In the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, fibulae (or brooches) were originally used for fastening garments. They came in a variety of shapes, but all were based on the safety pin principle. Roman conquests spread the use of the fibula, which became the basis for more complicated brooches. Fibulae are the most common artefact-type in burials and settlements throughout much of the continental Europe.
Many Roman openwork non-enamelled brooches feature traditional Celtic motifs, adapted and made more or less elaborate to suit Roman tastes. This kind of brooch was mostly produced in the central European Roman provinces, such as Germany and Pannonia (a province encompassing regions of modern-day Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina). The thin horizontal catch plate and hinged pin mechanism seen here is typical of this form.