The Ancient Library

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On this page: Flute – Fons or Fontus – Feast of Fools – Fordicia or Hordicia – Fornacalia – Fortuna



(2) A Roman poet, who was on familiar terms with Hadrian, and who has left a few pieces. He is probably to be identified with the African rhetorician and poet Publlus Annlus Floras, the author of a dialogue, which still survives, on the ques­tion whether Vergil is an orator or a poet.

Flute (Gk. auUs = pipe, Lat. tibia = shin-bone). This was, in antiquity, an in-

(1) PHRYGIAN DODBLE FL.DTE. (Muwo Pio Clinunt., V, tailpiece.)

strument resembling the modern clarionet, made of reed, box, bay, ivory, or bone. Its invention was ascribed to Athene (see makstas). The wind was introduced by a mouthpiece, with one or two tongues, put on at every performance. In addition to the holes at the mouth it often had holes at the sides provided with stops. Besides the single flute, a double flute was sometimes used, especially at theatrical performances, funerals, sacrifices, and festal proces­sions. This consisted of two flutes played at the same time by means of either one or of two separate mouth­pieces. The two flutes together had as many notes as the Syrinx (see syrinx). The right hand played the bass flute (tibia dextra), the left hand the treble (tibia slnistra). The two flutes were either of equal length and similar form, or unequal length and similar form, or unequal length and dissimilar form. In the Phrygian double flute, one pipe was straight, the other larger and bent at the end like a horn (see fig. 1). It is a peculiarity of Greek and Roman flutes that they were sometimes provided with a check-band covering the mouth, its opening fitted with metal. Through this opening were fixed the mouthpieces of the double flute (fig. 2). The long pipe is also an invention of the ancients.

Fons or Fontus. The Roman god of springs, son of Janus and Juturna, who had an altar in Rome on the Janlciilum. A special festival, the FonilnOlla, was held

in his honour on the 13th October, at which garlands were thrown into the springs, and laid round the wells.

Fools, Feast of. See fornacalia.

Fordlcidla or Hordlcidla. A festival cele­brated in Rome in honour of Tellus, goddess of the earth, on 15th April. (See tellus.)

Fornacalla. A Roman festival held in February in honour of Fornax, the goddess of ovens. It was said to have been founded by Numa, and may be described as a thanks­giving for the earliest enjoyment of the newly gathered corn. It was held in the Forum by the Curias, or ancient unions of kinsmen, under the superintendence of the CurlO Maxlmus, or president of the masters of the ounce. Corn was baked in ovens in the ancient fashion. All who missed the festival were called fools (stulti), as being supposed not to know which was their curia, and had to make an offering at the so-called Feast of Fools (stultOntm flrlce} on the 17th February, the day of the QulrlnOlla.

Fortnna. The goddess of good luck, wor-

(2) *FLUTI!-PLAYEB WITH MOUTHPIECE. Bronze, from Dodona (CaiapaQOs, pi. 10.)

shipped from remote antiquity in Italy. Her worship was supposed to have been introduced into Rome by king Servius Tullius, popularly believed to be her favourite and confidant. He was said to have founded her oldest sanctuaries, as, for instance, that of Fors Fortuna, or lucky chance, on the

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