Helmet fragment

Archaic Period
680–620 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 583; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 126 (additional published references).


Height: 25 cm (9 13/16 in.); diameter: 25 cm (9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Daily Life in Ancient Greece Gallery (Gallery 212A-B)


The Ancient World



This is a fragment of a helmet of the Corinthian type, which typically covers the head and neck fully, has flexible cheek guards, and has two eye openings on either side of a long nose guard. There are small holes (for the attcahment of a lost leather lining) around the edge, and two additional holes on the side.

This helmet was dedicated to Zeus, as evidenced by the inscription below the right eye opening: The inscription is incised, retrograde (upside down and backwards), and is in the Laconian alphabet (Jeffery): TO DIOS OLUMPIO Translation: “of Olympian Zeus.” The inscription seems to date to 550-525 BC, suggesting that the helmet was not dedicated until 100 years after it was produced.

The lower part of the right cheekpiece and almost all of the right eyehole are preserved. Fractures in the area of the inscription indicate that some of the damage occured after dedication, perhaps during a periodic removal and burial of votives at the sanctuary.


"Of Olympian Zeus" (on side)
in retrograde

Laconian alphabet


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: from Rhousopoulos: from Olympia); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, December 1901

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution