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Hermes wearing Petasos. Coinage of Kapsa, Macedon, circa 400 BC

A petasos or petasus (Greek: πέτασος) is a sun hat of Thessalian origin worn by ancient Greeks, Macedonians, Thracians and Etruscans[1], often in combination with the chlamys cape. It was usually made of wool felt, leather or straw, with a broad, floppy brim. It was worn primarily by farmers and travellers, and was considered characteristic of rural people.[citation needed] As a winged hat, it became the symbol of Hermes, the Greek mythological messenger god.

A type of metal helmet worn by Athenian cavalry was made in the shape of a petasos. Some examples have holes around the outer edge of the brim, presumably so a fabric cover could be attached. These are known from reliefs and vase paintings, with at least one archaeological example found in an Athenian tomb.[2]

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  1. ^ Bonfante, Larissa (2003-10-31). Etruscan Dress. ISBN 9780801874130.
  2. ^ Nicholas Sekunda, The Ancient Greeks (Osprey Publishing, 1986, 2005), p. 19.