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FABRI The mechanics, carpenters, smiths, etc., in the Roman army. After the end of the republican age they formed an independent corps in every army, and were employed especially in the restoration of bridges, siege and defence works, artillery, etc. They were under the command of the proefectus fabrum, or chief engineer, who was chosen by the general in chief, and was immediately responsible to him.
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The Latin name for a household community, consisting of the master of the house (pater familias,) his wife (mater familias,) his sons and unmarried daughters (filii and filioe familias,) the wives, sons, and unmarried daughters of the sons, and the slaves. All the other members of the family were subject to the authority of the pater familias. (For the power of the husband over his wife, see MANUS.) In virtue of his paternal authority (patria potestas), the pater familias had absolute authority over his children. He might, if he liked, expose them, sell them, or kill them. These rights, as manners were gradually softened, were more and more rarely enforced; but they legally came to an end only when the father died, lost his citizenship, or of his own will freed his son from his authority. (See EMANCIPATIO.) They could, however, be transferred to another person if the son were adopted, or the daughter married. A son, if of full age, was not in any way interfered with by the patria potestas in the exercise of his civil rights. But in the exercise of his legal rights as an individual, he was dependent always on his father. He could, for instance, own no property, but all that he acquired was, in the eye of the law, at the exclusive disposal of his father. The pater familias alone had the right of making dispositions of the family property by mortgage, sale, or testament.
FASCES The Latin name for a bundle of rods of elm or birch, tied together by a red strap, and enclosing an axe, with its head outside. The fasces were originally the emblem of the king's absolute authority over life and limb, and as such passed over to the high magistrates of the Republic. In the city, however, the latter had to remove the axe and to lower the rods in the presence of the popular assembly as the, sovereign power. The lowering of the fasces was also the form in which the lower officials saluted the higher. The king was preceded by lictors bearing twelve fasces, and so were the consuls and proconsuls. The proconsuls, however, were, since the time of Augustus, only allowed this number if they had actually been consuls previously. The dictator had twenty-four fasces, as representing the two consuls, and his magister equitum had six. Six was also the number allotted to the proconsuls and propraetors outside the city, and in the imperial age to those proconsuls who had provinces in virtue of their having held the praetorship. The praetors of the city had two, the imperial legates administering particular provinces had five fasces. One was allotted to the flamen Dialis, and (from or after B.C. 42) to the Vestal Virgins. Fasces crowned with bay were, in the republican age, the insignia of an officer who was saluted as Imperator. During the imperial age, this title was conferred on the emperor at his accession, and soon confined exclusively to him. The emperor was accordingly preceded by twelve fasces laureati. The lictors held their fasces over the left shoulder. But at funerals, the fasces of a deceased magistrate, and his arms, were carried reversed behind the bior.
FASCINUM Enchantment by the evil eye, words, or cries, exercised on persons (especially children), animals, and things, as, for instance, on a piece of ground. The word was also applied to the counter-charm, by which it was supposed that the enchantment could be averted, or even turned against the enchanter. Amulets of various kinds were employed as counter-charms. They were supposed either to procure the protection of a particular deity, or to send the enchanter mad by means of terrible, ridiculous, or obscene objects. The name fascinum was thus specially applied to the phallus, which was the favourite counter-charm of the Romans. An image of this fascinum was contained in the bulla worn as an amulet by children, and was also put under the chariot of a general at his triumph, as a protection against envy.
