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Original scientific paper

Cingulum Buckles from Salona

Ema Višić-Ljubić

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (151 KB) pages 161-170 downloads: 1.196* cite
APA 6th Edition
Višić-Ljubić, E. (2006). Cingulum kopče iz Salone. Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku, 99 (1), 161-170. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Višić-Ljubić, Ema. "Cingulum kopče iz Salone." Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku, vol. 99, no. 1, 2006, pp. 161-170. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Višić-Ljubić, Ema. "Cingulum kopče iz Salone." Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku 99, no. 1 (2006): 161-170.
Višić-Ljubić, E. (2006). 'Cingulum kopče iz Salone', Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku, 99(1), pp. 161-170. Available at: (Accessed 01 April 2020)
Višić-Ljubić E. Cingulum kopče iz Salone. Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku [Internet]. 2006 [cited 2020 April 01];99(1):161-170. Available from:
E. Višić-Ljubić, "Cingulum kopče iz Salone", Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku, vol.99, no. 1, pp. 161-170, 2006. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01 April 2020]

Military belt- cingulum militare, was the inseparable part of the equipment and valuable property ofRoman soldier. It consisted of wider military belt, decorated and secured with the metal rectangularplates fastened by a D-shaped buckle. This buckle type is, because of its shape, also known as apelta shaped cingulum buckle. The same as metal plates, the belt buckles were usually made of alloycopper or brass by casting or forging. Often they were tin or silver plated, and could be decorated byhammering, carving, hallmarking and inserting niello by varying diff erent plant and geometric motifs.Cingulum buckles as other parts of a military belt have mostly been found on the militarylocations from Brittania, through Germania, Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia to Maesia. They can be foundalong the borders of the Roman Empire where numerous castrums and castelli were situated nextto the fortifi ed Roman Limes, as well as in the areas within the borders as the Italian examples show(Herculaneum, Aquileia). Dalmatian fi nds also belong to this context (Salona, Tilurium, Burnum,Epidaurum).Five buckles that typologically belong to the military belt buckles of the 1st century originatefrom Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. However, Salona buckles diff er fromone another whether in mode of manufacture or in decoration, so each one represents a variant ofcingulum D-shaped buckles.Buckle that is catalogued as no. 1 (picture 1) is made of bronze plate and it is decorated by silvercoating, and by its shape it fi ts with the buckles that are known in literature as Krempenschallebuckle with accentuated edge. The next buckle catalogued under the catalogue number 2 (picture2) represents the transitive type between metal sheet buckles and completely cast ones. Castbuckle cat. no. 3 (pictures 3a, 3b) diff ers from the two previous ones in form, since the endings ofthe spindle have no spiral endings. This is the only buckle that has a lily-shaped tongue preserved.Buckle decorated with niello (cat. no. 4, picture 4) is interesting because the identical concept of thedecoration can be found on the buckle from the Hod Hill site in Britain. Buckle with cat. no. 5 (picture5) is characteristic for the kidney-shaped forms within the semi-circular frame that were formed byelongating the swirl to the inner part of the bow.These buckles could have belonged to the cingulum of active soldiers who performed civil dutiesin Salona, or to the veterans settled in the town area who carried a military belt as their privateproperty. In that situation, military belt was a clear status symbol. Although everything leads to theconclusion that Salonitan buckles were owned by soldiers, the possibility of their civil use should notbe eliminated.It is more diffi cult to defi ne a workshop that could have produced Salonitan buckles. It is a factthat similar examples appear in distant areas of the Empire and that is without doubt connected tothe great fl uctuation of the armies. Buckles with the identical concept of decoration from Salona ( 4, picture 4) and Hod Hill in Britain are interesting in this context. Another buckle comes from HodHill, which is by its form, its workmanship and decoration connected to an analogous buckle from themilitary camp Tilurium.There was a workshop in Salona, the capital of the province, which produced and treated metal.It was situated between the forum and curia and it may have produced objects for military purposethat would include metal parts of the belts. Inscriptions that state their associations such as collegiumfabrum, collegium fabrum Veneris and collegium fabrum et centonariorum, witness the existence ofthe craftsmen that worked with metal in Salona. The closeness of the military camps Tilurium andBurnum that were situated near Salona, should be taken into consideration when discussed aboutthe place where buckles found in Salona could have been produced. Workshops probably existedclose to the camps, as is the case with many military camps all over the Empire.

Salona; cingulum; cingulum buckle; hallmarking; niello; workshops; veterans

Hrčak ID: 8313



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