Description of the Product

The normans were originally formidable vikings who succesfully settled and integrated into northern France. Abandoning their scandinavian ways, the Normans adopted a new religion, Christianity, with the same fierce enthusiasm they were used to in burning and pillaging. It is no coincidence the Normans adopted St Michel, the archangel warrior saint, as their patron saint. Southern Italy was at the turn of the millenium a stage where the three great civilizations, christian, byzantine, and muslim, all struggled for influence. Onto this scene arrived these ruthless Norman mercenaries, “men of the north wind”, who played their hand right; richly rewarded and cunning, in just 100 years they became regions most powerful force. They even fought against an army led by Pope Leo IX in the battle of Civitate, demonstrating that their passionate Christianity rarely influenced their actions. Once defeated, however, they did not want the popes head but his forgiveness and took him hostage until Pope acknowledged Norman conquests.

The family mostly associated with the southern part of the Norman conquest were the d’Hautvilles. The 12 sons of Tancred d’Hautville took the south by storm. By 1059 Robert “Guisgard”(=clever, crafty) d’Hauteville had secured the papal banner, a marker that his recapturing of Sicily from muslims was indeed a Holy War. Although cruel and savage in war, once in power adaptation and assimilation were deployed. They brought christians and muslims together, and the multilingual scholars who prospered there, changed Europe forever. Roberts brother Rodger cemented the Norman rule of Sicily, the heart of many trading routes, and by 1130 they ruled over a single state more prosperous than Norman England, that would last for 700 years. But as was the case in all other Norman kingdoms and principalities, their power was not to last; their strategies of assimilation and adaptation were too succelful, and all that eventually was left of them were their legacies.

From being uniformly conical in shape, the skull of the Norman helmet became more varied during the 12th century. This helmet type is closely associated with the Norman conquest of Italy; the shape began to imitate that of previous helmets of the classical era, and that of the Phrygian caps worn by civilians, symbolizing freedom. The adoption of these byzantine and eastern influences in Norman helmets is a true testament to their methods of conquest. It is possible that the forward-deflecting apex of the skullpiece was the natural result of making the front of the helmet thicker during the process of raising the skull from sheet iron. Made of 2mm steel with nasal of 3mm steel. Steel thickness may vary due to the handcraft methods used in manufacturing. Leather chin strap included. Weight 2.0 kg
Made by Marshall Historical.

Size M = 60~61 cm perimeter
Size L = 63~64 cm perimeter

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- Hans Segercrantz

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