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Properly speaking, the court-days, on which the praetor was allowed to give his judgments in the solemn formula Do Dico Addico, and generally to act in his judicial capacity. The name was further applied to the days on which it was lawful to summon the assembly and the senate (dies comitiales). For these days might be used as court days in case the assembly did not meet: while on dies fasti proper no meeting of the comitia could take place. The opposite of dies fasti were the dies nefasti, or days on which on account of purifications, holidays, ferioe, and on other religious grounds, the courts could not sit, nor the comitia assemble. (See FERIAe.) The dies religiosi were also counted as nefasti. (See RELIGIOSI DIES.) Besides the 38-45 dies fasti proper, the 188-194 dies comitiales, the 48-50 dies nefasti, and 53-59 dies religiosi, there were 8 dies intercisi, which were nefasti in the morning and evening because of certain sacrifices which took place then, but fasti for the remaining hours. There were also 3 dies fissi (split days), which were nefasti until the conclusion of a particular proceeding; eg. the removal of the sweepings from the temple of Vesta on June 15th, but fasti afterwards. The division of days into fasti and profesti, or holidays and workdays, only affected private life, though many dies nefasti, as ferioe, would be identical with dies fasti. The list of the dies fasti was of immense importance as affecting legal proceedings, and indeed all public life. For a long time it was in the hands of the pontifices, and was thus only accessible to the patricians; but at last, 304 B.C., Gnaeens Flavius published it and made it generally accessible. This list, called simply Fasti, was the origin of the Roman calendar, which bore the same name. In this calendar the days of the year are divided into weeks of eight days each, indicated by the letters A-H. Each day has marks indicating its number in the month, its legal significance (F=fastus, N=nefastus, C=comitialis, EN= intercisus). The festivals, sacrifices, and games occurring on it are also added, as well as notices of historical occurrences, the rising and setting of the stars, and other matters. No trace remains of any calendar previous to Caesar; but several calendars composed after Caesar's reform have been preserved. Ovid's Fasti is a poetical explanation of the Roman festivals of the first six months. We have also many fragments of calendars, painted or engraved on stone, belonging to Rome and other Italian cities; for it was common to put up calendars of this kind in public places, temples, and private houses. There are two complete calendars in existence, one an official list written by Furius Dionysius Philocalus in 354 A.D., the other a Christian version of the official calendar, made by Polemius Silvius in 448 A.D. The word Fasti was further applied to the annual lists of the triumphs, high officials, consuls, dictators, censors, and priests. These lists were originally, like the other fasti, made out by the pontifices. Some fragments of them have survived, among which may be mentioned the Fasti Capitolini, so called from the Roman Capitol, where they are now preserved. They were originally, in 36-30 B.C., engraved on the marble wall of the Regia, or official residence of the Pontifex Maximus, and afterwards continued first to 12 B.C., and afterwards to 13 A.D.
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"The well-wisher" (from favere) [or perhaps "the speaker" (from fari)]. One of the oldest and most popular deities, who was identified with the Greek Pan on account of the similarity of their attributes. (See PAN.) As a good spirit of the forest, plains, and fields, he gave fruitfulness to the cattle, and was hence called Inuus. With all this he was also a god of prophecy, called by the name of Fatuus. He revealed the future in dreams and strange voices, communicated to his votaries while sleeping in his precincts upon the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. She was regarded sometimes as his wife, sometimes as his daughter (see BONA DEA). Just as Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus. They were imagined as merry, capricious beings, and in particular as mischievous goblins who caused night-mares. In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, son of Picus, and grandson of Saturnus, father of Latinus by the nymph Marica. After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary deity of the land, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding. Two festivals, called Faunalia, were celebrated in his honour, one on the 13th of February, in the temple on the island in the Tiber, the other on the 5th of December. The peasants brought him rustic offerings and amused themselves with dancing.
FELICITAS The personification of good fortune among the Romans. She was worshipped in various sanctuaries in Rome, her attributes being the cornucopia and the herald's staff.
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The last day of the Roman festival called the Parentalia. (See MANES.)
FERIAE Holidays, dedicated to the worship of some deity. A distinction was drawn between ferioe privatoe, or holidays observed by gentes, families, and individuals, and ferioe publicoe, or public holidays. Public holidays were either fixed or movable, or occasional. The fixed holidays (ferioe stativoe), were forty-five in number, and were celebrated every year on a definite day and registered accordingly in the calendar. The movable holidays (ferioe conceptivoe) were also annual, but were held on changing days, and had therefore to be announced beforehand by the consuls, or in their absence by the praetor. The occasional holidays (imperativoe) were commanded on special occasions by the authorities with the consent of the pontifices. Such were, for instance, the supplicationes, a solemn service to the gods to celebrate a victory or the like. One of the principal movable festivals was the Ferioe Latinoe. This was originally a celebration by the Latin race held on the Alban mountain in honour of Jupiter Latlaris. It was subsequently transformed by Tarquinius Superbus into a festival of the Latin League. Its most notable ceremony consisted in the sacrifice of white bulls, a portion of whose flesh was distributed to each of the cities of the league represented at the sacrifice. If any city did not receive its portion, or if any other point in the ceremonial was omitted, the whole sacrifice had to be repeated. Originally it lasted one day, but afterwards was extended to four. It was then celebrated in part on the Alban hill by the Roman consuls, in presence of all the magistrates: in part on the Roman Capitol, a race being included in the performance. It was announced by the consuls immediately after their assumption of office, nor did they leave Rome for their provinces until they had celebrated it. The date therefore depended on that of the assumption of office by the higher magistrates.
