visor-mask found in the river Olt in Roumania and now in Vienna,—VITALIS.T.CRISPINI.[1] Finally, there is a marked resemblance in shape between this brass helmet and the head-piece of the beautiful bronze helmet found at Ribchester in Lancashire in 1796. The last, which can be seen in the British Museum, has preserved its visor-mask modelled in the form of a human face. The embossed decoration of the two head-pieces is in the same high relief. The designs, however, are different, the Ribchester helmet having figures of horsemen and men on foot engaged in combat. Curiously enough, cone-like metae occupy a similar position in both designs. Helmets such as these are of the highest rarity. There is, however, a bronze one from Nikopolis in Bulgaria[2] which furnishes a notable parallel to the Newstead specimen. There too the visor-mask is awanting. At the same time there is considerable general similarity in design and in the method of decoration. It is clear that both must belong to the same period.

The Helmet with Visor-Mask

Of Roman helmets having visors in the form of a human face at least two varieties are known. One of these is represented by the Ribchester helmet, the other by the helmet found at Bettenberge, in Wurtemberg, and now preserved at Stuttgart.[3] We have seen that, in the former case, the head-piece had a high projecting peak, under which the visor-mask was attached. In the Bettenberge helmet, on the other hand, there is no projecting peak, and the visor-mask overlaps the head-piece. This latter type was also exemplified at Newstead by an iron helmet, which, even in its present mutilated condition, must rank as one of the most beautiful things that the receding tide of Roman conquest has left behind it. It consists of two portions—a head-piece and a visor-mask—both hammered out of very pure metal (Plate XXIX.). Unfortunately it lay on heavy stones and has been seriously damaged. Large portions are awanting on the back and right side of the head-piece, while the mask has been broken in two, and the greater part of the upper portion above the forehead entirely destroyed. As in the other helmets already described, the head-piece terminates over the neck in a projecting rim, one inch and a half deep, which has been overlaid with a thin plate of bronze, decorated with an embossed chevron pattern. The treatment of the chevron is distinctly inferior to the work on the rest of the helmet. The whole of the head-piece is embossed with a representation of elaborately dressed hair. Round a central knot on the back of the head are rows of

1 Benndorf, Antike Gesichtshelme und Sepulcralmasken, Taf. x.

2 Benndorf, Op. cit., Taf. xii. Fig. 34.

3 Ibid. Taf. viii.