). Passing over the cestus
] and strophium
also called ἀναδεσμός
], which was a band worn by women inside the tunic to
support the breast, and recollecting that ταινία
] are generic terms for
ribbons or bands worn round the body, whether over or under the tunic or
round the head (in Latin, taenia
used only for the latter), we find the following meanings assigned to
and the Greek and Latin words
1. A girdle worn by women over the tunic, just under the breast (Verg. A. 1.492
2. A girdle worn both by men (Petr. 21, 2) and women (Varr. L.
5.114) just above the hips, also called zona (Ov.
). The distinction said by Moeris (Att.
124) to subsist between ζώνη
--that the former is used only of men's
girdles, the latter of women's--is disproved by Aesch. Supp. 457
; Plat. Alc.
1.123 B; Hdt. 1.51
; Eur. Hec.
. The tunic was generally tucked up and made to hang in a fold
) over the girdle (ἀναζώννυσθαι, συζώννυσθαι,
). This was especially done when any
rapid motion was required; hence (ζώννυσθαι,
“to gird up one's loins” for battle (Il. 11.15
) or for labour (Hes. Op.
compare εὔζωνος ἀνὴρ,
used for a fairly
quick walker (Thuc. 2.97
), as is also alte praecinctus
by Horace (Sat.
1.5, 6). Similarly succinctus
) and praecinctus
are used of “trim” attendants at table. Conversely, when one
was in deshabille at home, he was discinctus
2.1, 73), a term also applied to any
“loose” character (Hor. Epod.
1, 34; cf.
Suet. Jul. 45
). The long tunics of the
Ionian women (Müller, Arch.
339.7) hung in deep
folds over the girdle; hence they and other women were called βαθύκολποι
by Homer (Hom. Il.
). These girdles were
often simple cords, and the ends had tassels affixed; but often, too, they
were very splendid. An elegant golden girdle found in Ithaca has as clasp a
knot of metal ornamented with garnets; from each side are suspended Silenus'
heads holding each three strings, from which hang pomegranates (see fig.
1475 in Saglio's Dict.
i. p. 1174). Often, too, these girdles had kinds of
braces which crossed on the breast and stretched over the shoulders, as in
the annexed woodcut representing Creon, taken by Saglio from an ancient
Cingulum. (From an ancient vase.)
3. The bride's girdle (ζώνη παρθενίη,
Hom. Od. 11.245
). Among the Romans it was
knotted in what was called the knot of Hercules (an amulet against fascinatio,
43, note 3; also against wounds, Plin. Nat.
). This girdle was made of sheep's wool, and was loosed by
the bridegroom on the marriage bed (Festus, s. v. Cingulo
). It was also called incingulum
(Non. 47, 27).
4. A soldier's belt (ζωστήρ
). The term [p. 1.428]ζωστὴρ
rarely applied to a woman's belt (Paus.
); it is nearly always applied to a man's, and only now and
then to the belt of one who was not a soldier (Hom.
; Theocr. 7.18). It is generally used for the military
belt. In Homer it is a belt which fitted close (Il.
), covering the stomach (Il.
) and lapping partly over the lower part of the cuirass
(ὅθι διπλόοος ἤντετο θώρηξ,
). The clasps (ὀχῆες
) were sometimes of gold, and appear to have fastened
behind (Il. 20.413-415). It was usually made of leather, but was often
highly adorned, sometimes with silver plates (Il.
), sometimes with purple dye (Il.
); hence the epithets δαιδάλεος
). This is quite different from the ζῶμα
or apron-like piece of armour stretching from the navel,
where the θώρηξ
ended, to the knees, and
which was regarded as a part of the θώρηξ,
so much so that in one passage the latter term is applied to it (Il. 4.135
). It was very probably made of
leather, and it shone brightly (φαεινός,
). Helbig, however (Das
p. 202), after Aristarchus, supposes that ζῶμα
is strictly the lower projecting rim of the
and then put sometimes for
itself (Il. 4.187
, compared with 136). He thinks the ζῶμα
of the Odyssey
was a kind of
light girdle, something like the μίτρη,
worn on special occasions which required great rapidity of movement, instead
of the θώρηξ.
] The term ζῶμα
is also applied to the waistcloth or
) worn by athletes (Il. 23.683
), though διάζωμα
is the more usual word in this sense. Again, the
differed from the μίτρα
], which in the Homeric armour was a thin pliant (cf.