FERONIA An old Italian goddess, of Sabine origin, but also much worshipped in Etruria. She seems originally to have been regarded in the same light as Flora, Libera, and Venus. The Greeks called her a goddess of flowers; on coins she is represented as a girl in the bloom of youth, with flowers in her hair. She was also worshipped as the goddess of emancipation from slavery. She had a very celebrated shrine at the foot of Mount Soracte in Etruria, where the whole neighbourbood used to bring her rich votive offerings and the firstfruits of the field. The annual festivals served as fairs, such was the crowd of people who flocked to them. The mythical king Erulus of Praeneste was regarded as her son. He had three lives, and had to be slain three times by Evander in consequence.
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Rural festivals, of great antiquity, held by the population of Etruria and Latium, and named, from some cause which cannot now be ascertained, from Fescennium in South Etruria. At harvest festivals, at the feast of Silvanus, and others of the kind, and at weddings, the young men would appear in rough masks or with faces painted with vermilion, bantering each other for the amusement of the spectators in rude and indecent jests. These were thrown into a rough kind of metre, originally no doubt the Saturnian. The Italians had at all times a keen sense of the ridiculous, and a love for personal attack; tendencies which were much encouraged by their gift for improvization, and pointed repartee. In Rome these games were taken up by the young men at public festivals, and combined with a comic imitation of the religious dances introduced from Etruria in 390 B.C. to avert a pestilence. In this form they are supposed to have given birth to the dramatic satura. (See SATURA.) The license of personal abuse ended by going so far that it had to be restrained by a law of the Twelve Tables. The Fescennini versus were gradually restricted to weddings, and the word came to mean the merry songs sung when the bride was brought home.
FESTUS Sextus Pompeius Festus; a Roman scholar, who probably flourished in the 2nd century A.D. He made an abridgment of the great lexical work of Verrius Flaccus, De Verborum Significatu, using at the same time other works of the same author. The abridgment, arranged in alphabetical order, and containing twenty books, superseded its original. Of Festus' own work we have only the second half (the letters M-V) in a very imperfect state. The rest is preserved in a meagre epitome made by the priest Paulus, in the age of Charles the Great. Slight as are these remains of the original work of Verrius, they are very valuable for the fulness of select grammatical and antiquarian notices which they contain.
FESTUS A Roman historian, who about 369 A.D. wrote an abridgment of Roman history (Breviarium Rerum Gestarum Populi Romani) founded partly on Eutropius, partly on Florus, and dedicated to the emperor Valens.
FETIALES A body of men whose business it was to maintain the forms of international relationship. The institution was universal in Italy. In Rome its introduction was ascribed to Numa or Ancus Martius. Here the fetiales formed a collegium of twenty members elected for life, and filled up vacancies in their body by co-optation. They were in early times exclusively patricians, but at all times it was necessary that they should belong to the highest classes. Their duties were, in case of conflicts arising with other nations, to give an opinion, based on the merits of the case, upon the question of war or peace; to give, or to demand in person, satisfaction by delivering up the guilty individual, to declare war or conclude peace, and to give the sanction of religion to both acts. On all these occasions they went out wearing their sacerdotal dress, and the insignia of their office. Before them one of the members of the collegium carried the sacred plants which they had gathered on the Capitol after asking permission of the magistrate on whose commission they were acting, king, consul, or praetor. If satisfaction was to be demanded from another nation, a number of fetiales was sent under the leadership of a speaker, the pater patratus, with the forms of a special ceremonial. Supposing satisfaction given, they took the offender with them, and parted in peace; if the other party asked for time to consider the matter, this was granted to ten days and extended to thirty. If, after this, satisfaction were not given, the speaker made a solemn protest, adding that the Roman people would now take the matter into its own hands. Supposing now that war were decided on, the speaker, in presence of at least three witnesses, uttered the solemn declaration, and threw a bloody lance into the enemy's territory. After the war with Pyrrhus this ceremony was performed at the Column of War near the temple of Bellona, and the declaration of war was carried to the general in command according to the form prescribed by the law of the fetiales. If it was in contemplation to bring the war to a close, and the enemy had not made an unconditional surrender, the fetiales, with the authority of a senatus consultum, and in the name of the State, either concluded a truce for a definite number of years, or a formal alliance. The general, if he made peace without the consent of the Roman people, did so on his own responsibility and without binding the State. If the people were dissatisfied with the terms, the fetiales delivered the general up, naked and handbound, to the enemy. In case of the alliance being concluded, the pater patratus took a flint stone, which was preserved in the temple of Jupiter Feretrius, and slew a swine therewith, first reading out the terms of the alliance, and then appealing to Jupiter, in case the Roman people maliciously broke the treaty, to smite them as he would smite the animal. He then signed the document, which bound the collegium of fetiales to see that the treaty was observed. It was also usual for the civil magistrate to make oath by Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus, on a sceptre which was likewise taken from the temple of Jupiter Feretrius. Since the Second Punic War there is but little mention of the action of the fetiales, but its existence can be traced as late as the middle of the 4th century A.D.
