Raymond's Quiet Press

Frankish and Germanic belt buckles and plates

The Franks and Germans often would have buckles with both a buckle and a plate that would fasten the belt on the center of the waist.  This type of belt does not allow for much adjustment in size and would need to be adjusted every time you gained or lost weight.


Medieval people's weight probably did not increase and decrease as much as our modern weight tends to change.  The diet during the middle ages was not as robust as our modern diet and probably did not allow for as much change in weight as we experience.


So how can you wear this type of belt?  You can create an adjustment at the back of the belt to allow you to tie the belt at the back to lengthen or shorten the belt.  The belt just needs several holes to allow this to happen.  This same technique can be used on the belt plate end of the belt.  Most of our belt plates have split rivets so it can be fairly easy to move the belt plate as needed!


These belts usually had short tongues hanging through the buckle bales.


There  are also female graves with these belts being worn, most notably the Grave of Queen Arnequnde in St-Denis, France dating from 580 CE.  Aregund, Aregunda, Arnegund, Aregonda, or Arnegonda (c. 515/520–580) was a Frankish queen, the wife of Clotaire I, King of the Franks, and the mother of Chiperic I and in the grave wore the belt set probably on a baldric.

Written by Ray Moseley — May 01, 2016


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