A bronze belt applique for the Roman military belt called a Cingulum. This piece would have been part of a series that would have adorned the belt around the waist. A vase shaped section transverses the attachment and meets in the center with two raised ridges and a base on either end. There remains some remnants of silvering on the most preserved side.
Four bronze rivets still remain at two at each end where it would have attached to the leather belt. The rivets have small washers on each of the ends on the reverse to help hold them in place. The remnants of a thin bronze sheet that would have covered the back of the attachment is still visible. This bronze piece most likely contrasted the rest of the attachments making a nice contrast between the design in the center and the back drop of the bronze sheet.
The piece is covered in heavy wet environment type encrustations, however the overall design and details are still evidence.
The belt was an important part of the Roman Legionary's equipment and during the 1st and 2nd Century they were highly designed and works of art unto their own. (1)(2)(3)(4)
-painting by John Warry
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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 175 & 177 2002.
(2) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; Greece and Rome at War, page 232 1998.
(3) References to similar items: SIMKINS, Michael & EMBLETON, Ron; The Roman Army from Caesar to Trajan, page 20 2000.
(4) Reference to similar items: BISHOP, M.C & COULSTON, J.C.N; Roman Military Equipment "From the Punic wars to the Fall of Rome", page 108 & 145 2006.
**Note on background. A Fresco from the ancient Roman City of Pompeii. The interior walls of a wealthy Roman's Estate 79AD. Picture taken July 2005.