Samnite Bronze Panoply of Armor
An ancient Samnite bronze panoply of armor consisting of a triple disk cuirass with front and back breastplate, shoulder and side plates, a tall pilos type helmet with large bronze horns, a bronze belt with two ornate clasps in the form of hounds' heads, and a pair of anatomical ankle guards.
Ca. 400 - 200 BC.
The Samnites were a native group occupying south-central Italy. They fought a series of three wars against the Roman Republic (343-341 BC, 327-304 BC, and 298-290 BC). Despite achieving an overwhelming victory over the Romans at the Battle of the Caudine Forks (321 BC), the Samnites were eventually subjugated. They later helped Pyrrhus and Hannibal in their wars (280-275 BC and 218-201 BC) against Rome. The Samnites were eventually assimilated by the Romans, and ceased to exist as a distinct people.
Cf.: J. Warry, Warfare in the Classical World, (1995), pp. 102-103; D. Cahn, Waffen und Zaumzeug, (Basel, 1989), pp. 70-71, no. 27.
The helmet, cuirass, and ankle guards, formerly in E. S. collection, Berlin, the belt, formerly in the Axel Guttmann collection, Berlin.
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