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'Hippika Gymnasia' were ritual displays or tournaments performed by the cavalry of the Roman Empire to display their skill and expertise. They took place on a parade ground situated outside a fort and involved the cavalry practicing manoeuvring and the handling of weapons such as javelins and spears. The riders and their mounts wore highly elaborate armour and helmets specially made for display purposes, decorated with images from classical mythology.

'Hippika Gymnasia' were ritual displays or tournaments performed by the cavalry of the Roman Empire to display their skill and expertise. They took place on a parade ground situated outside a fort and involved the cavalry practicing manoeuvring and the handling of weapons such as javelins and spears. The riders and their mounts wore highly elaborate armour and helmets specially made for display purposes, decorated with images from classical mythology.

An interesting attempt to recreate what the Corinthian helmets worn by Leonidas’ bodyguards, the brothers Alfeos [Alpheos] and Maron, may have looked like. Traditionally they are held by some to have been Olympic champions, and so in place of a horsehair crest, the helmet is decorated with a representation of an Olympic champion’s wreath of victory.

An interesting attempt to recreate what the Corinthian helmets worn by Leonidas’ bodyguards, the brothers Alfeos [Alpheos] and Maron, may have looked like. Traditionally they are held by some to have been Olympic champions, and so in place of a horsehair crest, the helmet is decorated with a representation of an Olympic champion’s wreath of victory.

Roman Mask Helmet  --  1st-2nd Century CE  --  These are often called 'parade' helmets for cavalry sports use although it has been suggested that they were also used in combat.  The psychological effect of being charged by one of these masked warriors would have been formidable.

Roman Mask Helmet -- 1st-2nd Century CE -- These are often called 'parade' helmets for cavalry sports use although it has been suggested that they were also used in combat. The psychological effect of being charged by one of these masked warriors would have been formidable.

Balaclava in the form of a Nemean lion from a all'antica ensemble with Buckler (A 693A) | Filippo Negroli | dated 1541

Balaclava in the form of a Nemean lion from a all'antica ensemble with Buckler (A 693A) | Filippo Negroli | dated 1541

Gauntlet Sword Date: 18th century Culture: Indian. Remember Willow? At the end Martigan puts Eric's gauntlet sword on to defeat Kale. Until now I always thought it was a fantasy weapon. Who knew

Gauntlet Sword Date: 18th century Culture: Indian. Remember Willow? At the end Martigan puts Eric's gauntlet sword on to defeat Kale. Until now I always thought it was a fantasy weapon. Who knew

Silver Knight by Garjan Atwood, via Behance

Silver Knight by Garjan Atwood, via Behance

Detail of helmet and plumes of a Roman cavalryman during the Hippika Gymnasia. The Hippika Gymnasia were ritual displays or tournaments performed by the cavalry of the Roman Empire to display their skill and expertise.

Detail of helmet and plumes of a Roman cavalryman during the Hippika Gymnasia. The Hippika Gymnasia were ritual displays or tournaments performed by the cavalry of the Roman Empire to display their skill and expertise.

Balaclava / set composed of Balaclava and shield, Italy, ca. 1567

Balaclava / set composed of Balaclava and shield, Italy, ca. 1567