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Alternative forms[edit]


The term possibly derives from the word for belt in Etruscan.



balteus m (genitive balteī); second declension

  1. A belt, girdle
    1. A sub-cinctorium, a papal garment.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the Old Testament, Exodus 39:29: A Jewish priest wore a balteus girdle: 3 or 4 fingers in breadth and (according to Rabbinic tradition) 32 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.
  • A balteus (sword belt) was worn by the Roman legionary.


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative balteus balteī
genitive balteī balteōrum
dative balteō balteīs
accusative balteum balteōs
ablative balteō balteīs
vocative baltee balteī



  • balteus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • balteus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “balteus”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • balteus” in Félix Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette (1934)
  • balteus in The Perseus Project (1999) Perseus Encyclopedia[1]
  • balteus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • balteus in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin