HELMET ( or ):
In olden times the helmet seems to have been worn only by kings, military officers, and other important officials. At least, it is mentioned only of Goliath and Saul that they had brazen helmets (I Sam. xvii. 5, 38). Not until later did a helmet form part of the complete armor of an ordinary soldier. Chronicles relates that Uzziah equipped the whole Jewish army with helmets and armor (II Chron. xxvi. 14). The authenticity of this account may be uncertain, but it tends to show that the wearing of a helmet was a general custom at that time. In Jer. xlvi. 4, also, the helmet is reckoned a necessary part of the armor. It must not be supposed, however, that these helmets were of brass; they were leather caps. The head-coverings of the Syrian and Hittite warriors were of this kind, as they are pictured on the Egyptian monuments (see illustrations in W. Max Müller's "Asien und Europa," pp. 302-384). These were round, flat caps, fitting the head closely, with a projection at the back to protect the neck. The Egyptian soldiers wore similar caps, only theirs were broader at the back and covered the ears also. In Egypt, too, metal helmets were rare; they were more common among the Assyrians. Helmets were usually hemispherical. The round cap, fitting tightly to the head, is still worn in the East, but not frequently. The hemispherical helmet, if made of leather, usually had metal rings, or else two metal bands on the outside, to give it firmness. As a rule side-pieces protected the ears. The shape of the metal helmets was the same. Both leather and metal helmets were ornamented with bands and flaps of the most varied form.