Antiquities > Fibulae and Clothing Items

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Anyone have a suggestion for a nice beginners guide to metal (and non-metal) Roman antiquities of the 1st century?
Does such a book exist?


You might like Alex Malloys' "Artifacts of Ancient Civilizations". It shows artifacts from all different periods: egyptian, holyland, greek, roman, pre-columbian and other periods. The prices given in the book are outdated since it was published in 1997 but I think it is a great beginners book and can be found very cheap!

Hope that helps,

Eric - thank you!

Here is a list of books related to fibulae (brooches/cloak pins).  I took the list which I had originally posted with the fibulae article I wrote for Wikipedia and annotated it for FORVM users.  The comments in square brackets are my own personal opinions on the books.

I have a few more books on fibulae which I will try to add soon and I will also try to gather a list of books related to other antiquities.

Perhaps the moderator would consider creating a books/references/bibliography sticky for the antiquities section.


Annotated Bibliography: Fibulae/Brooches

Beck, Heinrich, et al. Fibel und Fibeltracht. (Excerpt from the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde.) Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 2000.
[In German, a history of fibulae of the Germanic peoples.  Little info on Roman era fibula but interesting for post-Roman Germanic fibulae.]

Binding, Ulrike. Band 16: Studien zu den figürlichen Fibeln der Frühlatenzeit. Rudolf Habelt, Bonn, 1993.
[In German. Very detailed study of La tene (pre-Roman) fibulae in animal form or with animal features.]

Blinkenberg, Chr. [lindiaka V] Fibules grecques et orientales. Bianco Lunos Bogtrykkeri, Kobenhavn, 1926.
[In French.  Excellent study of fibulae from Greece and Asia Minor from their origins in the Mycanaean era to the end of the archaic Greek era.  Very hard to find.]

Bohme, Astrid. Die Fibeln der Kastelle Saalburg und Zugmantel in Saalburg Jahrbuch, XXIX, 1973.
[In German.  Roman era fibulae found at the Roman forts of Saalburg and Zugmantel in southern Germany.  These forts were in use from circa 90-260AD.]

Fauduet, Isabelle. Fibules preromaines, romaines, et merovingiennes du musee du Louvre. Presses de l'ecole normale superieure, Paris, 1999.
[In French.  Study of the fibulae in the Louvre’s collection from middle La Tene to merovingian era.]

Gergova, Diana. Früh- und ältereisenzeitliche Fibeln in Bulgarien. C.H. Beck, Munchen, 1987.
[In German.  Typology of late bronze and early iron age fibulae found in Bulgaria.  Does not cover La Tene or Roman era.]

Glogovic, Dunja. Fibeln im kroatischen Küstengebiet. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 2003. 
[In German.  Typology of late bronze and early iron age fibulae found in Croatia.  Does not cover La Tene or Roman era.]

Hattatt, Richard. A Visual catalogue of Richard Hattatt's Ancient Brooches. Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2000.
[In English.  The only commonly available English language book on fibulae.  Good for basic identification and rough dating only.]

Jobst, Werner. Die römischen Fibeln aus Lauriacum. Wimmer, Linz, 1975. 
[In German.  Roman era fibulae found at the Roman fort of Lauriacum, at modern Enns in Upper Austria.  This fort was in use during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.]

MacGregor, Arthur. Ashmolean Museum Oxford: A Summary catalogue of the Continental Archaeological Collections. BAR 674, Oxford, 1997.
[In English.  Fibulae and many other small finds from Continental Europe in the Ashmolean collection.  Focussed on post-Roman “Dark Ages” material.  Divided by country of origin and not by item type.]

Mills, Nigel. Celtic and Roman Artefacts. Buxton Press, Derbyshire, 2000.
[In English.  Part of the author’s series of books by and for English metal detectorists.  Covers La Tene and Roman era fibulae as well a many other types of small finds.  Very well illustrated in colour.  Good into to many common types of antiquities.]

