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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2016 5:05 am    Post subject: spangenhelms: where did you come from where did you go?         Reply with quote

where did you come from, cotton eye joe??? Razz

all joking aside, what happened to spangenhelms and where did they spring from....

around the classical period, in the mediterranian and mainland europe/ britain, a majority of helms wee pretty much single piece construction, from the dozens of greek, roman and celtic/ germanic helms we can see a clear trend

so spangens, seem to show up in around the 3rd-4th century? i both mean bandenhelkms, to a lesser extent ridge helms and continue with their heyday being between then and the 11th or 12th century where single piece hime rise back into dominance though multipiece construction helms never go away after that such as greathelms and earlier kettle helms but asde from that most are

but the iconic spangenhelm with a nasel, and the like why did it go back into single piece construction, by all accounts it's made of smaller pieces, requiring a lot less work, and the overlap between pieces could also i imagine add strength to the construction....

and, adding to thast question, when did the spangen nasel helm die out, i know the skull shape changed as we enter the 12th cehntury we see high, round topped helmets, do we also see some partial spangens in the 12th century as wel?

right?

i suspect the return to raised helms had a reason that justifies the difficulty raising a helmet out of a single sheet otherwise it wouldnt have been worth the effort....
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Jeffrey Hildebrandt
Industry Professional



Location: Canada
Joined: 04 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2016 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that the scale of the industry had a lot to do with it. Smaller workshops could not make and form large plates efficiently, so multi-plate construction made sense. With a scaled up, centralised industry, then single-plate helmets started making more sense. Under those circumstances, single-plate helmets required less hand fitting, and superior performance characteristics were possible with less deliberate intervention from the makers - factors like variable thickness were designed into the production sequence with little or no extra effort.

Ironically, the modern helmet reproduction industry tends more toward the small-scale workshops with the labour-intensive building technologies seen in the early Medieval period, rather than the large, high-power, high-tech workshops of the Classical, late Medieval and Renaissance periods (modern access to prepared sheet excepted). Your comparison of the relative effort involved in producing a hand-raised helmet compared to a hand-fitted spangenhelmet illustrates this point. The one-piece helmets of the past were probably almost never raised, but were made efficiently in batches - spun on a lathe or cast in antiquity, or sunk in stacks by medieval power hammers. I am not aware of a historical production technology that would have allowed multi-plate helmets to have been built with such efficiency - even the spangenhelms of the late Roman empire.

For this reason, and because spangenhelms are never stronger per-weight than solid helmets, I think that spangenhelms, bandhelms, etc, were usually only produced in preference to solid helmets as a technological/industrial concession.

Williams and Edge wrote an interesting paper for Gladius on the subject (though pertaining to the evolution of single-plate helmets out of great helms), which you might find interesting if you can find it (I have it, if you cannot). Gladius XXIV, 2004, pp. 123-134 GREAT HELMS AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT INTO HELMETS

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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 31 May, 2016 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You'd probably like to read this paper:

http://www.persee.fr/doc/syria_0039-7946_1986_num_63_1_6923
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Jeffrey Hildebrandt
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Location: Canada
Joined: 04 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue 31 May, 2016 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A very good paper, Lafayette. Thanks for linking!
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