillo

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Headgear – SPQR

It’s called a “Cassis Crista“, the bronze helmet of a Roman ‘Murmillo’ gladiator, circa 1st century AD. Murmillo’s were very heavily armed gladiators, and were a class of heavily armed warriors. They were matched against other gladiators and seldom lost the match. 

13 thoughts on “Murmillo

  1. Those suckers could weigh up to 7lbs by themselves. NOT for a little guy to haul around!

  2. Actually, surprisingly the heavier a helm is, within reason, the better it is, as mass soaks up energy, as long as it's padded well (horsetail bundles sewn into cloth work very well.)

    On the above helmet, the broad brim stops downward cuts, while the large comb actually does a good job of deflecting nets and pole mounted weapons. (In about 1400 years, the Morion helmet would appear, with a wide brim to deflect shots to the side of the head and a reinforced comb to suck up strike energy…)

  3. The murmillo class of gladiators were all very large, heavily muscled men, who wore heavy padding and armor. You wouldn’t want to trifle with them.

  4. The replicas are often very well made, but they don’t have the mass of the originals. They reflect high art and functionality in the “golden age” of gladiatorial combat.

  5. It’s interesting to see how practical designs are “rediscovered” in terms of arms and armor. The enduring design of war hammers are also an interesting study as are tomahawks

  6. I don't have any "War Hammers", except for what's in my tool box, but got a couple of nice 'hawks. My Korean buddy and martial arts guru even said one of them was perfectly balanced for both throwing and striking, something which is apparently harder to design in than I would have guessed.

  7. Do NOT tell the following jokes to somebody wearing these:

    "Yo mama so fat, when she gets cut she bleeds gravy."
    "Yo mama so fat, she puts mayonnaise on her aspirins."

    Words to the wise.

  8. Imagine the physical training needed to wear all that gear in sustained combat.

  9. I really like… roofing hammers. Nice hammer on back, good small blade on front, or vice-versa.

    Doesn't look like a weapon so the local constabulary shouldn't pitch a fit, unless local constabulary is in NYC, Baltimore or England…

  10. Yes, it gets to be a pain to wear one for a long time, which is why back then they carried their helmets slung over their shoulder or on a pole, only donning them for fighting (or if their leader was wanting to punish them.)

    As to training, well, if it fits well, all you have to do is work on the neck muscles. Which, the easiest way to do is to wear it for longer and longer times. Or carry weight on your head. (I used to freak out the local dog-food dealer by carrying a 50lb bag of dog chow on my head while writing a check. Back in the day.)

    Good fit, with any piece of armor, will seem to cut the weight down by 50%. Until you're tired. Then it seems to weigh 300%…

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