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Great Helm

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The great helm is the classic helmet of the middle ages. Its use began in the late twelfth century, during the crusades and extended to the fourteenth century. During the latter end of its popularity it was mainly used as a jousting helm, or only temporarily in combat. Due to its large cylindrical shape and cloth padding, it was often hot, and restricted the wearer’s vision more than other helmets. During battle, the great helm could often be discarded in favor of a smaller, more maneuverable helmet usually worn underneath, either the bascinet or the cervelliere.

Close Helm

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The close helm was a helmet that enclosed the entire head of the knight, ending at the bottom in a gorget, which was usually composed of several lames used to protect the neck. It was very similar to an armet, but opened in a different fashion. While an armet had two hinged cheek pieces, the close helm’s bevor would hinged upward like a second visor.

The front section of the gorget came up with the bevor, allowing the knight to put the helmet on with the bevor up, then close the bevor. Often, the close helm also had a rondel at the back, to protect any vulnerable strapping.

The close helm was used in tournaments, jousts, and warfare. Depending on the application, it could range anywhere from eight to twelve pounds, and had varying degrees of face protection.

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