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(in the plural, baltea). A belt (in Gk. τελαμών), and sometimes a woman's girdle.


A shoulder-belt, and oftenest a sword-belt. Among the Greeks, as the sword usually hung by the left hip, its belt was supported by the right shoulder,

Balteus. (Florentine Museum.)

passing obliquely over the breast, as shown in the cameo here given from the Florentine Museum.

The Romans, on the other hand, usually wore the balteus over the left shoulder, though not always. (See Caes. B. G. v. 44.) Shield-belts among the Greeks were worn in the reverse order from the sword-belt, the two crossing over the breast. Belts were generally made of leather, sometimes ornamented with silver and gold. They were often employed also to support the quiver. The belts of the Roman emperors were so magnificent that a special officer (baltearius) had charge of them. See Cingulum; Pharetra.

Belt of Homeric Warrior.


A belt or collar passing round a horse's neck and breast, partly for protection, and partly for ornament. It was often decorated with embossed work, and sometimes carried bells. See Phalera; Tintinnabulum.


The belt on the celestial globe representing the sun's course and bearing the signs of the zodiac (Manilius, i. 679).


The praecinctio (διάζωμα) of the theatre. See Theatrum.


In architecture (Ionic), an ornamental band which encircles the pulvinus, or bolster of the capital (Vitruv. iii. 5, 7).

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