Crossbow Fibula in Bronze
Crossbow Fibula came in use during the 3rd c. A.D., one of the specimens derives from the tomb of the Merovingian King Childeric, who was buried at the end of the 5th century. It was the classic fibula of the late-Roman era, and in fact the best known of all fibula types. The crossbow fibula consists of a highly arched semi-circular bow, usually of squarish cross-section, and a long flat foot. The fibula has a wide transverse bar (or arms) at the head containing the pin-hinge. Crossbow fibulae usually have three round or onion-shaped knobs, one of the reasons why they are also called Onion knob figula: one at the head and one at each end of the transverse bar.
The Crossbow or Onion knob fibula is the only provincial Roman bow fibula and was worn by soldiers and officials as a badge. Probably, size and material are also subject to the military rank of the wearer. These figulae from precious metals were awarded, for example, by the emperor as a badge of honor.
The first crossbow fibulae, from the early 3rd century AD, has short, thin arms, no knobs, a long bow and a short foot. The later crossbow fibulae have been divided into groups: Type I, dating to the 3rd and 4th centuries, has small, simple knobs and a foot that is shorter than the bow. Type II, dating to the 4th century, has larger knobs and a foot that is approximately the same length as the bow. Type III, also dating to the 4th century, has a foot that is longer than the bow with several variants based on the decoration of the foot: dotted circles, chevrons, or curlicues.
Another variant, dating to the 4th and 5th centuries, the Bugelkopf type, has no transverse bar, or arms at all but retains the round knob at the head.
- Real bronze casting
- Length 9cm
The massive replica of the Crossbow fibula consists of real bronze and has a stable iron needle, which makes them fit for every day use as a brooch and fastener for clothing items.
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