Apulo-Corinthian Helmets

(a work in progress - please submit comments, corrections and suggestions; photos are also always welcome)

     This variation of the classic Greek "Corinthian"-type helmet was developed in Italy and designed to be worn as a cap. It has been described by various modern authors as "Italo-Corinthian," "Apulo-Corinthian," "Etrusco-Corinthian," "Pseudo-Corinthian," "Corinthian parade helmet," "[une] adaptation du casque corinthien," "Greek helmet of Miglionico Basilicata type" (a typical designation on the antiquities market), "Corinthian helmet... in a grievously distorted form," and even "perhaps the ugliest type of helmet created in antiquity."9 As Michael T. Burns notes in "The Homogenisation of Military Equipment Under the Roman Republic," a majority of the helmets of this type with known provenience come from Apulia and it appears to have originated there. I will therefore refer to it as "Apulo-Corinthian." This name has the added advantage that it is not in use to describe other classes of objects, as is the case with the terms "Italo-Corinthian" and "Etrusco-Corinthian" (ceramics) or "Pseudo-Corinthian" (architecture).
The only serious attempts at classification have been those of Angelo Bottini, first in 1983 with an appendix to his article on cinturoni a placche (belts of bronze plates affixed to a leather backing), and then more thoroughly seven years later.
Other relevant bibliography: I have appended several pictorial representations at the bottom of the page. These are neither complete nor classified.

It is a great shame that such a large percentage of these helmets, whether in public or private collections, have no known provenience. Stripped of their context, orphaned by chance or more likely by human greed, they are doomed to be eternally amnesiac envoys from antiquity, and can add but little to our knowledge.

Key to tables: Dimensions: H Height (to top of dome; excludes any crest attachments unless otherwise noted). L Length front to back. W Width side to side. Th. Thickness of material.

