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On this page: Fornax – Fornix – Forum



Lot. vi. 13, with Muller's note ; Festus, s. v. Quirinalia, Stultor. feriae.}

The Fornacalia continued to. be celebrated in the time of Lactantius. (Lactant. i. 20.)

FORNAX,. dim. FORNA'CULA (icdptvos, dim. KaptjHov\ a kiln ; a furnace. The construc­tion of the kilns used for baking earthenware [fictile] may be seen in the annexed woodcut, which represents part of a Roman pottery discovered at Castor, in Northamptonshire. (Artis's Duro-brivae, Lond. 1828.) The dome-shaped roof has been destroyed ; but the flat circular floor on which the earthenware was set to be baked is preserved entire. The middle of this floor is supported by a


FORNIX, in its primary sense, is synonymous with arc us (Senec. 'Ep. 90), but more commonly implies an arched vault, constituting both roof and ceiling to the apartment which it encloses. (Cic. Top. 4.) It is composed of a semicylindrical and oblong arch like the Camera, but differs from it in construction, consisting entirely of stone or brick, whereas the other was formed upon a frame-work of wood, like the skeleton of a ship (Sallust, Jugurth. 18 ; Suet. Nero, 34 ; camera) ; both of which methods appear to have been sometimes united, as in the roof of the Tullianum, described by Sallust (Cat. 55), where the ribs of the Camera were strengthened by alternate courses of stone arches.*

From the roof alone, the same word came to signify the chamber itself, in which sense it de­signates a long narrow vault, covered by an arch of brick or masonry (tectum fomicatum), similar to those which occupy the ground floors of the modern Roman palaces. Three such cells are represented in the annexed woodcut, from the remains of a villa at Mola di Gaieta, which passes for the For-mian Villa of Cicero. They are covered internally with a coating of stucco, tastily ornamented, and painted in streaks of azure, pink, and yellow.

thick column of brick-work, which is encircled by the oven (fumus, K\i€avos). The entrance to the oven (praefurnium) is seen in front. The lower part of a smelting-furnace, shaped like an inverted bell, and sunk into the earth, with an opening and a channel at the bottom for the discharge of the melted metal, lias been discovered near Aries. (Florencourt, uber die Bergwerke der Alten^ p. 30.) In Spain these furnaces were raised to a great height, in order that the noxious fumes might be carried off. (Strabo, iii. 2. p. 391, ed. Sieb.) They were also provided with long flues (longinquae for-nads cimicidO) iPlin. H. N. ix. 62), and with cham­bers (cameras) for the purpose of collecting more plentifully the oxides and other matters by subli­mation (Ibid, xxxiv, 22. 33—41). Homer scribes a blast-furnace with twenty crucibles (Xoavol^Il. xviii. 470). Melting-pots or crucibles have been found at Castor (Artis, pi. 38), and at different places in Egypt, in form and material very like those which we now employ. (Wilkin-son, Man. and 'Cttst. vol. iii. jp. 224.) A glass-house, or furnace for making glass, was called veXovp (Dioscor. v. 182.)

Furnaces of an appropriate construction were eraeted for casting large statues of bronze (Claud. De Land. Sttt. ii. 176), and'for making lamp-black. (Vitruv. vii. 10.) [atr amentum.] The lime­kiln (/ornate calcafia) is described by Cato. (De Re Ru&. 38 ; see also Plin. H. N. xvii. 6 ; Vitruv. vii. 3.) 'On the mode of heating baths, see p. 193.

The early Romans recognized, under the name of Fornax, a 'divinity who presided over ovens a furnaces [fornacalia]. [J. Y.]

Being small and dark, and situated upon the level of the street, these vaults were occupied by prostitutes (Hor. Sat. i. 2. 30 ; Juv. Sat. iii. 156 ; xi. 171 ; compare Suet. Jul. 49), whence comes the meaning of the word fornicatio in the eccle­siastical writers, and its English derivation.

Fornix is also a sallyport in the walls (Liv. xxxvi. 23 ; compare xliv. ll) ; a triumphal arch (Cic. De Of at. ii. 66) ; and a street in Rome, which led to the Campus Martins, was called Via For- nicata (Liv. xxii. 36), probably on account of the triumphal arches built across it. [A. R.]

FORUM. As the plan of the present work does not include a topographical description of the varioiis fora at Rome, the following article only contains a brief statement of the purposes which they served.

Forum, originally, signifies an open place (area) before any building, especially before a sepulcrum (Festus, s. v. ; Cic. De Leg. ii. 24)-5 and seems, therefore, etymologically to be conne'Cted with the adverb foras. The characteristic features of a Ro­man forum were, that it was a levelled space of

* " Tullianum .... immiunt undique parietes, atque insuper Camera, lapideis fornicibus vincta." If the stone chamber now seen at Ronie under the Mammertine prisons was really the Tullianum, as commonly supposed, it is not constructed in the manner described ; being neither camcfatum nor fornicatum, but consisting of a circular dome*, formed by projecting one course of stones beyond the course below it, like the treasury of Atreus at -Mycenae, described at p. 125. [abcus.]

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