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  • Armor Helmets of the Ancient Greeks

    Posted on February 10th, 2011 admin No comments

    Helmets in Ancient Greece were manufactured to be sturdy in battle and intimidate the enemy. The medieval styles varied slightly, but were mostly made of tough bronze and accented with a tall plume.

    The Italic Corinthian helmet is most noted for its tall plume which ran into a long ponytail design at the tail end. The front of the helmet featured wide cheek protectors which came around from the sides of the helmet, nearly touching near the nose and mouth. This style of helmet offered small eye slits for the warrior to see in battle. Although fairly useful as a protective measure, the helmet pieces covering the eyes and ears made it hard for warriors to see and hear while fighting.

    Hoplites were Ancient Greek citizen soldiers. Their helmets were similar to the Corinthian helmet, but usually with less decoration. If a plume was present, it was usually tan or off-white. Their helmet style was made to cover the majority of their face and head as these soldiers were usually the men standing at the front of the battle lines. Hoplite soldiers braced themselves against attack with large shields and spears. They usually did receive some military training, but were mostly responsible for their own weapons and armor.

    Armor from Ancient Greece kept the same basic style throughout history. The tall plume, usually accented with a ponytail end, defined the majority of their helmets. These plumes along with broad cheek guards define the Greek helmets. These distinctive features make it easy for Greek armor collectors to find and gather more items for their collections.

    Like the Corinthian Greek Helmet in the above picture, well be sure to check the other Greek helmets we have in stalk so you can start your very own collection! Only at Medieval Costumes & Gifts!

  • Starting a Medieval Armor Collection

    Posted on February 1st, 2011 admin No comments

    Choosing the right kind of armor to fit your needs can be stressful and confusing. There are many different eras of armor and styles. Popular armor collections are often based on Medieval, Roman or Greek styles.

    The first thing to do to start off your collection is to determine what era and style of armor you are looking for. If you want it all, that makes the collection easier. If you want a specific era and specific style, pinpoint it at the beginning.
    Also, at the beginning of the collection process, it is good to determine what pieces of the armor you are looking to collect. Decide if you want the full armor with helmet, chest plate, gloves, shoes, arm and leg guards or just bits and pieces to display separately.

    When determining which pieces of armor you wish to purchase, keep in mind your possible display space. If you are in a studio apartment, an entire Roman Knight may not fit. A few helmets displayed on the fireplace mantel may work better. Shields and breast plates can always be hung on the wall to conserve floor display areas.

    If your armor collection is going to be used as costume pieces, then you will also want to consider the sizing of the armor before purchasing it. Most places, including, offer sizing information for their products.
    If you are not looking to use your armor as costume pieces, you may also be interested in miniature versions of the armor. These will save space in your display area and often offer as many details as the full-sized replicas.

    Do your research before spending your cash. Many places offer replica armor. Some of this replica armor is battle-approved. Some armor is purely only meant for costume or display purposes. Depending on what you plan on using your armor for, make sure you are aware of the differences.

    Armor collections are a unique and growing interest. Armor helmets make for interesting display pieces. Researching the history behind helmet styles will make your collection even more interesting to visitors. Having a plan when starting your collection will benefit how it turns out in the end.

    Most of all have fun when planning your collection! There are tons of different options for armor. Be aware of what you are looking for and enjoy the new pieces!

  • Greek Gods and Goddesses, Human Characteristics to Myth

    Posted on January 10th, 2011 admin No comments

    Greek gods and goddesses were created by ancient Greek cultures as a way to explain why and how things in their world were happening. At the time of their inception, they were not written down and so the history of the gods was passed verbally from one generation to the next. Often, Ancient Greek cities erected giant temples in honor of the specific god or goddess their city was dedicated to. These temples were used for worship as well as sacrifices to pay homage to the god.

    Since most ancient societies of the time had their own set of gods and goddesses, many of the names are nearly interchangeable. Zeus is almost always the supreme god and then his followers trickle down with various names. These gods held human characteristics and were said to have mingled amongst the humans at times, but always returning to their home. Each god or goddess was given their own aspect of life to be responsible for. There is Aphrodite the goddess of love,  Ares the Greek god of war,  Poseidon the god of the sea and many more.

    Amongst the first documented stories of Greek mythology were Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. The Iliad focuses on the Trojan Wars and how the gods influenced each side of the war. The Odyssey is the sequel to the Iliad, depicting the Greek hero, Odysseus’ long trek home from the Trojan wars. These stories documented, for one of the first times, the history of Ancient Greek mythology.

