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Alesia Fibulae Group

The Alesia group of Roman bow fibulae were the first Roman hinged fibula type. In general they are affiliated with the Roman military, which used them from the mid 1st century BC to the early 1st century AD. They were replaced by the Aucissa group of fibulae.

Sub-types include:
Alesia Fibulae - 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 Fibulae 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 Fibulae 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 Fibulae with Oval Foot- Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, foot in the form of a wide oval (rare).
Alesia Fibulae with Bow with Pair of Perforated Ovals - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, wide bow with two large oval perforations (rare).
Alesia Fibulae with Small Narrow Bow - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, small narrow bow
Alesia Fibulae with Low-Arch Bow with Square Section - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, with a low-arched bow with square section
Alesia Fibulae with Simple Round-Section Bow - Roman bow fibula, Alesia fibula sub type, with simple round section bow


Regular Alesia Fibulae

Typology: Demetz I

Dates: c. 70/60 - 20/10 BC

Distribution: Origin in NE Italy (possibly Aquileia). Found in Gaul and the Balkans.

Notes: The bow is in the form of a narrow triangle, wide at the head tapering to a point at the foot. Some are plain while others have molded or incised decoration in low relief.

Perforated Bow Alesia Fibulae

Typology: Garbsch A 242.4

Dates: c. 30/20 BC - AD 150, flourished AD 40 - 80/90.

Distribution: Raetian and Danubian Limes

Image: A perforated Alesia fibula. The even arch of the bow is clear as is the perforation. Part of the catch at the foot has broken off. (SC Collection)

Image: This top view of the same fibula shows the evenly tapering bow. The chevron perforation and converging line decoration emphasizes the tapering. (SC Collection)

Alesia Fibulae with Segmented (or H-shaped) Bow

Typology: Demetz IIa; Feugere 21b1; Gustin I2

Dates: c. 60/50 - 10/1 BC

Distribution: Origin in NE Italy. Common in southern Gaul and the eastern Alps

Notes: The bow is not triangular in form and does not taper evenly. Instead, it begins with a wide section, then narrows at right angles, and then has another wide section above the foot. This gives the over-all form of a letter H or an I-beam.

Image: The I-beam or H shape of the bow can be seen in this top view. The head of this example looks more like an Aucissa fibula. (SC Collection)

Alesia Fibulae with Roundel/Cup on Bow

Typology: Demetz IIb; Gustin II6

Distribution: Origin in NE Italy (possibly Aquileia).

Notes: This rare type has a flat rectangular bow with a concave rondel or cup in the middle of the bow.

Alesia Fibulae with Oval Foot

Typology: Demetz IIc; Gustin I3

Dates: c. 40 - 1 BC

Notes: This rare type has a foot in the form of a wide oval.

Alesia Fibulae with Bow with Pair of Perforated Ovals

Typology: Demetz IId; Gustin II7

Dates: c. 40 - 1 BC

Notes: This rare type has a wide bow two large oval perforations.

Alesia Fibulae with Small Narrow Bow

Typology: A 242.3

Dates: c. AD 40 - 80/90, alternately 20 BC - AD 50

Distribution: Pannonia and Dalmatia

Alesia Fibulae with Low-Arch Bow with Square Section

Typology: Garbsch A 242.6

Dates: c. AD 50 - 130

Distribution: Western Empire

Alesia Fibulae with Simple Round-Section Bow

Dates: c. AD 75 - 140

Distribution: Dalmatia, northern Italy



References

Demetz, S. Fibeln der Spätlatène- und frühen römischen Kaiserzeit in den Alpenländern. (Rahden, 1999).
Garbsch, J. "Die norisch-pannonische Frauentracht im 1. und 2. Jahrhundert" in MBV 11 (Munich, 1965).
Feugere, M. Les fibules en Gaule meridionale de la conquite a la fin du Ve sicle apres J.-C. (Paris, 1985).
Gustin, M. "Les fibules du type d' Alésia et leurs variantes" in Duval, A. (ed.), Les Alpes a l'Age de fer, RAN Suppl. 22, Paris (CNRS), 1991.
Van Buchem, H. De Fibulae Van Nijmegen. (Nijmegen, 1941). PDF