from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman antiq., a belt: either a girdle, or a baldric worn over the shoulder to support a sword, shield, or quiver.
- n. In architecture: A band perpendicular to the axis in the lateral part of the volute of an Ionic pulvinated capital.
- n. One of the passages dividing the auditorium of ancient Roman theaters and amphitheaters horizontally into upper and lower zones, and affording access to the different cunei, or wedge-shaped divisions of the auditorium, without disturbing persons occupying seats. Such a passage had usually the form of a wide step.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The girdle (balteus) was 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 (Ex., xxxix, 38).
A baldric (remotely from Lat. balteus, a girdle) was an ornamental belt passing over one shoulder and round the other side, and having the sword suspended from it.
***** balteus en gemmis, en illita porticus auro certatim radiant; nec non, ubi finis arenae proxima marmoreo praebet spectacula muro, sternitur adiunctis ebur admirabile truncis et coit in rotulum, tereti qui lubricus axe impositos subita vertigine falleret ungues excuteretque feras. auro quoque torta refulgent retia, quae totis in arenam dentibus extant, dentibus aequatis: et erat (mihi crede, Lycota, si qua fides) nostro dens longior omnis aratro.
«ballista, - ae», f. _ballista_, an engine for hurling missiles (p. 220) «balteus, - ī», m. _belt, sword belt_
"the dog of a Muscovite," -- and yet be the possessor of a balteus for his bow as richly jewelled as was Diana's, and a corytos in the superb style of the ancient Persians, as found represented on Persepolitan bas-reliefs.
The subcinctorium is mentioned under the name of balteus as early as the end of the tenth century in a "Sacramentarium" of this date preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris (f. lat.