—fibular, adj./fib"yeuh leuh/, n., pl. fibulae /-lee'/, fibulas.1. Anat. the outer and thinner of the two bones of the human leg, extending from the knee to the ankle. See diag. under skeleton.2. Zool. a corresponding bone, often rudimentary or ankylosed with the tibia, of the leg or hind limb of an animal.3. a clasp or brooch, often ornamented, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.[1665-75; < NL; L fibula bolt, pin, clasp, prob. < *fivibula, equiv. to fiv(ere), early form of figere to fasten, FIX + -i- -I- + -bula suffix denoting instrument; the bone so called from its resemblance to the tongue of a clasp]
* * *▪ boneLatin“brooch”outer of two bones of the lower leg or hind limb, probably so named because the inner bone, the tibia, and the fibula together resemble an ancient brooch, or pin. In humans the head of the fibula is joined to the head of the tibia by ligaments (ligament) and does not form part of the knee. The base of the fibula forms the outer projection (malleolus) of the ankle and is joined to the tibia and to one of the ankle bones, the talus. The tibia and fibula are further joined throughout their length by an interosseous membrane between the bones. The fibula is slim and roughly four-sided; its shape varies with the strength of the attached muscles. In many mammals, such as the horse and the rabbit, the fibula is fused for part of its length with the tibia.▪ jewelrybrooch, or pin, originally used in Greek and Roman dress for fastening garments. The fibula developed in a variety of shapes, but all were based on the safety-pin principle.Greek fibulae from the 7th century BC were elaborately decorated along the long catch plate: rows of animals, such as ducks, lions, and sphinxes, might be soldered on, or a frieze of animals might be worked in relief. The fibula was in widespread use throughout the ancient world. An example from Persia from the 7th century BC has fastenings in the form of a human hand and is decorated with two lions placed head to tail. The Etruscans were fond of fibulae, some of which were very large and decorated with elaborate granulation and processions of animals done in relief. The Roman conquests spread the use of the fibula, which became the basis for more complicated brooches. By the Middle Ages the Roman safety-pin type of fibula had fallen into disuse.
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