Type A

1.Melfi-Chiuchiari, tomb AMelfi National Museum (50246) Confronted boars Orlandini, Table 53 above, 52 above.
2.Melfi-Chiuchiari, tomb AMelfi Nat'l Mus. (50245)Horse left, boar right.Orlandini Table 54 below.
3.MiglionicoMelfi National Museum (12292)Undecorated.Lo Porto, Table 51.1
4.Ruvo di PugliaBritish Museum (Walters 2831)Undecorated. H 10.75 in.Stary, fig. 14
5.Ruvo di PugliaNaples Nat'l Mus. (5732)Undecorated.G. Fiorelli, Museo Nazionale di Napoli, armi antiche, Naples 1869, armi greche, p. 1 ss., n. 3 (10081)
6.Ruvo di PugliaNaples Nat'l Mus. (5731)Undecorated.Ibid. n. 2 (2544)
7.Rutigliano, Tomb 24Taranto Nat'l Mus. (140173)Undecorated."Atti 16 conv. Magna Grecia Taranto 1976," Naples 1977, Table 112.
8.Salapia, Tomb 140Foggia Town Mus.Undecorated. Illustrated in G.M. Fazia, Il Museo Civico di Foggia (Bari 1984), p.25 fig. 43
9."Apulia"British Museum (Walters 2823)Undecorated. H 16.25 in.Stary, fig. 12; P. Connolly, Greece and Rome at War, p. 61 n. 14
10.Northern ApuliaFoggia Town Mus.Confronted boars.-
11.SyracuseBerlin, Antikenmuseum (L29)Confronted boars. H 146mm, L 259mm, W 223mm, Th. 0.5-1.6mmAntike Helme p. 420 s.
12."Sicily"Berlin, Staatlische Museen (L27)Confronted boars. H 167 mm, L 250mm, W 215mmAntike Helme p. 545.
13."Magna Graecia"Paris, Bibliotheque National (BB 2015)Undecorated. H 20cmA.-M. Adam, Bronzes E/trusques et italiques (Paris 1984), n. 149
14.UnknownMilan, Museo Poldi Pezzoli (2469)Undecorated.Cavalieri Manasse, p. 36, n. 30A
15.UnknownBerlin, Antikenmuseum (L26)Confronted boars. H 179mm, L 253mm, W 197mm, Th. 0.9-2.1 mmAntike Helme p. 418 s.
16.UnknownMannheim, Reiss-Museum (Ce 9 (N))Undecorated.F.-W. von Hase, in Mannheimer Hefte 1982, 2, p. 99 ss.
17.UnknownDallas, Museum of Fine Arts (1966.8)Confronted boars.Ibidem, p. 1031,2
18.UnknownEx-Marx-Siek collectionUndecorated.Weinzinger, Table 8, n. 234
19.UnknownLausanne, private collectionConfronted boars.H. Bloesch, in Mélanges d'histoire et d'archéologie offerts à P. Collart, Lausanne 1976, p. 83 ss.
20.UnknownEx-Guttmann collectionUndecorated. Sotheby's 12/9/1985, n. 130; Hermann Born, Restaurierung antiker Bronzewaffen, Sammlung Axel Guttmann II (Mainz 1993), example XXI.
21.UnknownEx-Guttmann collectionUndecorated. Christie's 11/17/1977, n. 404, table 34; Antike Helme, p. 98ss, fig. 47; Sammlung Axel Guttmann, Antike Helme, Kalender 1989 (Oktober); Born 1993, Ex. XII; Christie's 2004, p. 79 n. 85; Royal-Athena Galleries, Auction 81, Oct. 2004, p. 6 n. 19.
22.UnknownLondon marketConfronted boars.Sotheby's 7/10/1972, p. 39, n. 149, table 35
23.UnknownLondon marketUndecorated.Sotheby's 6/12/1967, p. 70, n. 156
24.UnknownLondon marketUndecorated.Sotheby's 6/19/1961, p. 28, n. 116
25.UnknownLondon marketConfronted boars.Sotheby's 7/13-14/1987, p. 147, n. 410
26.UnknownSempach Station (Switzerland), Private collectionConfronted boars.-
Bottini's list of 1990 ends here; numbers continue in sequence
27.UnknownGen-Hashlosha (Israel), Museum of Regional and Mediterranean Archaeology (Inv.-Nr. IAA 72-5683) Confronted boars, one plume holder broken off, small cracks in the neck guard, a small piece missing. Rough, light green and brownish patina. H 245mm Ines Jucker, Italy of the Etruscans (Jerusalem 1991) p. 92 no. 110 with picture (front)
28.UnknownEx-Guttmann Collection Undecorated. H 18cm, 1067g Hermann Historica, Munich, 11/19/2005, Lot 1481,2,3
29.UnknownEx-Guttmann Collection Undecorated. H 24cm H.Born/M.Junkelmann, Romische Kampfund Turnierrustungen, Alex Guttmann Collection, volume 6, Berlin/Mainz 1997, p.97 ff, fig. 73-76 and p.153 ff, plate XVII-XX and fig. 108; Royal Athena Galleries HMY04 - Art of the Ancient World, 2004, no. 58; Ancient Arms, Armor, no. 161,2,3
30.UnknownEx-Guttmann Collection Undecorated. H 17cm, 872g Hermann Historica, Munich, 11/19/2005, Lot 1491,2,3
31.UnknownEx-Guttmann Collection Undecorated. H 175mm, 855g Hermann Historica, Munich, 11/19/2005, Lot 1501,2
