[Tidbits] Crossbow Fibula

Imagine yourself in an ancient army. You’re a Barbarian. Uneducated.
Primitive. Reading and writing are out of the question. As to
counting. you’ve only been able to count to three. You’re on a march.
You have to keep cadence with your troop’s marching rhythms while
keeping a 4/4 beat. How? Simple. You sing the Barbarian Marching
Society for Creative Anachronism)

And now time passes. The army and the world is more “au courant”.
Progress nuzzles its way into the future. It is rumored that soldiers
are now able to count to four. Hup… two. three… four. Hup…
Clearly the heavens are showering miracles upon the Earth’s populace.
The year is A. D. 286-306 or so. The Safety Pin has not yet been
invented. But its predecessor has made its way into the Roman

Long heavy woolen cloaks are worn by all. And in lieu of a safety pin
to hold it closed against the biting winds. they used Crossbow
Fibulas. They were quite often made of bronze. However and of course.
some things remained as static and as ancient as the setting sun.
Among them … elitism. My chariot is a four-wheeled Coupe de
Ville… drawn by mighty white steeds. What’s yours. a two-wheeled
hatch-back drawn by a couple of poor withered asses? Hah! Peon.

And so it was with the military officers of the day. Any
self-respecting Roman elitist would rather be dead than seen with a
bronze Crossbow Fibula. Silver for the lesser military. Gold for the
upper crust. The system has remained the same over the eons. You all
know it. Stripes for the lesser. Stars for the upper. Today it’s a
Four Star General. Back then it was a pure gold Crossbow Fibula.

They were made at the imperial workshop and presented with all the
rites and pomp befitting an officer of high rank. And now we present
this golden Crossbow Fibula to a brave officer who has shown himself
to the worthy of belonging to the Royal Order of Regal Righteous
Romans. Would Markasitus Benjyhoohah please step forward.

And the Hoohah Soldier. as he would thenceforth be known. received
his golden Crossbow Fibula and wore it with fierce pride as he strode
off into the Roman sunset… his Fibula glinting back the sun’s rays.
blinding his opponents. thereby assuring him of great victories.

And here is the best part as regards this golden Crossbow Fibula. I
have one to show you. Yes I do. A most magnificent specimen. All gold
and shiny and of the highest elitist quality. guaranteed to elevate
snob-appeal to an art form for any and all “My perfume smells better
that your perfume” types. You wanna see?

Then go. Now. Look. You know where.
www.tyler-adam.com. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits.
Click. And Crossbow Fibula away.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

Nice historical scenario, but a pure gold fibula? on a heavy woollen
cloak? Never.

It needs to be practical as well as decorative.

Probably had a bronze one with a tin of Brasso in his kit bag to
keep it shiny.

Looks much the same.

Thanks so much Benjamin, for the extra email. I finally had to call
the Apple people, because despite everything I know and did, nothing
helped. After they worked on my set for over an hour, everything
finally fell into place. Now I can look at your crossbow fibula.
Thanks for your interest.



Great story and great writing. I don’t know anyone who owns a fibulae
and so I googled “fibulae” and learned they were in use by the Greeks
in 7th century B. C. Egyptian inscriptions described gold dating back
to 2600 B. C. In Mesopotamia (now Iraq) gold was used in jewelry
about 2600 B. C.

Thanks. MA

Fibulae is one of those terms that gets used somewhat generically
(by the archeological community) for Roman-era and earlier; after
that they generally use the term “brooch”.

There are a lot of surviving examples of these things. The gold ones
probably aren’t “pure” high caret gold, but are more likely in a
lower, more durable, caret range. They rarely do a metallurgical
analysis of the alloys of extant jewelry items, but a few have been
done out of some collections.

Ron Charlotte
Gainesville, FL