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On this page: Fauces – Fax – Februum – Fecivles – Feminalia – Fenestra – Fenus



from a flat one, or sometimes it may refer to the pediment of a portico^attached to the front of a man­sion, as when the Romans decreed to Caesar the liberty of erecting a fastigium to his house (Cic. Phil. ii. 43 ; Floras, iv. 2 ; Pint. Caes. 81 ; comp. acroterium), that is, a portico and pediment towards the street like that of a temple. [A. R.]

FAUCES. [domus, p. 428, a.]

FAX (<pav6s), a torch. The descriptions of poets and mythologists, and the works of ancient art, represent the torch as carried by Diana, Ceres, Bellona, Hymen (woodcut, p. 238), Phosphorus, by females in Bacchanalian processions (p. 288), and, in an inverted position, by Sleep and Death. In the annexed woodcnt, the female figure in the middle is copied from a fictile vase. The winged figure on the left hand, asleep and leaning on a torch, is from a funeral monument at Rome: the word " Somnus" is inscribed beside it. The other winged figure, also with the torch inverted, is teJken from an antique gem, and represents Cupid under the character of Avcrepws (Serv. in Virg. Aen. Iv. 520) or " Lethaeus Amor" (Ovid, Rein. Amor. 555). In ancient marbles the torch is sometimes more ornamented than in the examples now pro-

duced ; but it appears to be formed of wooden staves or twigs, either bound by a rope drawn round them in a spiral form, as in the above middle figure, or surrounded by circular bands at equal distances, as in the two exterior figures. The in­side of the torch may be supposed to have been filled with flax, tow, or other vegetable fibres, the whole being abundantly impregnated with pitch, rosin, wax, oil, and other inflammable substances. As the principal use of torches was to give light to those who went abroad after sunset, the portion of the Roman day immediately succeeding sun-set was called fax or prima fax. (Gell. iii. 2 ; Ma-crob. Sat. i. 2.) Torches, as now described, ap­pear to have been more common among the Romans than the Greeks. The use of torches after sun-set, and the practice of celebrating marriages at that time, probably led to the consideration of the torch as one of the necessary accompaniments and sym­bols of marriage. Among the Romans the fax nuptialis (Cic. pro Cluent. 6), having been lighted at the parental hearth, was carried before the bride by a boy whose parents were alive. (Plant. Gas. i. 30 ; Ovid, Epist.xi. 101 ; Servius, in Virg. Eel. xriii. 29 ; Plin. H. N. xvi. 18 ; Festus, 5. v. Pa-triniL} The torch was also carried at funerals (fax scpulchralis, Ovid, Epist. ii. 120), both because


these were often nocturnal ceremonies, and because it was used to set fire to the pile. Hence the ex­ pression of Propertius (iv. 12. 46), "Vivinras in- signes inter utramque facem." The torch-bearer turned away his face from the pile in setting it on fire. (Virg. Aen. vi. 224.) [J. Y.]

FEBRUUM. [lupercalia.]

FECIVLES. [fetiales.]

FEMINALIA, were worn in winter by Augus­ tus Caesar, who was very susceptible of cold. (Sueton. Aug. 82.) Casaubon supposes them to have been bandages or fillets [fascia] wound about the thighs ; it seems more probable that they were breeches resembling ours, since garments for the thighs (Trepi^pia) were worn by the Roman horsemen (Arrian, Tact. p. 14, ed. Blanc.) ; and the column of Trajan, the arch of Constantine, and other monuments of the same period, present nu­ merous examples of both horse and foot soldiers who wear breeches, closely fitted to the body, and never reaching much below the knees. (See wood­ cuts, pp. 2, 117, 136.) [J. Y.]

FENESTRA. [domus, p. 432.]

FENUS (rJ/cos), interest of money. 1. greek, At Athens, Solon, among other reforms, abolished the law by which a creditor was empowered to sell or enslave a debtor, and prohibited the lending of money upon a person's own body (c'tt! to'is fTcojttacri juvySeVa 8ai/e££ejj>, Plut. Sol. c. 15). No other restriction, we are told, was introduced by him, and the rate of interest was left to the dis­cretion of the lender (rb apyvpiov crTaffipov eivai e'(£>' 6ir6(rci} Uv fiovXyrai 6 ^a^e^coj', Lys. in Tlieom, p. 117). The only case in which the rate was prescribed by law, was in the event of a man sepa­rating from his lawful wife, and not refunding the dowry he had received with her. Her trustees or guardians (ol itvpioi) could in that case proceed against him for the principal, with lawful interest at the rate of 18 per cent. [Dos (greek).]

Any rate might be expressed or represented in two different ways: (1.) by the number of oboli or drachmae paid by the month for every mina ; (2) by the part of the principal (rb apxaiov or rct(f)dx&i0i'y paid as interest either annually or for the whole period of the loan. According to the former method, which was generally used when money was lent upon real security (tokoi eyyvot or t'77€ioi), different rates were expressed as fol­lows:—10 per cent, by eVi TreVre ogoAoTs, i.e. 5 oboli per month for every mina, or 60 oboli a year= 10 ,drachmae=-^Q of a mina. Similarly,

12 per cent, by eVl Spaxpfj per month,


16 per cent. „ en-' okt& ogoXots

18 per cent. „ eV* eWec

24 per cent. 5, eTri ftval

36 per cent. „ eTri rpicrl

5 per cent. „ eTri Tpiry 7}\ic£>) probably.

Another method was generally adopted in cases of bottomry, where money was lent upon the ship's cargo or freightage (eVl t<$ vcwXw) or the ship itself, for a specified time, commonly that of the voyage. By this method the following rates were thus represented.

10 per cent, by r6icoL eVi^e/caro*, i. e. interest at the rate of a tenth ; I2£, 16£, 20, 33£, by t^koi

spectively. So that, as Bockh (Pull. Economy of Athens, pp. 123, 124, 2nd ed.) remarks, the is equal to the eTri TreVre o<

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