32.UnknownEx-Guttmann CollectionConfronted boars. H 165mm, 833gHermann Historica, Munich, 11/19/2005, Lot 1521,2,3
33.UnknownEx-Guttmann Collection Undecorated? H 18cm, 1084g Hermann Historica, Munich, 11/19/2005, Lot 1861,2
34.Serra di Vaglio (Basilicata) - Braida, Tomb 108presumably PotenzaUndecorated?A. Bottini and E. Setari, Basileis? I piu recenti rinvenimenti a Braida di Serra di Vaglio: risultati, prospettive e problemi (Rome 1995), p. 16, figs. 16-17
35.Unknown. Ex American collectionConfronted horsemen. H 30cmRoyal Athena Galleries GMU041,2,3
36.Unknown.Ex Guttmann CollectionUndecorated. H 168mmRoyal Athena Galleries CLG127 - Ancient Arms, Armor, no. 191,2,3
37.Unknown Ex-Guttmann Collection (AG 161) confronted boars, H 241mm, slight restorations Christie's 2004, p. 5 n. 17
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Type B: (open eyes, nasal in relief, and cheek-guards joined by one or more "bridges.")
1.Melfi-Chiuchiari, Tomb FMelfi Nat'l Mus. (50398)Confronted boars.-
2.Melfi-Chiuchiari, Tomb FMelfi Nat'l Mus. (50388)2 sphinxes and boar left, boar and 2 sphinxes right.-
3.Melfi-ChiuchiariMelfi Nat'l Mus. (50753)Left lost, horse right.-
4.Melfi-Leonessa, Tomb 7/1973Melfi Nat'l Mus. (52960)Confronted boars.Orlandini, Table 53 below; Popoli anellenici in Basilicata, p.114 s., pl. 46
5.Lavello, Tomb 56Melfi Nat'l Mus. (52888)Confronted horses.Orlandini, pl.55 top; PA p.130 s., pl. 57
6.Banzi, Tomb A/1934Reggio Calabria Nat'l Mus.Unrestored.NSc 1936, p.428 ss., fig. 13
7.Ripacandida, Tomb 82Melfi Nat'l Mus. (118161)Undecorated.Bottini 1983
8.PomaricoBritish Museum (Walters 2832)Lion and boar left; boar and sphinx right. H 10.75 in.Stary, fig. 13; P. Connolly, Greece and Rome at War, p. 61 n. 15
9.Ordona, Tomb 25/1876Turin, Royal ArmoryProbably undecorated. H 170mm (with lophos 250mm), L 280mm, W 200mmA. Angelucci, Catalogo della Armeria Reale di Torino (Turin 1890), p. 13 s., n. A' 13, fig. 12; M. Mayer, Apulien, vor und während der Hellenisierung, Leipzig-Berlin 1914, p. 671,2
10.CumaeNaples Nat'l Mus.Confronted boars.-
11."Southern Italy"Berlin Antikenmuseum (L90)Undecorated. H 163mm, L 277mm, W 213mm, Th. 0.5-1.2mmAntike Helme, p. 427
12.FriuliTurin, Armeria RealeProbably undecorated.Angelucci, p. 13, n.A'12, fig. 11
13. Krško (Gurkfeld an der Save), Slovenia Berlin Antikenmuseum (L30)Confronted boars. H 185mm, L 291mm, W 192mm, Th. 0.7-2.0mmAntike Helme p. 422 s.
14.Athens (?)Berlin, Staatlische Museen (31590)Confronted boars.Lipperheide, n. 284, pp. 71 and 505
15.Unknown.Milan, Museo arch. com.Confronted boars.P. Orlandini, in Le civiche raccolte di Milano, Milan 1979, pp. 91 and 127.1
16.Unknown.Milan, Museo Poldi Pezzoli (2420)Left Sphinx, lion, lion; Right lion, lion, sphinx.Cavalieri Manasse, p. 36, n. 29A
17.Unknown.Berlin, Staatlische Museen (Pergamon-museum) (L28)Horses(?). H 170mm, L 270mm, W 215mmAA 1905, p. 15 ss., fig. 4; Antike Helme, p. 545
18.Unknown.Berlin, Antikenmuseum (10398) Complex decoration (confronted boars). H 197mm, L 283mm, W 220mm, Th. 0.6-1.9mm Antike Helme, p. 424 ss.
19.Unknown.Nürnberg, Germanisches NationalmuseumUndecorated.Lipperheide, n. 45, p. 73
20.Unknown.Frankfurt, Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (B501)Undecorated.-
21.Unknown.Brussels, Musée du Cinquantenaire (A703)Left 2 Confronted warriors, 2 wrestlers, sphinx, lion; Right lion, sphinx, horseman; beneath the eyes reversed ibexesP. Amandry, in BCH 73, 1949, p. 441, n. 16, pl. 25.
22.Unknown.Copenhagen, Nat'l Mus. (ABa889)Left lion, sphinx, lion; Right boar, lion (?), sphinx.-1,2
23.Unknown.Boston, Museum of Fine Arts (69.1075)Undecorated.M. Comstock & C. Vermeule, Greek, Etruscan & Roman Bronzes, Boston 1971, p. 494, n. 589B
24.Unknown.Switzerland, Private collectionLeft lion and boar; Right boar and lion.-
25.Unknown.Basel marketUndecorated.Muenzen und Medaillen AG Basel, Auktion 51, März 1975, Kunstwerke der Antike, n. 218, pl. 59