FIBULA A clasp for fastening garments, resembling our brooches or safety-Pins. It consisted of a hoop and a needle, sometimes elastic, sometimes fixed by a joint. Some fibuloe were in the shape of buckles. (See illustrations.)
FIDES The Roman personification of honour in keeping word or oath. As Fides Publica, or Honour of the People, this goddess had a temple on the Capitol, founded by king Numa, to which the flamines of Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus rode in a covered chariot on the 1st of October. At the sacrifice they had their right hands wrapped up to the fingers with white bands. The meaning of the covered chariot was that honour could not be too carefully protected: of the covered right hand, that the right hand, the seat of honour, should be kept pure and holy. The goddess was represented with outstretched right hand and a white veil. Her attributes were ears of corn and fruits, joined hands, and a turtle-dove.
FIRMICUS MATERNUS A heathen writer, a native of Sicily. About 354 A.D. he published, in eight books, a work on astrology (Matheseos Libri VIII) which he had begun under Constantine. It gives a vivid picture of the gross superstition of that age with regard to the supposed influence of the stars in human fortunes.
FIRMICUS MATERNUS Another writer of the same time, and of the same age, was a convert to Christianity, who, about 347 A.D., published a work on the error of the heathen religions (De Errore Profanarum Religionum) in which he called on the emperors Constantius and Constans to extirpate the last remains of heathenism.
FISCUS The emperor's private purse, as distinguished from the public treasury (aerarium). It was instituted by Augustus, and was under the exclusive control of the emperor. The chief sources from which it was replenished were the entire revenues of the imperial provinces, the produce of unclaimed estates, and of confiscations. The main items of fiscal expenditure were the army, the fleet, and war material, the salaries of officials, the provision of corn for Rome, postal communication, and the public buildings. For the officials who administered the fiscus, see PROCURATOR.
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A fan. See CLOTHING.
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The special priest of a special deity among the Romans. There were 15 Flamines; three higher ones (Flamines maiores) of patrician rank: these were the flamen Dialis (of Jupiter), Martialis (of Mars), and Quirinalis (of Quirinus). The remaining 12 were flamines minores, plebeians, and attached to less important deities, as Vulcanus, Flora, Pomona, and Carmenta. Their office was for life, and they could only be deprived of it in certain events. The emblem of their dignity was a white conical hat (apex), made out of the hide of a sacrificed animal, and having an olive branch and woollen thread at the top. This the flamines were obliged to wear always out of doors, indeed the Flamen Dialis had originally to wear it indoors as well. They were exempted from all the duties of civic life, and excluded at the same time from all participation in politics. In course of time, it is true, they were allowed to hold urban offices, but even then they were forbidden to go out of Italy. The Flamen Dialis was originally not allowed to spend a night away from home: in later times, under the Empire, the Pontifex could allow him to sleep out for two nights in the year. Indeed, the Flamen Dialis, whose superior position among the flamens conferred upon him certain privileges, as the toga proetexta, the sella curulis, a seat in the senate, and the services of a lictor, was in proportion obliged to submit to more restrictions than the rest. He, his wife, their children, and his house on the Palatine were dedicated to this god. He must be born of a marriage celebrated by confarreatio, and live himself in indissoluble marriage. (See MARRIAGE.) If his wife died, he resigned his office. In the performance of his sacred functions he was assisted by his children as camilli. (See CAMILLUS.) Every day was for him a holy day, so that he never appeared without the insignia of his office, the conical hat, the thick woollen toga proetexta woven by his wife, the sacrificial knife, and a rod to keep the people away from him. He was preceded by his lictor, and by heralds, who called on the people to stop their work, as the flamen was not permitted to look upon any labour. He was not allowed to cast eyes on an armed host, to mount, or even to touch, a horse, to touch a corpse, or grave, or a goat, or a dog, or raw meat or anything unclean. He must not have near him, or behold, anything in the shape of a chain. Consequently there must be no knots, but only clasps, on his raiment; the ring on his finger was broken, and any one who came into his house with chains must instantly be loosened. If he were guilty of any carelessness in the sacrifices, or if his hat fell off his head, he had to resign. His wife; the flaminica, was priestess of Juno. She had, in like manner, to appear always in her insignia of office, a long woollen robe, with her hair woven with a purple fillet, and arranged in pyramidal form, her head covered with a veil and a kerchief, and carrying a sacrificial knife. On certain days she was forbidden to comb her hair. The chief business of the flamens consisted in daily sacrifices: on certain special occasions they acted with the Pontifices and the Vestal Virgins. The three superior flamens offered a sacrifice to Fides Publica on the Capitol on the 1st October, driving there in a two-horse chariot. During the imperial period flamines of the deified emperors were added to the others.
