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DIES.

sometimes with the epithet <nao0?jpj/c<k/ or f)\ta-{AavSpov) by means of which the natural day was divided into twelve equal spaces of time. (Herod, ji. 109 ; Diog. Laert. ii. 1. 3 ; Plin. H. N. ii. 6. 78 ; Suidas, s. v. >Ai>a£tyuai'5pos.) These spaces were, of course, longer or shorter according to the various seasons of the year. The name hours (&pai\ however, did not come into general use till a very late period, and the difference between natural and equinoctial hours was first observed by the Alexandrine astronomers.

During the early ages of the history of Rome, when artificial means of dividing lime were yet unknown, the natural phenomena of increasing light and darkness formed with the Romans, as with the Greeks, the standard of division, as we see from the vague expressions in Censorinus (De Die Nat. 24). Pliny states (H. N. vii. 60) that in the Twelve Tables only the rising and the setting of the sun were mentioned as the two parts into which the day was then divided, but from Censorinus (I. c.} and Gellius (xvii. 2) we learn that midday (meridies) was also mentioned. Varro (De Ling. Led. vi. 4, 5, ed. Muller ; and Isidor. Orig. v. 30 and 31) likewise distinguished three parts of the day, viz., wane, meridies, and suprema, scil. tempestas, after which no assembly could be held in the forum. The lex Plaetoria prescribed that a herald should proclaim the suprema in the comitium, that the people might know that their meeting was to be adjourned. But the division of the day most generally observed by the Romans, was that into tempus antemeridianum and pomeri-dianum, the meridies itself being only considered as a point at which the one ended and the other commenced. But as it w"as of importance that this moment should be known, an especial officer [accensus] was appointed, who proclaimed the time of midday, when from the curia he saw the sun standing between the rostra and the graeco-stasis. The division of the day into twelve equal spaces, which, here as in Greece, were shorter in winter than in summer, was adopted at the time when artificial means of measuring time were in­troduced among the Romans from Greece. This was about the year b. c. 291, when L. Papirius Cursor, before the war with Pyrrhus, brought to Rome an instrument called solarium horologium, or simply solarium. (Plaut. ap. Gellium, iii. 3. § 5 ; Plin. //. N. vii. 60.) But as the solarium had been made for a different latitude, it showed the time at Rome very incorrectly. (Plin. I. c.) Scipio Nasica, therefore, erected in b. c. 15,9 a public clepsydra, which indicated the hours of the night as well as of the day. (Censorin. c. 23.) Before the erection of a clepsydra it was cus­tomary for one of the subordinate officers of the praetor to proclaim the third, sixth, and ninth hours ; which shows that the day was, like the night, divided into four parts, each consisting of three hours. See Dissents treatise, De Partibus Noctis et Did ex Divisionibus Veterum, in his Kleine Lateinisclie und Deutsche Schriften, pp. 130, 150. Compare the article horologium.

All the days of the year were, according to dif­ferent points of view, divided by the Romans into different classes. For the purpose of the admini­stration of justice, and holding assemblies of the people, all the days were divided into dies fasti and dies nefasti.

dies fasti were the days on which the praetor

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DIES.

was allowed to administer justice in the public courts ; they derived their name from fari (fari tria verba ; do, dico, addico, Ovid, Fast. i. 45, &c. ; Varro, De Ling. Lat. vi. 29, 30. ed. Muller ; Ma-crob. Sat. i. 16). On some of the dies fasti comitia could be held, but not on all. (Cicero, pro Seoct. 15, with the note of Manutius.) Dies might be fasti in three different ways: 1. dies fasti proprie ct toti or simply dies fasti, were days on which the prae­tor used to hold his courts, and could do so at all hours. They were marked in the Roman calendar by the letter F, and their number in the course of the year was 38 (Niebuhr, Hist, of Rome, iii. p. 314) ; 2. dies proprie sed non toti fasti, or dies intercisi, chiys on which the praetor might hold his courts, but not at all hours, so that sometimes one half of such a day was fastus, while the other half was nefastus. Their number was 65 in the year, ~ and they were marked in the calendar by the signs Fipsss:fastus primo, Np = nefastus primo, En=en-dotercisus= intcrdsus, Q. Rex C. F =-quando Rex comitio fugit, or quando Rex comitiavit fas, Q. St. Df = quando stercus defertur; 3. dies n<m proprie sed casu fasti, or days which were not fasti properly speaking, but became fasti ac­cidentally ; a dies comitialis, for instance, might become fastus, if either during its whole course, or during a part of it, no comitia were held, so that it accordingly became either a dies fastus totus, or fastus ex parte. (Macrob. Sat. i. 16 ; Varro, De Ling. Lat. L c.)

dies nefasti were days on which neither courts of justice nor comitia were allowed to be held, and which were dedicated to other purposes. (Varro, I. c.} According to the ancient legends they were said to have been fixed by Numa Pom-pilius. (Liv. i. 19.) From the remarks made above it will be understood that one part of a day might be fastus while another was nefastus. (Ovid. Fast. i. 50.) The nundinae, which had originally been dies fasti for the plebeians, had been made nefasti at the time when the twelvemonths-year was in­troduced ; but in b. c. 286 they were again made fasti by a law of Q. Hortensius. (Macrob. Sat. i. 16.) The term dies nefasti, which originally had nothing to do with religion, but simply indicated days on which no courts were to be held, was in subsequent times applied to religious days in ge­neral, as dies nefasti were mostly dedicated to the worship of the gods. (Gellius, iv. 9, v. 17.)

In a religious point of view all days of the yea* were either diesfesti, or dies profesti, or dies inter­cisi. According to the definition given by Macro-bius, dies festi were dedicated to the gods, and spent with sacrifices, repasts, games, and other solemnities ; dies profesti belonged to men for the administration of their private and public affairs. They were either dies fasti, or comitiales, or com-perendini, or stati, or proeliales. Dies intercisi were common between gods and men, that is, partly devoted to the worship of the gods, partly to the transaction of ordinary business.

We have lastly to add a few remarks on some of the subdivisions of the dies profesti, which are likewise defined by Macrobius. Dies comitiales were days on which comitia were held ; their num­ber was 184 in a year. Dies cojnperendini were days to which any action was allowed to be trans­ferred (quibus vadimonium licet dicere, Gaius, iv. § 15). Dies stati were da}rs set apart for causes between Roman citizens and foreigners (qui judicii

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