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baltĕus , i, m., more rare baltĕum , i, n. (in plur. baltea was generally used in the poets metri gr.; and in ante-class. prose balteum, e. g. Varr. L. L. 5, § 116 Müll.; Non. p. 194, 21; Charis. p. 59 P.) [acc. to Varr. ap. Charis. 1. 1. a Tuscan word; but cf. O. H. Germ. balz; Engl. belt] (not in Cic.).
I. Lit., a girdle, belt; esp. a swordbelt, or the band passing over the shoulder (cf. Quint. 11, 3, 140; Dict. of Antiq.): baltea, Att. ap. Non. p. 194, 21; “Varr. ib.: infelix umero cum apparuit alto Balteus,Verg. A. 12, 942: “lato quam circumplectitur auro Balteus,id. ib. 5, 313 Serv.; “12, 274: verutum in balteo defigitur,Caes. B. G. 5, 44: aurata baltea illis erant, Liv. H. ap. Non. p. 194, 21: “gregarius miles viatica sua et balteos phalerasque loco pecuniae tradebant,Tac. H. 1, 57 fin.; Vulg. Exod. 28, 39: regum, ib. Job, 12, 18.—
B. Poet., like ζωστήρ, a woman's girdle; so of that of Amazonian queens at Thermodon, Ov. M. 9, 189; the girdle of the wife of Cato, Luc. 2, 362; of Venus, Mart. 14, 207.—
C. The girdle of the Jewish high-priest, Vulg. Exod. 28, 4.—
D. The girdle or belly-band of a horse, = cingula, Claud. Epigr. 21, 2; App. M. 10, p. 247, 37.—
II. Transf., that which surrounds like a girdle, a border, rim, edge, circle.
A. The belt of the heavens, the zodiac: “stellatus balteus,Manil. 1, 677; 3, 334.—
B. The edge, the crust of a cake, Cato, R. R. 76, 3, and 78.—
C. The bark of the willow, Plin. 16, 37, 68, § 174.—
D. = praecinctio, and Gr. διάξωμα, the vacant space between the seats in the amphitheatre, Calp. Ecl. 4, 47; Tert. Spect. 3.—
E. Baltei pulvinorum, in architecture, the broad bands by which the cushions upon Ionic capitals are, as it were, held together, Vitr. 3, 5, 7.—
F. A strapping, blow with a belt: “quoties rumoribus ulciscantur Baltea,Juv. 9, 112.
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