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A goddess, originally Sabine, of the spring and of flowers and blossoms in general, to whom prayers were offered for the prospering of the ripe fruits of field and tree. She was also regarded as a goddess of the flower of youth and its pleasures. Her worship was said to have been introduced into Rome by the Sabine king Titus Tatius, and her special priest, the Flamen Floralis, to have been appointed by Numa. A temple was erected to her in the Circus Maximus in 238 B.C. At the same time a theatrical festival, the Floralia, was instituted at the behest of the Sibylline books. At this feast the men decked themselves and their animals with flowers, especially roses; the women put aside their usual costume, and wore the gay dresses usually forbidden. The scene was one of unrestrained merriment. From 173 B.C. the festival was a standing one, and lasted six days, from April 28, the anniversary of the foundation of the temple, to May 3. For the first five days of the games, for the superintendence of which the curule aediles were responsible, there were theatrical performances, largely consisting of the very indecent farces called mimes. On the last day goats, hares, and other animals were hunted in the circus. The people were regaled during the games with porridge, peas, and lentils. Flora was in later times identified with the Greek Chloris (See HORAe). In works of art she was represented as a blooming maiden, decked with flowers.
FLORUS A Roman poet, who was on familiar terms with Hadrian, and who has left a few pieces. He is probably to be identified with the African rhetorician and poet Publius Annius Florus, the author of a dialogue, which still survives, on the question whether Vergil is an orator or a poet.
FLORUS A Roman historian of the time of Hadrian, 117-138 A.D. He wrote, in two books, a history of the wars of Rome, from the time of the kings to the closing of the temple of Janus under Augustus (25 B.C.). In the title, as we have it, the book is called an excerpt from Livy (Epitome de Titi Livii bellorum omnium annorum DCC). But this is not an adequate description of it. Florus, it is true, has used Livy a great deal, though not exclusively, and the work is really a panegyric on the greatness of Rome. It is the production of a rhetorician, as is shown by the tasteless and inflated language, with its poetical echoes of Vergil and Horace, and its tendency to exaggeration. Numerous gross errors testify to the insufficiency of the writer's knowledge. Worthless as it is, the book was much read and quoted in the Middle Ages.
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This was, in antiquity, an instrument resembling the modern clarionet made of reed, box, bay, ivory, or bone. Its invention was ascribed to Athene (see MARSYAS). The wind was introduced by a mouthpiece, with one or two tongues, put on at every performance. In addition to the holes at the mouth it often had holes at the sides provided with stops. Besides the single flute, a double flute was sometimes used, especially at theatrical performances, funerals, sacrifices, and festal processions. This consisted of two flutes played at the same time by means of either one or of two separate mouthpieces. The two flutes together had as many notes as the Syrinx (see SYRINX). The right hand played the bass flute (tibia dextra), the left hand the treble (tibia sinistra). The two flutes were either of equal length and similar form, or unequal length and similar form, or unequal length and dissimilar form. In the Phrygian double flute, one pipe was straight, the other larger and bent at the end like a horn (see fig. 1). It is a peculiarity of Greek and Roman flutes that they were sometimes provided with a check-band covering the mouth, its opening fitted with metal. Through this opening were fixed the mouthpieces of the double flute (fig. 2). The long pipe is also an invention of the ancients.
FONS OR FONTUS The Roman god of springs, son of Janus and Juturna, who had an altar in Rome on the Janiculum. A special festival, the Fontinalia, was held in his honour on the 13th October, at which garlands were thrown into the springs, and laid round the wells.
