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Gladiators with cingulum
Hi, everyone!

Say, I noticed a lot of gladiator reenactors world-wide wear legion-style cingulum apron straps hanging from the front of their belts, yet I've never seen this in evidence. I had thought that the balteus/cingulum was the mark of the legionary, who were all citizens. As such, it would seem that slaves (which most gladiators were) would not rate such an item.

Is there any evidence for gladiators wearing cingulum [straps]?

Thanks in advance,

Jim / M.Valerius
I myself have never seen either a sculptural, mosaic, fresco, or even grafitti representation of a gladiator with a cingulum. I do not think that they wore them myself, but just wore a broad bronze or decorated leather belt.
For most of their history, the standard belt for all types of gladiator was the archaic bronze belt of Samnium/Lucania. On mosaics such as the one from Zliten the bronze color is quite clear. I know of no examples of the cingulum militare being worn in the arena. Very late gladiators, especially those from the East, seem to have worn a belt of multiple leather straps rather like the harness worn by charioteers.
Pecunia non olet
Hi there

Easy one for me as I agree with John. You might get some mileage out of one of the images found in the links below, but its still not a proper cingulam and the second one is of a beast fighter not a gladiator. ... Relief.jpg ... tta-02.jpg

The first image is hard to see but the figure in the middle has a cingulam of some kind.

All the best
The broad belt which gladiators usually wear is called balteus, like the broad belt Roman officers wear. The decoration is of course different or the belt even wider than the officer's one. Marcus Junkelmann states also in his book the fastening with hooks which is typical of Samnium.

The cingulum with the pteryges is definitely a status symbol of the Roman soldier.
The few gladiatorial representations we have from the Republic show gladiators wearing odd combinations of equipment, some of it military. The figures on the Tiber relief, for instance, seem to be wearing early Imperial Gallic helmets. I suspect that Augustus, with his passion for order and for separating everything into discrete categories, may have banned military garb and equipment from the arena. Also, the soldiers might have felt insulted by seeing gladiators in military belts.
Pecunia non olet

As I see you are more familiar with the mosaics/pictures/statues then I am. But I do believe that none of the gladiators who had bigger ocrea than the legionary style (e.g. Thracian, Secutor) wore cingulum. If they would the cingulum would slip under the ocrea and at the next step the fighter would not be able to move forward.
It just does not work. I tried :roll: and I felt. :lol:

Some others could use it if they had no ocrea (e.g. retiarius) but it is just theoretical.
Collegium Gladiatorium Hungary
aka Gus ztav Gar as
#8 ... 00061.html

Take a look at the rear view of this one.
Conal Moran

Do or do not, there is no try!
Hi Conal,

thanks for the interesting picture! Looks a lot like a soldier's cingulum indeed. Judging by the helmet, I would say that this is not 1st but rather 2nd century at least, btw.

This i not the only depiction of a gladiator with straps attached to his belt that I am aware of, see e.g. the relief of a provocator I posted here:

I have noticed such straps depicted on mosaics well and IIRC they all seem to be attached to the back of the belt, not the front. Not quite sure, but I think those are all from later (i.e. 2nd century onwards) depictions.
Salve Martin,

Do you mean the picture titled "Provocator1.jpg". Wouldn't those long things indeed look like very long pteryges though I've never seen them that long. I guess they would be hindering when fighting because they bang always against your legs and there would be danger that they get tangled with your weapons. Either it's just made that way by the artist so show this detail of the gladiator's gear which is normally hidden behind his scutum or they were really that long. Strange indeed... :? ?:

These guys on a mosaic from Kos seem to have long straps ... maybe it became a style thing ?
Conal Moran

Do or do not, there is no try!
@ Svenja: yes, that's the one I meant. I wouldn't be surprised if the real thing was not *that* long, because it might actually hinder the fighter as you said. More like the Kos mosaic pointed out by Conal

@Conal: that's one of the mosaics I meant (nd topic I search for but didn't find :-P P ), yes! And those two provocators both show such straps dangling down from what I take is the back of their belt. Not as long as the other one I mentioned above, only comes down to about the knee.

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