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Late Roman belt
#61
Quote: I don’t think we argued against it’s use in battle either,

I did.
I think that the majority of depictions of soldiers in armour for the late imperial period show them with no other belt than the one from which their sword is suspended.

Of course, the only way to prove it would be to create a database of all such images for comparison.
"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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#62
Quote:Of course, the only way to prove it would be to create a database of all such images for comparison

Now there's a project for you in the long winter months Matt Wink

Well I think we can all agree that the belt was a status symbol and much valued by its owner.

As to if it was worn on the battlefield......I am swayed by Matt's argument but not yet fully convinced. The evidence presented by way of statue, fresco, mosaic and funereal sculpture can be interpreted in a myriad of ways as we've proved in this discussion both for and against. The archaeology wouldn't prove incontrovertible evidence one way or the other unless you found a fallen warrior in situ on the battlefield in his armour with or without his broad blingy belt!(We wish unfortunately Dura doesn't happen every day).

Personally I've found a broad belt does alleviate and better distribute the weight of the armour but that's just my experience. Perhaps the circumstantial evidence is pointing us in the direction of some did and others didn't e.g. it was a matter of personal choice?

I do look forward to further discussion on the matter and being further convinced of Matt's interesting and challenging hypothesis!
Marc Byrne
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#63
Quote:Personally I've found a broad belt does alleviate and better distribute the weight of the armour but that's just my experience. Perhaps the circumstantial evidence is pointing us in the direction of some did and others didn't e.g. it was a matter of personal choice?

Better than just a sword belt?

Maybe the choice to wear one over armour was, again, linked to status/display of wealth. After all, you'd need two different belts, the one to wear over your armour and subarmalis being a few inches longer than the one you'd wear over a tunic?

None of the ones which Robert put up as evidence of their use over armour seem to have stuff dangling from them though. I wonder if ANY depictions of wide belts do.
"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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#64
Quote:Now there's a project for you in the long winter months Matt Wink

Most of my winter months will be spent making new kit for you.
"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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#65
Quote:Maybe the choice to wear one over armour was, again, linked to status/display of wealth. After all, you'd need two different belts, the one to wear over your armour and subarmalis being a few inches longer than the one you'd wear over a tunic?
If I would wear a hamata, I wouldn't use a baldric, which I find more cumbersome. The wide belt will support the spatha very well. Only when I wear the squamata, the belt will eventually slide down, so a baldric is needed. As the balteus is evidently the mark of the soldier, I have no dout that it's worn under the armour when we don't see it - it's that important.

Quote:None of the ones which Robert put up as evidence of their use over armour seem to have stuff dangling from them though. I wonder if ANY depictions of wide belts do.
Actually, I only use the rosettes because I was told years ago that's what they were used for. But my purse, my big knife and my bag are suspended in a different way, not from the rosettes - I hate dangling bits. :wink: So maybe the rosettes are for decoration only? Do we even know of rosettes used in earlier or later belt sets? We know of stiffeners, even propellor ones, but they're practical - rosettes aren't? Same with the belt plates, which we really don't know where to put exactly - or why. Purely decorative. If I were an archaeologist I'd say it was a sign of religion. :mrgreen:
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#66
Quote:Actually, I only use the rosettes because I was told years ago that's what they were used for. But my purse, my big knife and my bag are suspended in a different way, not from the rosettes - I hate dangling bits. :wink: So maybe the rosettes are for decoration only? Do we even know of rosettes used in earlier or later belt sets? We know of stiffeners, even propellor ones, but they're practical - rosettes aren't? Same with the belt plates, which we really don't know where to put exactly - or why. Purely decorative. If I were an archaeologist I'd say it was a sign of religion. :mrgreen:

Just reading through the SC Hawkes 'Soldiers and Settlers in Britain' and her description of the grave that the Dorchester belt set came from.
The plate stiffeners were found down in the ribs where you might expect them to be if the belt was being worn, but the buckle was up on the shoulder and the 'disc attachments' (or rosettes) were on the thighs....which is odd.

There's a nice one from Croydon which seems to double up as a stiffener.


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"Medicus" Matt Bunker

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#67
Quote:
Marc Byrne post=295509 Wrote:Personally I've found a broad belt does alleviate and better distribute the weight of the armour but that's just my experience. Perhaps the circumstantial evidence is pointing us in the direction of some did and others didn't e.g. it was a matter of personal choice?

