KAZANSKI M. Early Byzantine Baldenheim-Type Helmets in the Dnieper Region

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2019.6.15

Michel Kazanski

Doctor Habilitat, Leading Researcher,

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Research Laboratory 8167 “East and the Mediterranean”,

Collège de France, 52, rue du cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris, France

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Abstract. Introduction. Recent finds of Baldenheim-type helmets in the Dnieper (Klimovsk district of Bryansk region, Boldyzhsky Forest and Cherkasy region) indicate the proliferation of prestigious weapons in the territory of the Kolochin and Penkovka cultures, that is, in the zone of settlement of Slavs in the post-Hun time. Helmets of this type are well known in Europe, both in the West, primarily among the Merovingians, and in the Balkan-Danube region, and in the Mediterranean from the second half of the 5th to the second half of the 6th centuries, though most of the finds fall on the period from the late 5th to the mid 6th cc. These helmets, at least in part, were of Byzantine origin. In general, Baldenheim-type helmets are few in number and in Western and Central Europe come mainly from “chief” graves, and in the Byzantine zone from cultural deposits in fortresses and cities.

Analysis and Results. Helmets found in Eastern Europe show similarities with both helmets from Western Europe and helmets found in the Balkan-Danube region and in the Mediterranean. Given the historical situation of the time, it seems more logical to assume that Eastern European helmets were of Balkan-Danube origin. Obviously, in Eastern Europe, these helmets belong to the ruling military elite. It is possible that Baldenheimtype helmets fell into the hands of the Slavs as a result of the Danube and Balkan wars of the 6th century against the Eastern Roman Empire.

Key words: helmets, the Great Migration period, Dnieper region, Byzantium, Slavs.

Citation. Kazanski M. Early Byzantine Baldenheim-Type Helmets in the Dnieper Region. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 184-197. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2019.6.15.

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Early Byzantine Baldenheim-Type Helmets in the Dnieper Region by Kazanski M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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