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FASTI.

denominated fasti dies, i. e. lawful days. Varro and Festus derive fastus directly faomfari (Varr. de Ling. Led. vi. 2 ; Festus, 5. v. Fasti), while Ovid {Fast. i. 47) may be quoted in support of either etymology.

The sacred books in which the fasti dies of the year were marked, were themselves denominated fasti ; the term, however, was employed in an ex­tended sense to denote registers of various descrip­tions, and many mistakes have arisen among com­mentators from confounding fasti of different kinds. It will be useful, therefore, to consider separately the two great divisions, which have been distin­guished as Fasti Sacri or Fasti Kalendares, and Fa-sti Annales or Fasti Historici.

I. fasti sacri or kalendares. For nearly four centuries and a half after the foundation of the city a knowledge of the calendar was possessed exclusively by the priests. One of the pontifices regularly proclaimed the appearance of the new moon, and at the same time announced the period which would intervene between the Kalends and the Nones. On the Nones the country people assembled for the purpose of learning from the Rex Sacrorum the various festivals to be celebrated during the month, and the daj^s on which they would fall. (Macrob. i. 15.) In like manner all who wished to go to law were obliged to inquire of the privileged few on what day they might bring their suit, and received the reply as if from the lips of an astrologer. (Cic. Pro Muren. 11.) The whole of this lore, so long a source of power and profit, and therefore jealously enveloped in mystery, was at length made public by a certain Cn. Flavins, scribe to App. Claudius Caecus (Liv. ix. 46 ; Plin. //. N. xxxiii. 1 ; Gell. vi. 9 ; Val. Max. ii. 5), who, having gained access to the pontifical books, copied out all the requisite information, and exhibited it in the forum for the use of the people at large. From this time forward such tables be­came common, and were known by the name of Fasti. They usually contained an enumeration of the months and days of the year; the Nones, Ides, Nundinae, Dies Fasti, Nefasti, Comitiales, Atri, &c. [calendarium], together with the different festivals, were marked in their proper places : as­tronomical observations on the risings and settings :of the fixed stars, and the commencement of the

•seasons were frequently inserted, and sometimes brief notices annexed regarding the introduction and signification of certain rites, the dedication of

-temples, glorious victories, and terrible disasters. 'In later times it became common to pay homage to the members of the imperial family by noting clown their exploits and honours in the calendar, a species of flattery with'which Antonius is charged by Cicero (Philipp. ii. 34. See also Tacit. Ann. i. 15).

It will be seen from the above description that these fasti closely resembled a modern almanac (Fastorum libri appdlantur totius anni descriptio. Festus) ; and the celebrated work of Ovid may be considered as a poetical Year-book or Companion to the Almanac, having been composed to illustrate the Fasti published by Julius Caesar, who re­modelled the Roman year. All the more remark­able epochs are examined in succession, the origin of the different festivals explained, the various ceremonies described, the legends connected with the principal constellations narrated, and many curious discussions interwoven upon subjects likely

FASTI.

to prove interesting to his countrymen ; the whole being seasoned with frequent allusions to the glories of the Julian line.

Several specimens of fasti, more or less perfect, on stone and marble, have been discovered at dif­ferent times in different places, none of them, how­ever, older than the age of Augustus. The most remarkable, though one of the least entire, is that known as the Kalendarium Praenestinum or Fasti Verriani. Suetonius, in his short treatise on dis­tinguished grammarians, tells us that a statue of Verrius Flaccus, preceptor to the grandsons of Augustus, stood in the lower part of the forum of his native town, Praeneste, opposite to the Heinicycliwn, on which he had exhibited to public view the fasti, arranged by himself, and engraved on marble slabs. In the year 1770 the remains of a circular building were discovered in the im­mediate vicinity of the modern Palestrina, to­gether with several fragments of marble tablets, which were soon recognised as forming part of an ancient calendar ; and upon further examination no doubt was entertained by the learned that these were the very fasti of Verrius described by Suetonius. An Italian antiquary, named Foggini, continued the excavations, collected and arranged the scattered morsels with great patience and skill; and in this manner the months of January, March, April, and December, to which a very small portion of February was afterwards added, were recovered ; and, although much defaced and mutilated, form a very curious and useful monu­ment. They appear to have embraced much in­formation concerning the festivals, and a careful detail of the honours bestowed upon, and the triumphs achieved by, Julius, Augustus, and Ti­berius. The publication of Foggini contains not only an account of this particular discovery, but also the complete fasti of the Roman year, so far as such a compilation can be extracted from the ancient calendars now extant. Of these he enu­merates eleven, the names being derived either from the places where they were found, or from the family who possessed them when they first be­came known to the literary world : —

1. Calendarium Maffeiorum, which contains the twelve months complete.

2. Cal. Praenestinum, described above.

3. Cal. Capranicorum, August and September complete.

4. Cal. Amiterninum, fragments of the month from May to December.

5. Cal. Antiatinum, fragments of the six last months.

6. Cal. Esquilinum, fragments of May and June.

7. Cal. Farnesianum, a few days . of February and March.

8. Cal. Pincianum, fragments of July, August, and September.

9. Cal. Venusimtm, May and June complete.

10. Cal. Vaticanum, a few days of March and April.

\\.-'CaL Allifanum, a few days of July and August.

Some of the above, with others of more recent date, are given in the Corpus Inscriptionum of Gruter, in the llth vol. of the Thesaurus Rom. Antiqq. of Graevius, and in other works of a simi­lar description ; but the fullest information upon all matters connected with the Fasti Sacri is em­bodied in the work of Foggini, entitled Fastorum

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