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Balteus is a Latin word, possibly itself from Etruscan, which means "belt", a word derived from it.
It has particularly been used as a term for:
- The girdle of a Biblical Jewish priest, three or four fingers in breadth and (according to rabbinic tradition) thirty-two ells long; it had to be embroidered after the same pattern and to be of the same colour as the curtain of the forecourt and the tabernacle of the covenant (Exodus 39:38).
- A sword belt worn by the Roman legionary
- 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.
- The belt on the celestial globe representing the sun's course and bearing the signs of the zodiac.
- The praecinctio (διάζωμα) of the ancient Roman theatre.
- In Ionic architecture, an ornamental band which encircles the pulvinus, or bolster of the capital.
- The sub-cinctorium, a papal garment.
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Peck, Harry Thurston, ed. (1898). "Balteus". Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York: Harper & Brothers.