A baldric was a broad belt that was not worn around the waist. Instead, it was strapped over the shoulder; it extended diagonally across the chest, usually from the right shoulder to the left hip. Baldrics were essential attire for soldiers or anyone else who carried swords, which in the seventeenth century was nearly every gentleman. Baldrics were worn on top of the doublet, but usually under any jacket or cloak. They were the equivalent of a gun's holster, in that they featured an attachment which held the sword in place at the wearer's hip.
Baldrics date back to the time of the Roman Empire (27 b.c.e.–476 c.e.) and were standard gear for most European armies from the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries. A practical baldric was made of leather, but those owned by wealthier gentlemen in the seventeenth century were often decorated with jewelry or featured gold trimming. Men might also wear decorations on baldrics to indicate membership in a military unit. When the baldric was worn without a sword it was generally called a sash.
Across the centuries, baldrics made of cloth were worn by civilians and used to carry bags. They also were worn by members of marching bands, whose instruments were attached to them as they walked in parades. Baldrics have also been used for ceremonial purposes. For example, the drum major of the United States Military Academy band wears a special baldric that is lined with red trimming and features a crossed drumsticks logo, reflecting the fact that the first American soldier-musicians were drummers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Cohen, Richard A. By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions. New York: Random House, 2002.
Oakeshott, R. Ewart. A Knight and His Weapons. 2nd ed. Chester Springs, PA: Dufour Editions, 1997.
"Baldric." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 16, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/baldric
"Baldric." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved November 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/baldric
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.
"baldric." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 16, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/baldric
"baldric." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved November 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/baldric