The Ancient Library

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On this page: Fata – Fatuus – Fauces – Faunalia – Fanus – Favonius – Felicitas – Feralia – Feriae – Feronia



They were originally, in 36-30 b.c., en­graved on the marble wall of the SSgia, or officia} residence of the Pontifex ifaximus, and afterwards continued first to 12 B.C., and afterwards to 13 a.d.

Fata. See w.cerje (parc.e), nemesis, ttche, fortuna.

Fatftus. See faunus.

Fauces. See house.

Fannalla. See faunus.

Faunas. "The well-wisher" (tromfdvdre) (or perhaps " the speaker " (from fttrl)]. One of the oldest and most popular deities, who was identified with the Greek Pan on account of the similarity of their attributes. (See pan.) As a good spirit of the forest, plains, and fields, he gave fruitfulness to the cattle, and was hence called Inuus. With all this he was also a god of prophecy, called by the name of Fdtuus. He revealed the future in dreams and strange voices, com­municated to his votaries while sleeping in his precincts upon the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. She was regarded sometimes as his wife, sometimes as his daughter (see bona dba). Just as Pan was accompanied by the PUniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus. They were imagined as merry, capricious beings, and in particular as mischievous goblins who caused night-mares. In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, son of Picus, and grandson of Saturnus, father of Latmus by the nymph Marlca. After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary deity of the laud, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding. Two festivals, called Faundlla, were celebrated in his honour, one on the 13th of February, in the temple on the island in the Tiber, the other on the 5th of December. The peasants brought him rustic offerings and amused themselves with dancing.

Favonlus. See zephyrus.

Felicltas. The personification of good fortune among the Romans. She was wor­shipped in various sanctuaries in Home, her attributes being the cornucopia and the herald's staff.

Feralla. The last day of the Roman fes­tival called the Parentalla. (See manes.)

Ferlae (Latin). Holidays, dedicated to the worship of some deity. A distinction was drawn between fence prSvMa:, or holi­days observed by gentfs, families, and in-

dividuals, and ferice pubUcce, or public holidays. Public holidays were either fixed or movable, or occasional. The fixed holi­days (ferice stdtivce), were forty-five in number, and were celebrated every year on a definite day and registered accordingly in the calendar. The movable holidays (ferice conceptlvce) were also annual, but were held on changing days, and had therefore to be announced beforehand by the consuls, or in their absence by the praetor. The occasional holidays (imperatlvce} were commanded on special occasions by the authorities with the consent of the pontl-flces. Such were, for instance, the suppll-ciltlane's, a solemn service to the gods to celebrate a victory or the like. One of the principal movable festivals was the Ferice Ldtince. This was originally a celebration by the Latin race held on the Alban moun­tain in honour of Jupiter Latiaris. It was subsequently transformed by Tarquinius Superbus into a festival of the Latin League. Its most notable ceremony consisted in the sacrifice of white bulls, a portion of whose flesh was distributed to each of the cities of the league represented at the sacrifice. If any city did not receive its portion, or if any other point in the ceremonial was omitted, the whole sacrifice had to be repeated. Originally it lasted one day, but after­wards was extended to four. It was then celebrated in part on the Alban hill by the Roman consuls, in presence of all the magistrates: in part on the Roman Capitol, a race being included in the performance. It was announced by the consuls immediately after their assumption of office, nor did they leave Rome for their provinces until they had celebrated it. The date therefore depended on that of the assumption of office by the higher magistrates.

Feronla. An old Italian goddess, of Sabine origin, but also much worshipped in Etrurla. She seems originally to have been regarded in the same light as Flora, Libera, and Venus. The Greeks called her a god­dess of flowers ; on coins she is represented as a girl in the bloom of youth, with flowers in her hair. She was also worshipped as the goddess of emancipation from slavery. She had a very celebrated shrine at the foot of Mount Soracte in Etruria, where the whole neighbourhood used to bring her rich votive offerings and the firstfruits of the field. The annual festivals served as fairs, such was the crowd of people who flocked to them. The mythical king Erfllus of Praeneste was regarded as her son. He

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.