26.Unknown.London marketUndecorated.Antiquus 1986
27.Unknown.London marketUndecorated.Sotheby's 12/12-13/1983, n. 318
Bottini's list of 1990 ends here; numbers continue in sequence
28.Larino(?) (Inv. 34920)(?) H 170mm; Diam. 200mm; Diam. trasv. 245mmS. Capini & A. DiNiro, eds., Samnium: Archeologia del Molise, 1991, p. 89, n. c129; p. 98, pl. 8c; Molise 1998, pp. 276-278, p.277 lower left.
29.Unknown.New York Market Confronted boars. L 298mm Sotheby's 6/12/2001, n.701
30.Unknown.Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Insufficient information. H ca. 203mm -1
31.Unknown.Ex Guttmann Collection. Confronted boars. H ca. 290mm Estates Unlimited, Cranston, Rhode Island. 12/3/2005.1,2,3
32.Unknown.London market.Confronted boars. H 252mmChristie's 7/10/1974, n.200, Plate 4
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Type C: (open eyes, nasal in relief, and cheek-guards completely conjoined)
1.Montescaglioso - Sterpinia (1953)Matera Nat'l Mus. (9584)Left lion; Right boar. H 185mm, W 220mmIl museo nazionale Ridola di Matera, Matera 1976, p. 130 s.1,2,3
2.Satriano, Tomb 2/87Potenza, Soprintendenza (76984)Left 2 boars; Right horse, boar.A. Bottini, ed., Armi: gli strumenti della guerra in Lucania, Bari 1993, pp. 118-119
3.CanosaKarlsruhe Badisches Landesmuseum (F 430)Left head of ketos, ketos, boar; Right bull, ketos, head of ketos.K. Schumacher, Beschreibung der Sammlung Antiker Bronzen, Karlsruhe 1890, p. 130 s., n.694/430, pl. 19; P. Connolly, Greece and Rome at War2, p. 100 n. 61,2,3
4.CanosaKarlsruhe Badisches Landesmuseum (F 432)Left lion; Right bull.Ibidem n. 694/432, pl. 13.21
5.CanosaBari, Archaeological Museum (2242)Undecorated.E.M. De Juliis, ed., Il Museo di Bari, Bari 1983, plate 80, 3-4.
6.Ruvo di PugliaUnknown.Undecorated.M Jatta, in RM 23, 1908, p. 330 ss.
7.Rutigliano, Tomb 11Taranto Nat'l Mus. (141420)Left dolphin, bull; Right bull and dolphin.'Atti 16 conv. Magna Grecia (Taranto 1976),' Naples 1977, p. 743.
8.Rutigliano, Tomb 3Taranto Nat'l Mus.Undecorated.-
9.Rutigliano, Tomb 19Taranto Nat'l Mus. (138864)Undecorated.-
10.Rutigliano, Tomb 77Taranto Nat'l Mus. (165191)Undecorated.-
11.Gravina in Puglia, Tomb 4/II-Probably undecorated.Gravina Archeologica, Modugno 1988, p. 56 s. and cover
12."Taranto" (?)Germany, private collectionLeft dog and horseman; Right lion set upon by dogWeltkunst aus Privatbesitz, Koeln 1968, n. A61, fig. 31.
13.CapuaLeipzig Museum für Voelkerkunde (Ug 13172)Confronted boars.Jahrbuch des Museums für Voelkerkunde zu Leipzig 18, 1961, fig. 3, plate 27.10
14.Unknown.Berlin Antikenmuseum (Fr 1011)Centaur, Iolaos, Herakles. H 178mm, L 270mm, W 191mm, Th. 0.5-0.9mmAntike Helme, p. 428 ss.
15.Unknown.Frankfurt Museum für Vor-und Frühgeschichte (1727)Undecorated.-
16.Unknown.Ex- Marx-Siek collectionConfronted boars.F.X. Weinzinger, Katalog der Sammlungen L. Marx - Mainz und A. Siek - München, München 1918, n. 233, plate 7
17.Unknown.Rome, private collection Perhaps confronted boars. -
18.Unknown.New York market Undecorated. H 302mm (w. crest) Sotheby's 2/24/1982, n. 4807Y, n. 127
19.Unknown.Basel market Insufficient information. H 29cm A. Emmerich Gallery - Art of Ancient Italy ecc., April 1970, Basel, p. 39, n. 57.
20.Unknown.London marketLeft boar; Right ?Antiquus 1986
21.Unknown.Freiburg marketInsufficient information.Galerie G. Phuze, Freiburg, Kunst der Antike, 1981, n. 33
Bottini's list of 1990 ends here; numbers continue in sequence
22.Ginosa, Property of B. Sangiorgio, Tomb of 1/13/1935Taranto Nat'l Mus. (73002)Confronted boars.-1,2,3
23."Apulia" Getty Museum (92.AC.71) Satyr, sphinx; sphinx, satyr.-1,2,3
24.Unknown. German Market. Confronted boars ("Rhinoceros group"?).Liebert Antiquities, Krefeld, Germany1
25.Unknown.Ex-Guttmann Collection.Confronted boars.-1
26.Unknown.Ex-Guttmann Collection.Confronted boars. H 160mm, Wt 927gHermann Historica, Munich, 11/19/2005, Lot 1511,2
27.Unknown.Ex-Guttmann Collection.Confronted boars. H 170mm, Wt 670gHermann Historica, Munich, 11/19/2005, Lot 1531,2,3
