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On this page: Focale – Focus – Foederatae Civitates



i. 3; Senec. Epist. 96.) From Valerius Maximus we learn that theatrical and mirnic representations formed a principal part of the various amusements, and that it was customary for the assembled people on this occasion to demand the female actors to appear naked on the stage, and to amuse the multitude with their indecent gestures and dances. This indecency is probably the only ground on which the absurd story of its origin, related by Lactantius (Institut. i. 20), is founded. Similar festivals, chiefly in spring and autumn, are in southern countries seasons for rejoicing, and, as it were, called forth by the season of the year itself, without any distinct connection with any particu­ lar divinity; they are to this day very popular in Italy (Voss. ad Virg. Georg. ii. 385), and in ancient times we find them celebrated from the southern to the northern extremity of Italy. (See anthespho- ria, and Justin. xliii. 4.) The Floralia were originally festivals of the country people, which were afterwards, in Italy as in Greece, introduced into the towns, where they naturally assumed a more dissolute and licentious character, while the country people continued to celebrate them in their old and merry but innocent manner. And it is highly probable that such festivals did not become connected with the .worship of any particular deity until a comparatively late period. (Buttmann, Mytholog. ii. p. 54.) This would account for the late introduction of the Floralia at Rome, as well as for the manner in which we find them celebrated there. (See Spanheim, De Praest.etUsu Numism. ii. p. 145, &c.) [L. S.]

FOCALE, a covering for the ears and neck, made of wool and worn by infirm and delicate persons. (PIor. Sat. ii. 3. 255 ; Senec. Q,u. Nat. iv. 13; Quintil. xi. 3. 144; Mart. i. 121, xiv. 142.) [J. Y.]

FOCUS, dim. FO'CULUS (e<rn'a: ecrxapa, €0"xapis, dim. e'a'xapioz'), a fire-place ; a hearth ; a brazier. The fire-place, considered as the highest member of an altar, is described under ara, p. 116. Used by itself, it possessed the same sacred cha­racter, being, among the Romans, dedicated to the Lares of each family. (Plant. Awl. ii. 8.16 ; Cato, De Re Rust. 15 ; Ovid, Fast. ii. 589, 611, iii. 423; Juv. xii. 85—95.) It was, nevertheless, made sub­servient to all the requirements of ordinary life. (Hor. Epod. ii. 43, Epist. i. 5. 7 ; Ovid, Met. viii. 673 ; Sen. De Cons, ad Alb. 1.) It was sometimes constructed of stone or brick, in which case it was elevated only a few inches above the ground, and remained on the same spot ; but it was also fre­quently made of bronze, and it was then variously ornamented, and was carried continually from place to place. This movable-hearth, or brazier, was properly called foculus and ecrxcipa. One is shown at p. 190. Another, found at Caere in Etruria, and preserved in the British Museum, is repre­sented in the annexed woodcut.


In accordance with the sentiments of veneration with which the domestic fire-place was regarded, we find that the exercise of hospitality was at the same time an act of religious worship. Suppliants, strangers, all who sought for mercy and favour, had recourse to the domestic hearth as to an altar. (Horn. Od. vii. 153—169 ; Apoll. Rhod. iv. 693.) The phrase " pro aris et focis'' was used to express attachment to all that was most dear and venerable. (Cic. de Nat. Deor. iii. 40 ; Flor. iii. 13.) Among the Romans the focus was placed in the atrium, which, in primitive times, was their kitchen and dining-room. (Virg. Aen. i. 726 ; Servius, ad loo.) There it remained, as we see in numerous examples at Pompeii, even after the progress of refinement had led to the use of another part of the house for culinary purposes. On festivals the house-wife decorated the hearth with garlands (Cato, De Re Riist. 143 ; Ovid, Trist. v. 5. 10) ; a woollen fillet was sometimes added. (Propert. iv. 6. 1—6). [J. Y.]

FOEDERATAE CIVITATES, FOEDE-RA'TI, SO'CII. In the seventh century of Rome these names expressed those Italian states which were connected with Rome by a treaty (foedus). These names did not include Roman colonies or Latin colonies, or any place which had obtained the Roman civitas. Among the foederati were the Latini, who were the most nearly related to the Romans, and were designated by this distinctive name ; the rest of the foederati were comprised under the name of Socii or Foederati. They were independent states, yet under a general liability to furnish a contingent to the Roman army. Thus they contributed to increase the power of Rome, but they had not the privileges of Roman citizens. The relations of any particular federate state to Rome might have some peculiarities, but the general relation was that expressed above ; a kind of con­dition, inconsistent with the sovereignty of the federates, and the first stage towards unconditional submission. The discontent among the foederati, and their claims to be admitted to the privileges of Roman citizens, led to the Social War. The Julia Lex (b. c. 90) gave the civitas to the Socii and Latini; and a lex of the following year contained, among other provisions, one for the admission to the Roman civitas of those peregrini who were entered on the lists of the citizens of federate states, and who complied with the provisions of the lex. [CiviTAS.] It appears, however, that the Lex Julia, and probably also the Lex of the following year, contained a condition that the federate state should consent to accept what the Leges offered, or, as it was technically expressed, " populus fund us fieret." (Cic, pro JBalbo, c. 8.) Those who did not become fnndi populi did not obtain the civitas. Balbus, the client of Cicero, was a citizen of'Gades, a federate town in Spain. Cn. Pompeius Magnus had conferred the Roman civitas on Balbus, by virtue of certain powers given to him by a lex. It was objected to Balbus that he could not have the civitas, unless the state to which he belonged " fundus factus esset; which was a complete mis­apprehension, for the term fundus, in this sense, applied to a whole state or community, whether federate or other free state, which accepted what was offered, and not to an individual of such state or community, for he might accept the Roman civitas without asking the consent of his fellow citizens at home, or without all of them receiving

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