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A festival celebrated in Rome in honour of Tellus, goddess of the earth, on 15th April. (See TELLUS.)
FORNACALIA A Roman festival held in February in honour of Fornax, the goddess of ovens. It was said to have been founded by Numa, and may be described as a thanksgiving for the earliest enjoyment of the newly gathered corn. It was held in the Forum by the Curiae, or ancient unions of kinsmen, under the superintendence of the Curio Maximus, or president of the masters of the curioe. Corn was baked in ovens in the ancient fashion. All who missed the festival were called fools (stulti), as being supposed not to know which was their curia, and had to make an offering at the so-called Feast of Fools (stultorum ferioe). on the 17th February, the day of the. Quirinalia.
FORTUNA The goddess of good luck, worshipped from remote antiquity in Italy. Her worship was supposed to have been introduced into Rome by king Servius. Tullius, popularly believed to be her favourite and confidant. He was said to have founded her oldest sanctuaries, as, for instance, that of Fors Fortuna, or lucky chance, on the right bank of the Tiber below Rome. To this a pilgrimage was made down the stream by land and water on the anniversary of its foundation (June 26). As time went on, the worship of Fortuna became one of the most popular in Italy. She was worshipped at a great number of shrines under various titles, given according to various circumstances of life in which her influence was supposed to have effect. These titles were Fortuna Primigenia, who determines the destiny of the child at its birth; Fortuna Publica or Populi Romani, the tutelary goddess of the state; Fortuna Coesaris or Augusta, the protectress of the emperor; Fortuna privata, or of family life; Fortuna patricia, plebeia, equestris, of the different orders, classes, and families of the population; Fortuna liberum, of children; virginalis, of maidens, muliebris, of women; Fortuna virilis was the goddess of woman's happiness in married life, of boys and of youths, who dedicated to her the first cuttings of their beards, calling her from this Fortuna barbata. Other epithets of Fortuna were victrix, or giver of victory; dux or comes, the leader or attendant; redux, who brings safe home; tranquilla, the giver of prosperous voyages. This Fortuna was worshipped with Portunus in the harbour of Rome. There were also Fortuna bona and mala, good and evil Fortune; blanda or flattering, obsequens or yielding, dubia or doubtful, viscata or enticing, brevis or fickle, and manens or constant. Trajan at last founded a special temple in her honour as the all-pervading power of the world. Here an annual sacrifice was offered to her on New Year's Day. In works of art she was represented with the same attributes as the Greek Tyche (see TYCHE). Fortuna, in her general character as a goddess of Nature and Fate, had an ancient and celebrated in which oracles were delivered, at Praeneste and Antium. (see cut).
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An open space used for political meetings, judicial proceedings, and traffic. In Rome the oldest forum was the Forum Romanum, afterwards the Campo Vaccino, a long and irregular four-sided space, lying between the Capitol and the Palatine, in the direction of WNW. and ESE (see plan, p. 241). In the course of time it was surrounded with temples, public buildings, and basilicas. It was originally used as a market place, but was early monopolised for public purposes. There were, however, shops and stalls along the northern and southern sides, where an active trade was carried on. Here, in particular, the money-changers carried on their business. The Forum was divided into the Comitium with the Rostra or speaking platform, and the Forum proper, where the Romans habitually spent much of their morning transacting private or public business. (See COMITIUM and ROSTRUM .) Under the Empire a number of other fora sprang up in its neighbourhood, which were used for legal and other business. They were adorned with great magnificence, having a temple in their midst, and colonnades round them, which were open for ordinary traffic. There were thus Fora of Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian, Nerva, and Trajan, the last the largest and most splendid of all (see plan, p. 241). There were, besides, several fora for market business, as the Forum boarium or cattle-market, piscarium or fish-market, holitorium, or vegetable-market, and so on. The word forum was also applied to any place which formed the local centre of commerce and jurisdiction: so that such local names as Forum Iulii (now Frejus) were very common.
