Armor mentioned in the poem Beowulf include helmets and chain mail. There are an incredible number of references to these battle-apparel in the poem, making this topic of armor a very relevant one to consider.
“Helmets are the most dramatic and often quoted item of armor found in Beowulf,” says Catherine M. Hills in “Beowulf and Archaeology.” Indeed, examining the poem, one finds copious references to helmets in just the first 400 lines of the poem:
over plated cheek-guards, inlaid with gold;
shining, fire-hardened, fierce war-masks
guarded their lives (303-6)
iron-gray corselets, and grim mask-helmets (334)
the Geatish leader spoke in his turn,
strong in his helmet (341-2)
Now you may enter, in your battle-armor,
wearing war-masks (395-6)
Brave in his helmet
[he advanced] till he stood before the king (403-4)
“Beowulf’s own helmet was ‘inlaid with gold, hooped with lodly bands, and decorated with effigies of boars’” (Arnold 91). In Europe there have been found about 100 helmets dating mostly to the sixth and seventh centuries; of the three types, two are from the Romans. 37 are of the English-Scandinavian type, with a ridge running across the top from nose to rear. Some of these were found buried in cremations in Gotland. In England only three Anglo-Saxon helmets have been found: Benty Grange – 7th century; York – 8th Century; Sutton Hoo – 6th century. section of chain-mail was found attached to the York helmet as a nec...
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...tion and design in the making of helmets especially.
Arnold, Ralph. “Royal Halls – the Sutton Hoo ShipBurial.” In Beowulf: The Donaldson Translation, edited by Joseph F. Tuso. New York, W.W.Norton and Co.: 1975
Chickering, Howell D.. Beowulf A dual-Language Edition. New York: Anchor Books, 1977.
Clark, George. Beowulf. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.
Cramp, Rosemary. “Beowulf and Archaeology.” In TheBeowulf Poet, edited by Donald K. Fry. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.
Hills, Catherine M. “Beowulf and Archaeology.” In A Beowulf Handbook, edited by Robert Bjork and John D. Niles. Lincoln, Nebraska: Uiversity of Nebraska Press, 1997.
Stanley, E.G.. “Beowulf.” In The Beowulf Reader, edited by Peter S. Baker. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000.
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