28.Unknown.New York market.Confronted boars. H 232mm Christie's 12/9/2005 (Sale 1584), Lot 180 1
29.Unknown.New York market (formerly in a French private collection).Confronted boars ("Rhinoceros group"?). H 28cmHixenbaugh Ancient Art, Inv. #24431,2,3
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Type D: (only open eyes; the nasal may be inscribed but is not raised)
1.Vaglio-Serra (?)Potenza, Provincial Museum (V284)Confronted boars.M. Sestieri Bertarelli, Il museo archeologico provinciale di Potenza, Rome 1957, p. 65
2. "Purchased in Naples" Copenhagen Nat'l Mus. (ABa412)Confronted boars.-1,2
3.Unknown.Frankfurt, Museum für Vor-und Frühgeschichte (1726)Undecorated.-
4.Unknown.St. Lucia, Queensland (77.1)Confronted boars.M.G. Kanowsky, The Antiquities Collection - Dep. of Classics and Ancient History, University of Queensland, 1978, p. 63
5.Unknown.Ex-Guttmann CollectionConfronted boars.Sotheby's 1/9-10/1984, p. 95, n. 231
6.Unknown.London market.Probably undecorated.Antiquus 1986
Bottini's list of 1990 ends here; numbers continue in sequence
7.Unknown.New York market.Confronted boars. L 273mmSotheby's 12/7/2001 n.70
8.Unknown.Ex-Guttmann CollectionConfronted boars. H 212mmRoyal Athena Galleries CLG130 - Ancient Arms, Armor, no. 211
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Type E: (no apertures: the eyes, nasal and cheek-guards are indicated only by incision)
1.Ruvo di PugliaBari Museo Arch. (7697)Undecorated.M Bari pls. XXVII; 81, 1-2.
2.Cairano, Tomb XVIPontecagnano Nat'l Mus. (34809)Confronted boars.G. Bailo Modesti, Cairano nell'età arcaica, l'abitato e la necropoli, Naples 1980, pp. 27 ss., 171, pl. 92.1
3.Vulci (?)British Museum (Walters 2723)Confronted boars.Stary, fig. 15
4."Magna Graecia"Paris, Bibl. Nat. (BB2017)Undecorated. H 177.5mm, W 182mm, L 224mmA.-M. Adam, Bronzes étrusques et italiques (Paris 1984), n. 150
5.Unknown.Bonn Akademisches Museum (C596)Confronted boars.-
6.Unknown.London marketInsufficient information.Antiquus 1986
Bottini's list of 1990 ends here; numbers continue in sequence
7.Guglionesi - Santa Margherita (Molise)(?) (Inv. 23288)Confronted boars. H 171mm, diam. front-back 240mm, diam. L-R 196mm, alt. asta 68mmExcavation: A. DiNiro, "Guglionesi (Campobasso). Localita' Santa Margherita. Scavo in area di necropoli," Bollettino di Archeologia 3, 1990 p.121; S. Capini & A. DiNiro, eds., Samnium: Archeologia del Molise, 1991, p.89, n. c127.; Molise 1998, pp. 276-278, p.277 top, lower right
8.Unknown.Ex-Guttmann Collection.Confronted boars.-1
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# Provenience: Location: Details: Publication: Pics:
1. Ruvo del Monte, Tomb 43 Melfi Nat'l Mus. Undecorated. In fragments. -
2.Unknown.Ex-Kroeber Collection, Berlin, 1964-1994 Undecorated. It appears that the formerly open eyes and front have been covered over with a bronze sheet. Royal Athena Galleries HAL11 - Art of the Ancient World, 2004, no. 54; Ancient Arms, Armor, no. 81,2
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Pictorial Representations:
#Provenience:Location:Object Type:Description:Chronology:Pics:
1.CanosaNaples Nat'l Mus. (H 3254)vaseApulian volute krater by the Darius Painter340-330 BCE.1
2.RuvoNaples Nat'l Mus. (81951)vaseApulian amphora by the Darius Painter330-320 BCE1
3.(Matera?)MateravaseApulian volute crater by the White Sakkos-Painter320-310 BCE1

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9. Emeline Richardson, review of A.-M. Adam, Bronzes étrusques et italiques: Bibliothèque Nationale, Départment des Monnaies, Médailles et Antiques, in American Journal of Archaeology 90,1 (1986), p. 116.

This page created and maintained by Dan Diffendale,
based on a list by Angelo Bottini, with additions and photographs
by the former and by other individuals (special thanks to Volker Bach
and Andreas Gagelmann), with whom copyright remains.

last update April 26, 2007