FREEDMEN The emancipation of slaves was tolerably common, both among Greeks and Romans. The Greeks had no special legal form for the process, and consequently no legal differences in the status of freedmen. At Athens they took the position of resident aliens, and lay under certain obligations to their liberators as patrons. They could be called to legal account for any injury done to their patrons, and if condemned could be given back to them as slaves, or sold by the state. In the latter case the price was paid to their liberators. Among the Romans emancipation (manumissio) was a lucrative proceeding for the State, as a tax of 5 per cent. on the value of the slave was paid on his being set free. Emancipation was either formal or informal. (1) Of formal emancipation there were three kinds: (a) the manumissio vindicta, in which the owner appeared with the slave before an official with judicial authority, who in later times would generally be the praetor or governor of the province. A Roman citizen, usually one of the magistrates' lictors, laid a staff (vindicta) on the slave's head and declared him free. The master, who was holding the slave with his hand, thereupon signified his consent, and let him go, as a symbol of liberation (manu misit). This formality was in later times restricted to the simple declaration of the master in the presence of the magistrate. (b) The manumissio censu, in which the master enrolled the slave's name in the list of citizens. (c) The manumissio testamento, or manumission by will. Here the master declared his slave free in his will, or bound his heir to emancipate him. The heir might adopt the formal or informal process. Constantine added a new form, the manumissio in ecclesia, or emancipation in the church in presence of the congregation. (2) Informal emancipation took place in virtue of an oral declaration on the part of the master, in presence of friends (inter amicos), or by letter (per epistulam), or by inviting the slaves to the master's table. The freedmen were called liberti in relation to the liberator (e.g. libertus Coesaris) and libertini in their legal relation to the State. After formal emancipation they at once became Roman citizens, and members of the urban tribes and of the lowest classes in the centurioe, with full right of voting. But, not being free born, they were not eligible to office, and were excluded from military service. The latter was, however, the case only till the 1st century B.C. They obtained the right to be enrolled in the country tribes several times in the republican period, but not permanently till the imperial age. Their descendants, however, were, as being free-born (ingenui), admitted into all the tribes, and in the second, or at least in the third generation, eligible to office. Informal emancipation conferred only practical freedom without civic rights. It was not until 17 A.D., under Tiberius, that freedmen of this kind won the commercium, or the right of acquiring and transferring property. Even then they had no power of testamentary bequest, and their property, at their death, went to their liberators. It was permissible, however, to pronounce a formal emancipation after their death. To obviate abuses, and to check the excessive increase in the number of freedmen, the right of manumission was limited in several directions under Augustus. Among other things, if a slave under thirty years of age was to be manumitted vindicta, a proof of sufficient reason was required; and, in case of testamentary manumission, the number was limited to a certain proportion of the whole number of slaves, and never allowed to exceed 100. A mutual obligation continued to exist between the freedman and his liberator, based on the fact that the freedman belonged to the family of his patron. This is seen in the circumstance that the freedman assumed the nomen and the proenomen of his patron. In and after the 1st century B.C. we generally find a Greek cognomen added. A well-known freedman of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, for instance, was called Lucius Cornelius Epicadus. The patronus was bound on his side to care for his libertus, and in consequence either retained him altogether in his home and service, or supplied him with a farm and capital to start it; buried him in the family tomb after his death, and took charge of his children if not grown up. On the other side the freedman was bound to support his patronus, in case of need, out of his own resources, and if he was reduced to poverty, to maintain him. If he died childless, his patron inherited his property ut the rights of the patron in respect of his freedman did not pass to the patron's heirs. If the freedman neglected his duties, he was liable to severe punishment. In special cases, at least under the Empire, he might be sold for his patron's profit, or given back to him as a slave.
FRONTINUS A Roman writer, born about 40 A.D. He was one of the urban praetors under Vespasian, and consul for the first time in 74. After this be fought with distinction in Britain until 78, first under Petilius Cerealis, and then as his successor. Under Domitian he kept aloof from public life. He was recalled by Nerva, who in 97 appointed him to the important office of superintendent of the aqueducts (curator aquarum ). He was also made a second time consul, and a third time under Trajan, two years later (100). Under Trajan he was also made augur, and was succeeded in the office by the younger Pliny. He died in 103 or 104, much esteemed by his contemporaries. His surviving works are (1) a collection, in three books, of typical instances of military stratagems taken from Greek and Roman history. This was intended as an additional chapter to a lost work on military science, which he had written under Domitian. A fourth book has been rightly judged spurious, and the work of a later age. (2) Selections from a treatise on land-surveying in two books (De agrorum qualitate and De controversiis agrorum), likewise written under Domitian. (3) The interesting treatise on the aqueducts of Rome (De aquis urbis Romoe), in two books. The occasion of his writing this work was his tenure of the office of curator aquarum; but it was not published till the time of Trajan. It is a history and description of the water supply of Rome, containing also the laws affecting its use and maintenance.
