A Corinthian Helmet from the Battle of Marathon?

Corinthian helmet

The Corinthian helmet on display at the Royal Ontario Museum

This remarkable Corinthian style helmet from the Battle of Marathon was reputedly found in 1834 with a human skull still inside. It now forms part of the Royal Ontario Museum’s collections, but originally it was discovered by George Nugent-Grenville, who was the British High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands between 1832-35.

A keen antiquarian, Nugent-Grenville carried out a number of rudimentary archaeological excavations in Greece, one of which took place on the Plains of Marathon, where the helmet was uncovered.

A pivotal moment in Ancient Greek history, the battle of Marathon saw a smaller Greek force, mainly made up of Athenian troops, defeat an invading Persian army.  A fierce and bloody battle, with numerous casualties, it appears that this helmet belonged to a Greek hoplite (soldier) who died during the fighting.

Today the the helmet and associated skull can be viewed at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Gallery of Greece.


Further Reading

Weapon Wednesday: The Nugent Marathon Corinthian Helmet

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