Author Archive: Robert Mason

Monthly Archive: December Robe

Weapon Wednesday: Preparing for ROM Revealed

Posted: April 17, 2014 - 16:39 , by Robert Mason
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Middle Eastern helmets

As part of the ROM's celebration of being open for 100 years, we will be having a massive behind-the-scenes open-house called ROM Revealed on the 3rd and 4th of May. Thousands of visitors will have the opportunity to see our storage rooms where we keep the objects not on display. There are a host of reasons why objects are not put on display. Some are fragments from excavations that are important to study for our research, for instance, providing the knowledge that makes the ROM an internationally known research centre in some disciplines.

Weapon Wednesday: The Nugent Marathon Corinthian Helmet

Posted: February 19, 2014 - 11:34 , by Robert Mason
Through a warrior's eyes: detail of the Nugent Marathon helmet  (ROM no.926.19.3 - photo Kay Sunahara)

The Corinthian helmet type is one of the most immediately recognisable types of helmet, romantically associated with the great heroes of Ancient Greece, even by the Ancient Greeks themselves who rapidly moved to helmet types with better visibility, but still depicted their heroes in these helmets. In modern portrayals of Ancient Greek warriors, it is always the Corinthian type that is depicted, although often modified to suit the look desired - for instance in one movie the helmet was modified to expose more of the face of the actor.

Weapon Wednesday: The Indian Katar, a Necessary Dress Accessory

Posted: February 12, 2014 - 15:45 , by Robert Mason
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In South Asia during the 16th to early 20th centuries all fashionable young men when visiting their ladies would want to dress at their best. This would include one very necessary dress acessory: the katar. This uniquely South Asian dagger is thought to have developed in the very southern part of what is now India. In the 17th century the type was adopted across South Asia, and became a standard dress accessory in the Mughal courts.

 

Weapon Wednesday: The Horse

Posted: January 29, 2014 - 14:42 , by Robert Mason
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Frieze from the tomb of Zuo Biao, sandstone 110cm long, dated by inscription to 150 AD, Eastern Han dynasty, Mamaozhuang village, China, # 925.25.22.N

The horse is not just a form of transportation, but is a weapon in itself. The genus Equus is thought to have evolved over 4 million years ago in North America, specialising in being able to eat the grass of the steppelands and run away from predators. North American horses later became extinct, possibly due to hunting by humans, although various species of horse, asses and zebras thrived in the Old World.

Weapon Wednesday: The Long History of an Irish Bronze Age Sword

Posted: December 18, 2013 - 13:04 , by Robert Mason
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The Late Bronze Age sword and its 18th century grip.

The story of a sword made in Bronze Age Ireland.

Weapon Wednesday: Two daggers from Luristan, Iran

Posted: December 4, 2013 - 12:14 , by Robert Mason
ROM #938.35, the dagger of Marduk-shapik-zeri, 43.6 cm long (ROM Photography)

In museum circles the region of Luristan in the Zagros Mountains has a long association with the antiquities looted from tombs there in the 1920's and 30's. These objects seem to be primarily from the Early Iron Age (circa 1000 BC - 750 BC), and comprise an array of distinctive objects that include horse bridles and other equipment; fittings possibly associated with chariots; and an array of weapons, primarily of bronze.

Weapon Wednesday: The Burmese Dha

Posted: November 13, 2013 - 11:35 , by Robert Mason
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Burmese dha

Across South East and South Asia the traditional weapons often bear close affinities to the tools of the region...

Weapon Wednesday: Frankish "Seax" swords

Posted: October 23, 2013 - 15:28 , by Robert Mason
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In the 3rd century of the current era the term "Frank" was used by Romans and others to describe a group of Germanic tribes living in the Rhine valley. In the 4th century Franks settled within territory ruled by the Romans and were a recognised kingdom. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire the Frankish kingdom under their Merovingian kings spread over all of France (which to this day is named after this confederation of Germans).

Weapon Wednesday: the "djanbīyya" dagger

Posted: October 9, 2013 - 08:43 , by Robert Mason
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Janbīyah from Mughal India (2004x5.151)

The Middle Eastern two-edged curved dagger is one of the most recognizable weapon forms. Typically it is known by the Arab term djanbīyya sometimes Anglicised as "jambiya", or also often the Arabic term khandjar, but these curved daggers are found across the Middle East.

Weapon Wednesday: a Romano-Egyptian sword hilt

Posted: September 25, 2013 - 08:41 , by Robert Mason
Romano-Egyptian sword hilt number 910.175.328 (ROM Photography)

Every Wednesday we highlight a weapon, or possibly a depiction of weapons, from the ROM collection.