The Ancient Library

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On this page: Flaminica – Flavianum Ius – Fleet – Flora – Florus



allowed to spend a night away from home: in later times, under the Empire, the Pontifex could allow him to sleep out for two nights in the year. Indeed, the Flamen Dialis, whose superior position among the flamens conferred upon him certain privileges, as the tOga prostexta, the sella curftMs, a seat in the senate, and the services of a lictor, was in proportion obliged to submit to more restrictions than the rest. He, his wife, their children, and his house on the Palatine were dedicated to this god. He must be born of a marriage celebrated by confarrlatiO, and live himself in indissoluble marriage. (See marriage.) If his wife died, he resigned his office. In the performance of his sacred functions he was assisted by his children as camilll. (See camillus.) Every day was for him a holy day, so that he never appeared without the insignia of his office, the conical hat, the thick woollen toga prcetexta woven by his wife, the sacrificial knife, and a rod to keep the people away from him. He was preceded by his lictor, and by heralds, who called on the people to stop their work, as the flamen was not permitted to look upon any labour. He was not al­lowed to cast eyes on an armed host, to mount, or even to touch, a horse, to touch a corpse, or grave, or a goat, or a dog, or raw meat, or anything unclean. He must not have near him, or behold, anything in the shape of a chain. Consequently there must be no knots, but only clasps, on his raiment; the ring on his finger was broken, and any one who came into his house with chains must instantly be loosened. If he were guilty of any carelessness in the sacrifices, or if his hat fell off his head, he had to resign. His wife; the flamlnlca, was priestess of Juno. She had, in like manner, to appear always in her insignia of office, a long woollen robe, with her hair woven with a purple fillet, and arranged in pyramidal form, her head covered with a veil and a kerchief, and carrying a sacrificial knife. On certain days she was forbidden to comb her hair. The chief business of the flamens consisted in daily sacrifices: on certain special occa­sions they acted with the Pontlftces and the Vestal Virgins. The three superior flamens offered a sacrifice to FtdSs Publica on the Capitol on the 1st October, driving there in a two-horse chariot. During the imperial period flamines of the deified emperors were added to the others.

Flamlnlca. See flamen.

Flavlanom Ins. See jurisprudence.

Fleet. See ships, warfare, and clas-siarh.

Flora. A goddess, originally Sabine, of the spring and of flowers and blossoms in general, to whom prayers were offered for the prospering of the ripe fruits of field and tree. She was also regarded as a goddess of the flower of youth and its pleasures. Her worship was said to have been intro­duced into Rome by the Sabine king Titus Tatlus, and her special priest, the Fldmln FlOralls, to have been appointed by Numa. A temple was erected to her in the Circus Ma-xlmus in 238 B.C. At the same time a theatrical festival, the Floralia, was in­stituted at the behest of the Sibylline books. At this feast the men decked themselves and their animals with flowers, especially roses; the women put aside their usual costume, and wore the gay dresses usually forbidden. The scene was one of unre­strained merriment. From 173 b.c. the festival was a standing one, and lasted six days, from April 28, the anniversary of the foundation of the temple, to May 3. For the first five days of the games, for the super­intendence of which the curule sediles were responsible, there were theatrical perfor­mances, largely consisting of the very inde­cent farces called mimes. On the last day goats, hares, and other animals were hunted in the circus. The people were regaled during the games with porridge, peas, and lentils.

Flora was in later times identified with the Greek Chlorls (see hor/e). In works of art she was represented as a blooming maiden, decked with flowers.

Floras (IfMus). (1) A Roman historian of the time of Hadrian, 117-138 a.d. He wrote, in two books, a history of the wars of Rome, from the time of the kings to the clos­ing of the temple of Janus under Augustus (25 b.c.). In the title, as we have it, the book is called an excerpt from Livy (Eplt6me de Tltl Llvll belldrum omnium annorum DCC). But this is not an adequate descrip­tion of it. Florus, it is true, has used Livy a great deal, though not exclusively, and the work is really a panegyric on the great­ness of Rome. It is the production of a rhetorician, as is shown by the tasteless and inflated language, with its poetical echoes of Vergil and Horace, and its tendency to exaggeration. Numerous gross errors tes­tify to the insufficiency of the writer's knowledge. Worthless as it is, the book was much read and quoted in the Middle

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