In ancient symbology the girdle was always considered as typical of chastity and purity. In the Brahmanical initiations, the candidate was presented with the Zennar, or sacred cord, as a part of the holy garments; and Gibbon says that "at the age of puberty, or maturity, the faithful Persian was invested with a mysterious girdle; fifteen genuflections, or kneelings, were required after he put on the sacred girdle." The old Templars assumed the obligations of poverty, obedience, and chastity; and a girdle was given them, at their initiation, as a symbol of the last of the three vows. As a symbol of purity, the girdle is still used in many chivalric initiations, and may be properly considered as similar to the Masonic apron in its message.
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