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The Romans adopted bow fibulae from the Celts in the late Republican period - likely in the mid-1st c BC - and used them until the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
Early bow fibulae were made from one piece of bronze. The entire fibula from the catch, to the bow, to the spring, to the tip of the pin was created by shaping and bending a single piece of bronze with great expertise and skill. One-piece construction was rapidly replaced by the much easier to manufacture two-piece construction in the middle of the 1st century A.D.
Roman Bow Fibulae can be divided into several main groups based on origin construction, and the form of the bow.
Fibula - Roman bow fibula, hinged, bow is wider at the head tapering to
a point at the foot (a narrow triangle), plain or with molded or
incised decoration in low relief.
Alesia Fibula with Perforated Bow - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, bow is divided lengthwise with a gap in the center.
Alesia Fibule with Segmented (H-shaped) Bow - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, the bow is not triangular, it has an H or an I-beam shape.
Alesia Fibule with Roundel/Cup on Bow - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, flat rectangular bow with a concave rondel or cup in the middle of the bow (rare).
Alesia Fibule with Oval Foot- Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, foot in the form of a wide oval (rare).
Alesia Fibule with Bow with Pair of Perforated Ovals - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, wide bow with two large oval perforations (rare).
Alesia Fibula with Small Narrow Bow - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, small narrow bow
Alesia Fibula with Low-Arch Bow with Square Section - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, with a low-arched bow with square section
Alesia Fibula with Simple Round-Section Bow - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, with simple round section bow
Aucissa Fibula - Roman bow fibula, hinged, plate at the head, flat ribbon bow.
Bagendon Fibula - Roman bow fibula, Aucissa fibula sub-type with knobs on the sides of the bow.
Two-Pin Aucissa Fibula - Roman bow fibula, Aucissa fibula sub-type with two pins, one on each side of the bow.
Wolf Fibula - Roman bow fibula, Aucissa fibula sub-type, the foot is decorated with the appearance of a wolf's head.
Dacian Molded Fibula - Roman bow fibula, Aucissa fibula sub-type, ridges on the bow.
Hrusica Fibula - Roman bow fibula, Aucissa fibula sub-type, knobs on each side of the head, and at the end of the foot (similar crossbow fibula knobs, but ignore the knobs and it is clearly an Aucissa type).
Dolphin Fibulae (Gallo-British)
Hod Hill Fibulae
Kraftig Profilierte (Highly Profiled) Fibulae
La Tene Derivative Fibulae
Other Types of Roman Bow Fibulae
Pincer Fibulae (Zangenfibel)
Dates:c. AD 175 - 200/250.
Distribution:Origin in north Italy.Found in small numbers throughout Empire.
Notes:Very similar fibulae were also in 4th c BC Greece.