The Balteus, the standard belt worn by the Roman legionary, used to tuck clothing into or to hold weapons, is one of the typical ornaments of kings, dignitaries and winners. Why has this accessory become a symbol of greatness?
One more time, I’ll try to give an astronomical-astrological explanation of this symbol. The Sun, King of Gods in ancient Tradition, goes from East to West, during the day, and, like the planets, moves around the Zodiac. In fact, the Sun does not wander all over the sky but is confined to a narrow strip, dividing it in half. Stars along that strip (the ecliptic) are traditionally divided into the 12 constellations. The ecliptic plane is tilted 23.5° with respect to the plane of the celestial equator since the Earth’s spin axis is tilted 23.5° with respect to its orbit around the Sun. The name, related to “zoo,” comes because most of these constellations are named for animals–Leo the lion, Aries the ram, Scorpio the scorpion, Cancer the crab, Pisces the fish, Capricorn the goat and Taurus the bull.
The path of the Sun and Zodiacal Signs along the tilted ecliptic
The Zodiacal Belt was often depicted on handicrafts and on clothes in order to symbolize the relationship between the man wearing it and the Sun, and to link him with it. Nowadays it is still possible to see an example at Vatican Museum, in Rome: the Helios Chiaramonti.
Helios Chiaramonti – Vatican Museum – Rome
Helios, the Sun God, is wearing a Zodiacal Balteus, with the Zodiacal Signs, from the right shoulder to the left hip and represents the Sun and its bound path along the ecliptic.
The Mith of Transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries
The Mith of Achelous , the Bull God, symbol of the age of Taurus (4000 b.C. – 2000 b.C.) defeated by Hercules (the Sun) and the coming of Zeus Ammon, the Ram God (2000 b.C. – 0 C.E.).
The god of the river Achelous which was the greatest, and according to tradition, the most ancient among the rivers of Greece. He with 3000 brother-rivers is described as a son of Oceanus and Thetys (Hes. Theog. 340), or of Oceanus and Gaea, or lastly of Helios and Gaea. (Natal. Com. vii. 2.)
Achelous, the Bull God
Rising of Sun at Vernal Equinox in Taurus Constellation (4000 b.C. – 2000 b.C.)
The origin of the river Achelous is thus described by Servius (ad Virg. Georg. i. 9; Aen. viii. 300): When Achelous on one occasion had lost his daughters, the Sirens, and in his grief invoked his mother Gaea, she received him to her bosom, and on the spot where she received him, she caused the river bearing his name to gush forth. Other accounts about the origin of the river and its name are given by Stephanus of Byzantium, Strabo (x. p. 450), and Plutarch. (De Flum. 22.) Achelous the god was a competitor with Heracles in the suit for Deïaneira, and fought with him for the bride. Achelous was conquered in the contest, but as he possessed the power of assuming various forms, he metamorphosed himself first into a serpent and then into a bull. But in this form too he was conquered by Heracles, and deprived of one of his horns, which however he recovered by giving up the horn of Amalthea. (Ov. Met. ix. 8, &c.; Apollod. i. 8. § 1, ii. 7. § 5.)
Rising of Sun at Vernal Equinox in Aries Constellation (2000 b.C. – 0 C.E.)