Better than just a sword belt?

Maybe the choice to wear one over armour was, again, linked to status/display of wealth. After all, you'd need two different belts, the one to wear over your armour and subarmalis being a few inches longer than the one you'd wear over a tunic?

None of the ones which Robert put up as evidence of their use over armour seem to have stuff dangling from them though. I wonder if ANY depictions of wide belts do.

All valid observations which I cannot disagree with, maybe I'm becoming a convert!

ps does that mean I get a discount on my order :lol:
Marc Byrne
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#68
"Anything that gets us questioning accepted practice and going back to appropriate sources can only be a good thing. It's what seperates us from the LARPers "

Absolutely! This thread had me going to the British Museum today and looking at early medieval drawings of soldiers in mail. He is right- many/ most don't have a waist belt. I've clearly been misinforming the public for years about redistributing the weight of mail using a waist belt...... :oops:
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#69
Quote: After all, you'd need two different belts, the one to wear over your armour and subarmalis being a few inches longer than the one you'd wear over a tunic?

Isn't that why belts have more than one hole? :?
--------
Ross

[url="http://galeforcearmoury.blogspot.com"] Working on a segmentata.[/url]
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#70
Yet they did in early Roman periods, which is where this all comes from to begin with, so your not rally at fault there.
What is interesting is the free hanging mail theory!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
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#71
Quote:

Absolutely! This thread had me going to the British Museum today and looking at early medieval drawings of soldiers in mail. He is right- many/ most don't have a waist belt. I've clearly been misinforming the public for years about redistributing the weight of mail using a waist belt...... :oops:

Yet they did in early Roman periods, which is where this all comes from to begin with, so you're not rally at fault there.
What is interesting is the free hanging mail theory!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#72
"Of course, the only way to prove it would be to create a database of all such images"

As it happens, this is underway with the Last Statues of Antiquity project.http://www.ocla.ox.ac.uk/statues/index.shtml

"The aim of the ‘Last Statues’ project is to document and examine the remarkable changes in the way statues were used in Late Antiquity, in the context of contemporary historical and cultural developments. Changes in the statue-habit indeed provide a very effective way of charting and envisaging the broader transformations that created first ‘Late Antiquity’, and eventually the ‘End of Antiquity’ itself.
The project-team will collect all the evidence, empire-wide, for the erection of new statues, between about 280 and 650 AD: statue-bases with inscriptions (which provide most of the data); fragmentary and whole statues themselves; and scattered references to new statues in historical and literary texts. This systematic work of collection has never been done before....The project-team will eventually produce a study of ‘The Last Statues of Antiquity’, in book form. This will be supported by an illustrated and searchable on-line catalogue, freely available, of all the data for late antique statuary".

The online database which aims to have ALL Late Roman statues in it- searchable, online and free- was due to completed by Christmas when I talked to one of the contributors a month or so ago.



So Matt can carry on working up scabbards, swords and asorted belt parts rather than building a database....
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aka Paul B, moderator
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#73
Only statues though...still need to look at other iconography.
"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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#74
Quote:
I post=295521 Wrote:After all, you'd need two different belts, the one to wear over your armour and subarmalis being a few inches longer than the one you'd wear over a tunic?

Isn't that why belts have more than one hole? :?

With the wide, plated belt sets you don't have as much leeway.
Of course you can make the narrow strap that passes through the buckle as long as you like but you end up with a gap between the plates on the two wide ends, which I'm sure wasn't the idea.
"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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#75
Quote:Isn't that why belts have more than one hole?
Quote:With the wide, plated belt sets you don't have as much leeway.
Of course you can make the narrow strap that passes through the buckle as long as you like but you end up with a gap between the plates on the two wide ends, which I'm sure wasn't the idea.
Not necessarily. The buckle (on the right side of the belt) is placed on the end, but the left side is about 20 cm longer and passes under the right side, so that no matter what the belt is fastened over (or how fat I grow), there is always leather behind the buckle and the strap, to avoid that gap (image below). Actually, the problem with these large decorated end plates is not getting a bigger waist size, it's growing slimmer. If you don't have a narrow strap or even no 'gap' to begin with, it will become impossible to fasten te belt - without shortening it in another place, of course.
[attachment=1660]2011_06_2011-09-08.jpg[/attachment]


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Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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