Chalcidian helmet - inv. 2418

Apulian manufacture, early 4th century B.C.

Chalcidian helmet
height 28 cm, diameter 29,3 cm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 2418

Trivulzio Room

The helmet  has the distinctive form of the Chalcidian type with fixed cheek-pieces, leaving uncovered only the middle of the face. This type of helmet appears for the first time in the decorations of vases by the Chalcidians, a Ionic population,  who began to colonize Southern Italy in the eighth century B.C.  Chalcidian helmets were widely used by the Italic peoples and the helmet in the Poldi Pezzoli is an example of  Apulian production.
Along the lower edge a votive inscription in Greek characters and in the Oscan language enables the to date the helmet to the early fourth century B.C., when Osco-Lucanian rule extended as far as Metapontum.  It was customary in the Greek and Italic world to present personal objects to a shrine, inscribed with the name of the deity venerated and that of the donor.