Smith, R.A. British Museum Guide to Early Iron Age Antiquities: 1925. Anglia Publishing, Ipswich, 1994.
[In English.  Guide to European pre-Roman small finds, including fibulae, in the British Museum.  Reprint.]

Soupault, Vanessa. Les elements metalliques du costume masculin dans les provinces romaines de la mer Noire. IIIe-IVe s. ap. J.-C. BAR 1167, Archaeopress, Oxford, 2003.
[In French.  Study and typology of late Roman (3rd-4th centuries AD) fibulae and buckles from the Eastern Balkans and Black Sea region.  Best study of the famous late-Roman “crossbow” or zweikopf fibula currently available.]

More annotated bibliography - fibulae and other minor antiquities.  Again all comments and opinions are mine.

Bayle, Justine and Sarnia Butcher.  Roman Brooches in Britain: A Technological and Typological Study based on the Richborough Collection.  2004
[In English.  Huge study of metallurgy, manufacture and typology of Roman era fibulae from southern Ebgland.]

Bishop, M.C. and J.C.N. Coulston.  Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic wars to the Fall of Rome.  2nd edition.  Oxbow, 2006.
[In English.  Excellent and well illustrated guide to armour, weapons, harness and belt fittings.  Organized by era and not type of item.]

British Museum.  Guide to Anglo-Saxon Antiquities.  1923.
[In English.]

Cambodunumforschungen V.  Mathilde Schleiermachen.  Die Romischen Fibeln von Kempten-Cambodunum.  Christof Flugel.  Die Romischen Bronzegefasse von Kempten-Cambodunum.  Im verlag Michael Lassleben Kallmunz, 1993.
[In German.  Really two books in one, both about finds from the Roman fort at Cambodunum, modern Kempten in southern Bavaria, which was settled circa 15 BC and destroyed by the Alemanni in the 3rd century AD (though another nearby fort was occupied until much later).   Book one covers Roman era fibulae.  Book two covers bronze pots, dishes, handles, bells and lamps.]

Clark, John ed.  The Medieval Horse and its Equipment.  Museum of London.  Boydell, 2004.
[In English.  Catalogue of bits, harness, horseshoes, spurs and combs circa 1150-1450 AD.]

Davidson, Gladys R.  Corinth XII: The Minor Objects.  The American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  Princeton, 1952.
[In English.  Huge catalogue of small finds from Hellenistic to Byzantine era including terra cota and metal figurines, metal dishes and furniture fittings, buttons, buckles, gems, stamps, etc.]

Egan Geoff and Frances Pritchard.  Dress Accessories: 1150-1450 AD.  Museum of London.  Boydell, 2002.
[ In English.  Large catalogue of finds including buckles, strap ends, mounts, brooches, buttons, pins, beads, rings and combs.]

Feugere, Michel.  Weapons of the Romans.  Tempus, 2002.
[In English.  Translation from author’s earlier French work.  Well illustrated.  Covers armour and harness finds too.]

Gugl, Christian.  Die romischen Fibeln aus Virunum.  Klagenfurt, 1995. 
[In German. Roman era fibulae found at the Roman fort of Virunum, at modern Maria Saal near Klagenfurt in southern Austria. This continuously inhabited site was capital of Roman Noricum in the 1st century AD.]

Shopland, Norena.  Archaeological Finds: A Guide to Identification.  Tempus, 2005.
[In English.  Great guide.  Covers prehistoric to 18th century finds.  Focussed on UK but of value for much wider area.  Includes pottery, glass, cutlery, axes, shoes, fibulae/brooches, pins, combs, dice, keys, pipes, thimbles, horseshoes, etc.]

Stephenson, I.P.  Romano-Byzantine Infantry Equipment.  Tempus, 2006
[In English.  Intro to armour, weapons and artillery-related finds of late Roman and early Byzantine era.]



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