FRONTO The most celebrated orator in the age of the Antonines, born at Cirta in Numidia, about 100 A.D. As an advocate and speaker at Rome, he earned not only considerable wealth and reputation, but the favour of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, who entrusted him with the education of the imperial princes Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. In 143 he was consul for two months, but his health was too weak to allow of his administering a province as proconsul. This ill-health, and many family misfortunes, embittered the last years of his life. He died about 170. He was much admired by his contemporaries, some of whom formed a school of their own bearing the name of Frontoniani, and this reputation survived after his death. Accordingly he used to be regarded as one of the chief representatives of Roman eloquence. But the discovery of part of his writings in 1815 dispelled the illusion. The recovered writings consist mainly of the correspondence, the greater part of which they preserve, between Fronto and the members of the imperial family, especially with Marcus Aurelius as prince and emperor. A number of the letters are written in Greek. Besides these we have a few fragments of historical works, and some rhetorical declamations. Of the speeches only a few meagre fragments remain. The character of Fronto, as revealed in these writings, is that of a man of some knowledge, honourable and independent, but vain and borne. His main ambition is to pave the way for the regeneration of the Latin language; and this, not by a study of the classical models, but by quarrying in the works of the auto-classical writers. Their antiquated expressions he revives, and uses in the most tasteless manner to clothe the poverty of his own thoughts. But his letters are of some value as contributing to our knowledge of the age and the persons then living.
FULCRA [The ends of the framework on which the pillows of a couch or the cushions of a chair were placed, resembling the head of a modern sofa. They are invariably ornamented with inlaid bronze, sometimes of the richest kind, and are always surmounted by bronze ornaments representing the head and shoulders of a mule or ass, turning sideways and backwards, with ears put down and a vicious expression. The head is in almost every case decorated with a garland of vine-leaves entwined with tendrils and bunches of grapes, while the shoulders are covered with a curious leather collar, the top of which is turned down just where it joins the shaggy skin of some wild animal which is thrown over it. For the head of the ass is sometimes substituted that of a boy, or the head and neck of a goose. The lower part is decorated with a round boss from which springs a bust of a genius in full relief, or of some youthful divinity, such as Bacchus or Hercules. The framework to which these ornaments are attached is described in Juvenal xi 93-98. The genius fulcri is mentioned ib. vi 22. Cp. Vergil, Aen. vi 604; Ovid, Ep. Pont. iii 3, 14; Propert. iv 7, 3: 8, 68; Suetonius, Claud. 32; Pliny, N. H., xxxiv 9; Ammianus xxviii 1, 47, plumeum fulcrum; Hyginus, fab. 274, "Antiqui autem in lectis tricliniaribus in fulcris capita asellorum vite alligata habuerunt"]. W. C. F. Anderson in Classical Review, 1889, 322.
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A Latin grammarian, a native of Carthage, who wrote towards the end of the 5th century A.D. His works include, among other things, an allegorical interpretation of the ancient mythology in three books (Mythologioe), the form of which reminds us of Martianus Capella (see MARTIANUS CAPELLA), an exposition of the Aeneid (Vergiliana Continentia), and an explanation of strange and antiquated words illustrated by forged citations (Expositio Sermonis Antiqui).
FULLERS The fuller's trade was one of the most important and most widely extended in Greek and Roman antiquity. It embraced all the processes, now distributed among different trades, necessary for converting the web into cloth, the chief material used by the ancients for clothing. Again, it was usual to send clothes to the fuller for cleaning and working up. Clothes when sent to be cleaned were stamped with the feet in pits or troughs filled with warm water and substances which separated the fat from them, as urine, nitre, and fuller's earth. If the object was to felt the web, and make it thicker and stronger, the same process was gone through, and the cloth was then beaten with rods, washed out in clean water, dried carded with a kind of thistle or with the skin of a hedgehog, fumigated with sulphur, rubbed in with fuller's earth to make it whiter and stronger, and finally dressed by brushing, shearing, and pressing. The fuller's earth, when well rubbed in, prevented the clothes from getting dirty too soon, and freshened up the colours which the sulphur had destroyed. Some frescoes preserved on the walls of an ancient fuller's shop at Pompeii give a clear notion of the different processes. The fullones at Rome formed one of the oldest guilds. Like all mechanics, they worshipped Minerva as their tutelary goddess, and took a prominent part in her chief festival, the Quinquatrus.
FUNDITORES The light-armed slingers in the Roman army. They were usually raised by recruiting, or contributed by the allies.
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