    Greek mythology had a huge influence on the culture, life and art of the time. Artists were constantly making paintings, vases, sculptures and temples in honor of certain gods. Citizens spent portions of their days honoring the gods in order to not anger them. Any catastrophe suffered by a family or city was said to be because the people angered the gods.

    Greek mythology still influences art and culture today. Artists look at ancient Greek sculpture and art for inspiration. These items have survived thousands of years, many mostly intact. The ancient society must have been doing something correctly. Literature and movies are still influenced by these ancient stories as well.  The stories behind each Greek god began as oral traditions, but have become some of the most studied and published works in human society. Feel free to Check out our store, Medieval Costumes & Gifts, to see our new enchanted Greek Goddess costume!

  • What makes a Hero, Beginning with the Ancient Greeks

    Posted on December 28th, 2010 admin No comments

    What Does The Term "Hero" Mean?

    Hero is generally used in two ways. One describes warriors that have more strength and courage than other warriors. The other is to set aside people who are better than others in their moral, physical, or intellectual qualities. No other word has come close in meaning to this word or has been based on this word.

    In Greece, centuries ago, Ancient Greek Heroes were part of a special cult in which they were fastened to its religious beliefs and life. These heroes have been analyzed via a lot of different theories throughout the years. Many believe that these heroes were dreamed up characters of history. Others would argue that the were simply symbols of natures forces. Most authorities stand by the belief that these heroes were "depotentiated" or disgraced gods who were forced to be placed somewhere between god and men. Rohde, in Psych, states that the Ancient Greek Heroes are simply the souls of the dead, which are waiting to enter a more meaningful universe upon being separated from their human body. However, only important and impressive men of the past fit into the minority that was allowed to reach the rank of hero after death. Local cults maintained the belief in worship of these heroes, known as ancestor worship. They were able to preserve it into the pre-Homeric times. In truth, seldom is a god disgraced to the rank of a hero. If they were, they were not considered a real hero to be worshiped by a cult. In order to be worshiped by a cult, a person had to live the life of a man on the face of the earth. If they were to be worshiped, degraded gods would have go through this. In other words, to become a cult-hero, a god would have to go through the experience of death like other earth-born people. Basically, if being a man was not experienced, then being a god was not possible. Simply stated, a hero is the spirit of a dead man, not a degraded god. The exist in a class completely separate from the class between gods and men.

    There are many different ways in describing a hero and nobody knows for sure what makes a hero, but what we do know is that heroes are what we all wish to become, outstanding moral figures that will be remembered throughout history. The hero is what inspires all of us, during the medieval time period heroes were embedded in a warriors armor and also the stained glass of a castle or sanctuary.

  • Intimidating Soldier Armor

    Posted on December 8th, 2010 admin No comments

    Soldiers during the medieval time period, did not have access to any high-tech weapons or armor seen today. They had to rely on bigger armies, battle strategy, and strength and skill to defeat their enemies on the battlefield. Because there was such a need, weapons and armor were constantly being developed and improved. Soldiers often wore armor that made them look scary to intimidate the enemy soldiers in combat. Replicas are available for some armor pieces today, and people like to collect and display them.

    Medieval soldiers might have used human and animal bones to decorate themselves and create a terrifying image. They sometimes made helmets from skull bones of animals or men with larger heads than them for protection and further intimidation. It was very frightening but bone is not strong enough to be very effective head protection. Metal is a better material to protect the head but these soldiers used what they had. Scaring the enemy or shrouding oneself in mystery was a big part of warfare.

    An army or a tribe could acquire a reputation for being "supernatural" or evil and enemies would enter battles nervous and scared. Terror was a good way to get an advantage on the battlefield because frightened soldiers may not fight as well as they would otherwise.

    Over time, people created new types of armor with metals and leather which is much lighter in weight. Ancient Greek soldiers had breastplates with muscles carved and shaped right into them. They looked incredibly strong and fit, and this was intimidating to their enemies. They combined this with a helmet which added height to their appearance, so they looked like muscular, tall fearless men to their opponents.

    The bronze age brought increased control when making metal helmets and armor. Soldiers had scary looking horns or points attached to helmets to look frightening. These spikes were not really for stabbing enemies but the enemies didn’t know that! They could definitely cause damage in close combat. These frightening head adornments were mostly worn to strike fear into the heart of the opponent in battle.

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