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documents
Imperial Italic D (Worms - Germany)



click on each image to enlarge

This highly decorated helmet was probably mass produced. This can be deducted from the other findings like a very similar cheekpiece or another complete helmet (Imperial Italic E), which apparently had the same style decoration, though most had been stripped off when it was discarded. Modern reenacters consider such nice piece to be exclusively used by centurions, but the surviving fore and aft crest attachment hooks suggest it belonged to a regular soldier.
It is believed, for its so distinctive aspect, it was a special item for a particular unit like the Praetorian Guard. The Roman historian Tacitus mentions the praetorians wore different style helmets from the legionaries. The fact that the helmet has features indicating Italian manufacture also suggests a praetorian connection.
Another possibility is that it was used by a particular legion. The twin eagles holding "victory" wreathes the legion conduct to the Legion XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix. In fact the helmet and separate cheekpiece were both found at Mainz (and the Italic E nearby) where this Legion was stationed for many years.

 

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