) band of bronze (Il. 4.187
), lined probably on the inside with
wool, which was immediately next the chiton under the ζῶμα
(cf. Buchholz, Die
2.1, 372-3, and Helbig, l.c.
is the proper term in Latin for a
soldier's belt, which went round the waist. Therein it differed from the
which nearly always went over the
left shoulder and under the right arm, and to which the sword was attached.
It is highly noticeable that the sword generally hangs on the right side,
though such is not the invariable rule (Joseph. B.
3.5, 5). It is to the balteus
that we are to refer cingi
in the sense of “being a soldier” (e. g. Dig.
when used as a mark of degradation
(e. g. Liv. 27.13
; V. Max. 2.7
24; Herodian, 2.13, 8, ἀποζῶσαι
). All military duties were performed accinctus,
i.e. with the sword on (Tac. Ann. 11.18
; Veget. 3.8). It is very
rarely that we find the cingulum
sword, and that only as a rule in the case of horsemen (see figs. 1490 and
1491 in Saglio, op. cit.
is, however, sometimes found as a generic term, embracing both
and the cingulum
proper (Trebell. Salonin.
2); and, as such, the cingulum
became the insignia for all military
officials: and when in the later empire the civil offices too were
considered as species of military service, it was regarded as a mark of
their rank also (Cod. Just. 12.8
, pr.; 33 (34), 5). Hence cingulum habere,
“to have high official position” (Cod. Just. 12.49
(50), 3): cf. ζώνης τυχεῖν,
11.238; “cingulo exui” (Cod. Just. 7.38
“in officio sacrarum privatarum cingulum militiae sibi
sumere” (Cod. Theod. 6.30, 18); “cingulum deponere”
(Cod. Just. 12.52
(53), 3); ζώνην ἀποθέσθαι
3.4; cf. Glossarium ad Cod. Theod. s. v. Cingulum
). Accordingly we are not surprised to find
that all the higher officials had to wear the cingulum
in appearing before the emperor (Johann. Chrys.
right of wearing the cingulum
belonged only to
the classes of officials which were above the honorarii;
these are specified in Cod. Just.
, pr. The belt was generally
made of leather; that of the Praefectus Praetorio described by Lydus
2.13), of purple leather. The fastening of this belt
is further described as consisting of a golden crescent with a golden prong
), which latter fitted into the
other end of the belt, which had gold plates on it, and which was fashioned
into the shape of a grape (βότρυς.
method of fastening the cingulum
that of our ordinary strap-buckles. Representations of Roman soldiers of the
republic (e. g. fig. 1488 in Saglio, op. cit.
show the cross-straps which we have already noticed going over the
shoulders, and also the apronlike piece of armour (ζῶμα
). Hanging down from the centre of the belt were strips
of leather, studded with fiat plates of metal or buttons (see the cut taken
from I. Müller's Handb. d.
klass. Alterth. Wissen.
iv. Taf. ii. fig. q
From the extremities of the thongs hung ornaments, examples of which are
given by Saglio, figs. 1498-1500, and which are as various as the pendants
on our watch-chains. On certain statues of Imperial times there appears a
narrow girdle wound round that species of cuirass which ended in a
Roman soldier with Cingulum. (From I. Müller's
This girdle is always knotted in a
kind of bow-knot, with the ends tucked in. Saglio (op.
i. p. 1181) thinks it a mark of command. The statue believed
to be that of Aetius on the diptych of Monza shows us the balteus
no longer strapped round the shoulder, but hanging
obliquely from its fastening on the right side of the cingulum,
and supporting the sword on the left side, in a
manner not unlike the way in which swords are worn at present.
is often used in the sense of “a
purse” (Hor. Ep. 2.2
; Liv. 33.29
; Gracchus ap. Gel.
). It was probably an inner girdle fastening the tunic, and
not the regulation cingulum.
The practice of
carrying money in the belt is not alluded to in classical Greek; but
is used in that sense in St.
Matthew 10.9. (Cf. Wilkins on Horace l.c.
is used for a girth (μασχαλιστήρ
) (Calp. Ecl.
236). In [p. 1.429]
this sense it is
always feminine (Isid. Orig.
is used for ζώνη
in the sense of a zone of the earth (Cic.
, 21). In this sense it is masculine.