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I understand that the Early-Mid Imperial Legionary used a belt (balteus militare) to secure his gladius hanging from the baldric, and to hold the pugio, should he have one, but what purpose did the hanging parts of the belt do (I want to call these leather straps decorated with metals cingululum, but I am not sure if that is correct, please inform me). What purpose did these hanging strips do?

I recently bought a belt for reenactment, and I can see little purpose for them, as they bounce of my legs, and clank off each other and make noise. Someone suggested in another thread that the balteus often was made of expensive metals (such as the Herculaneum soldier's belt, which was made of silver I believe), with the purpose being a simple and elegant way to keep your wealth secure, which you could cash in at the end of your service.

Still, the last thing I would want to wear on top of 90lbs of equipment and armor is a heavy belt dangling at my legs. Theories or answers anyone?
I assume everyone knows what I am talking about when I speak of the hanging leather straps, but if not, here is a picture http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?...ed+Balteus
Well, you mean the 'apron' as it is called in English. An article on the apron by Mike Bishop can be found here http://www.scribd.com/doc/20524593/The-e...rial-apron

I'm in the impression it originated from a split up of the end on your belt, where the middle on will go through the buckle. This became fashion and stayed as such for about 100 years or so.

On the sound I would say that can also be on purpose, as it can scary your opponent even before you show your martial skills Wink As them being to heavy, that's probably mostly because you own a modern replica, (maybe even from India) which is too thick and thus too heavy.
Just imagine the intimidation from thr sound when you have 4-5 thousand legionaries marching towards an enemy, prepared to do all sorts of evil things.

Its also a good way to let those around you know a legionary is among them...so make way.

It was part of Roman bling....and you will get used to it. I personally love the sound it makes. It announces my presence to all of the lesser creatures and subjugated races.
Peoples, Magnus, peoples... Wink
Not to mention it comes in very handy when you sit down wearing a tunic...
That part is true. In our modern society, showing your man parts is not as acceptable as it may have been then, and in some environments leads to arrest and worse.
Ave!

If that's the belt you bought, I'd recommend returning it. The plates may resemble a known artifact (I don't know for sure), but they are too thick and heavy. The apron studs are also hugely thick, and the straps are too long, making the apron alone weigh about 5 pounds more than it should. You can improve the whole thing by sliding the apron straps off and tossing them in the recycling pot.

Deepeeka does make 2 belts which *I* think are decent, AH6760 "Roman Belt" and AH6725 "Roman disc legionnary belt, 1cent AD". The first one does not have an apron. Both are more accurate and lighter than the belt you showed. A properly made belt does not add significantly to the weight of your kit, and won't get in your way when you walk.

As has been stated, the apron is there for bling and noise! I don't think it's quite equivalent to "wearing your wealth"--there were certainly one or two occasions when soldiers used their belts to raise money, but that's sort of like selling your car for cash. Soldiers just liked to spend money on spiffy belts!

I also think the idea of using the belt to hold the shoulder baldric in place is a modernism. It can work, but if your baldric is short enough it isn't really necessary, and there doesn't seem to be any historical basis for the practice.

Valete,

Matthew
So the hanging straps are just called "the apron"? I've heard the term before, but I was unaware that was actually the correct term to use. And I was thinking that it was just something to be flashy (though another part of me is just like "why"? lol), and I guess I was right to an extent... 5000 men "clanking" signifying the Romans were coming I suppose would cause a stir among enemy troops.

This is actually the balteus I have Matt: http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?...er+Balteus

I didn't buy it from KOA, but it is identical. When I first got it last week, I was afraid it was too light, but my Centurio informed me that light was the way to go, and I can't blame him. The leather is rather thin, as it the brass, but it is very asthetically pleasing I feel. I don't have it with me at the moment, but I'd say it weighs maybe 2 lbs, I'll weigh it when I get home.
http://www.deepeeka.com/armoury/document...rch=ah3868

That belt is made by Deepeeka. The AH # catalog number is a good clue.
Quote:This is actually the balteus I have Matt: http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?...er+Balteus

Ooog, ack, sorry, but that one's a total loss! The buckle is fine, but the plates are wrong, the apron studs are wrong, the openwork plates are wrong, and the terminals are wrong. Sorry...

"Apron" is just a convenient term, though some of us prefer "danglium". Or "fun meter"...

Matthew
Thanks Demetrius and Matt, I figured for the $60 I paid for the belt, it was bound to have flaws, but with so few balteus that we know of, I feel that what a single balteus of a 250,000 man army could be up to interpretation in this case. To me, the balteus is less of a make or break part of the costume. I know some of you disagree, and one day I would like to have a very high quality belt, but that day wont be for another few years. My centurio approved it, and if it means getting my first reenactment done this summer, I am willing to sacrifice total authenticity.

I am certainly not questioning your expertise on Roman equipment Matt, I'll be the first to admit I am but a simple novice, but I am curious, are you aware of a certain original belt, of which this belt is based off of, and fails to meet certain criteria?
Quote:Thanks Demetrius and Matt, I figured for the $60 I paid for the belt, it was bound to have flaws, but with so few balteus that we know of, I feel that what a single balteus of a 250,000 man army could be up to interpretation in this case.


Be careful...such thoughts can lead to the dark side. Seriously...there are TONS of existing belt components, from buckles and plates, to frogs and apron studs. There simply isn't a need to get creative or stretch things when it comes to something we have ample evidence of (and believe me, I'm NOT the guy who is counting stitches). A cheaper, easier alternative would/could have been using simple, plain belt plates with a simple buckle from say...Raymond's Quiet Press. Plain studs and simple apron danglies...cost would have been less than $60 and 100% accurate. There are tons of finds from Vindonissa with plain belt components.


Quote:To me, the balteus is less of a make or break part of the costume. I know some of you disagree, and one day I would like to have a very high quality belt, but that day wont be for another few years. My centurio approved it, and if it means getting my first reenactment done this summer, I am willing to sacrifice total authenticity.

It's pretty important though, it was one of the distinguishing marks of a Legionary, AND something you wear in and out of armour. If your group leader approved it, so be it, but there are better options. Don't impulse by things...do some research or ask...we'll help you out!


Quote:I am certainly not questioning your expertise on Roman equipment Matt, I'll be the first to admit I am but a simple novice, but I am curious, are you aware of a certain original belt, of which this belt is based off of, and fails to meet certain criteria?

The plates look somewhat based on ones from Vindonissa, but that is loosley based at best. The rest of it...well, I'm no expert but I haven't seen anything like them. Sorry.
Quote:And I was thinking that it was just something to be flashy (though another part of me is just like "why"? lol), .

Gladiators wore them too, often at the back. Likely, again, just for show. Some were of exaggerated length, reaching right down to the wearer's calves. They must have been really awkward to fight in. There are quite a few images showing them as long as this:

[Image: GladiatorApron1.gif]

There are also "military style" ones, again worn at the back:

[Image: CavillarguesApron.gif]

One wonders if a few soldiers might not have worn them like this too (no evidence, though).

Quite a few images of gladiators show the front of their breech-cloth pulled into a strip and weighted with a spherical object. Others have what seem to be straps. Some arena attendants wear what are obviously fabric belts tied like modern Karate belts with the ends dangling. I wonder if the military apron fashion was adopted ultimately from gladiators.
Terminology like "quite a few" and "often" lead the reader to believe that [whatever] is the norm, when it may be the exception instead. It's generally believed that the styles and equipment of gladiators stylistically mimics different ethnic group's soldiery, not the other way around.
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