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PAULUS 100.00%
See FESTUS (1).
FESTUS 100.00%
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 The abridgment, arranged in alphabetical order, and containing twenty books, superseded its original.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 100.00%
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.
A Roman festival celebrated on Feb. 24th, to commemorate the expulsion of the kings. At this festival the rex sacrorum offered sacrifice on the comitium, and then hastily fled. (See REX SACRORUM.) [Probably in this case, as in many others, the sacrifice was originally regarded as a crime. The fact that the Salii were present is recorded by Festus (s.v. Regifugium). Possibly their presence had the same significance as the ceremony of leaping, etc., performed by them in March, presumably with a view to driving evil demons away from the city (Classical Review, v 51 b).]
A Roman freedman, "who obtained renown chiefly by his method of teaching. To exercise the wits of his pupils, says Suetonius, he used to pit against each other those of the same age, give them a subject to write upon, and reward the winner with a prize, generally in the shape of a fine or rare copy of some ancient author" (Prof. Nettleship's Essays, p. 203). He educated the grandsons of Augustus and died under Tiberius. He devoted himself to literary and antiquarian studies resembling those of the learned Varro. Thus, he wrote books De Orthographia and Rerum Memoria Dignarum; but his most important work was entitled De Verborum Significatu. This may claim to be the first Latin lexicon ever written. It was arranged alphabetically; it gave interpretations of obsolete words, and explained the meaning of the oldest institutions of the State, including its religious customs, etc. We only possess fragments of an abridgment made by Festus (q.v.), and a further abridgment of the latter, dedicated to Charlemagne, by Paulus. A calendar of Roman festivals drawn up by him was set up in marble at Praeneste, near Rome; of this there are some fragments still preserved containing the months of January to April inclusive and December. These fragments are known as the Fasti Proenestini [Corpus Inscr. Lat. i, p. 311]. [In the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, there is a slab of stone bearing the name VERRIVS FLACCVS, probably the lexicographer's epitaph. See also Prof. Nettleship's Lectures and Essays, pp. 201-247.]
PUTEAL 8.22%
The Latin term for a circular stone inclosure, consisting of a dwarf wall, surrounding either (1) the mouth of a well, or (2) a spot struck by lightning. Italian superstition demanded that every flash of lightning which struck and was buried in the earth should have, as it were, a grave and a propitiatory offering, as in the case of a human being. According to the place where the flash fell, this offering was made, either by the State or by private individuals, in the earlier times according to the directions of the pontifces, at a later date after consultation with the Etruscan haruspices. The earth which was touched by the divine fire was carefully collected [Lucan i 606], and inclosed in a coffin constructed out of four side-pieces and without any bottom (this was the burying of the lightning). Then round the coffin a shaft, consisting of four walls and open at the top, was built up to the surface of the ground. A place which had thus been consecrated by the offering which the haruspices made of a sheep two years old (bidens) was specially called a bidental, and was not allowed to be desecrated. According to the pontifical rite introduced by Numa, the propitiatory offering consisted of onions, hair, and sardels. If a human being had been struck by lightning, his body was not burnt, but buried on the spot [Pliny, N. H. ii 145]. Such a spot was called a bidental, and a propitiatory offering was made on his behalf [Festus, p. 27 ; Nonius, pp. 53, 26]. [The puteal, with bay wreaths, lyres, and a pair of pincers, may be seen on coins of the gens Scribonia (see cut). The ancient puteal in the Forum, near the Arcus Fabianus, was repaired by Scribonius Libo, whence it was called the Puteal Libonis or Puteal Scribonianum. In its neighbourhood he erected a tribunal for the praetor, which led to its becoming the resort of litigants, money-lenders, etc. (Hor., Sat. ii 6,35, Ep. i 19, 8; Cic., Pro Sestio 18).]
The priestesses of Vesta. At Rome their number was at first four, but had already been increased to six during the last years of the kings. Every girl possessing the necessary qualification was liable to be called on to undertake the duty, and no exemption was granted, except upon very strict conditions. The office was confined to girls of not less than six and not more than ten years of age, without personal blemish, of free, respectable families, whose parents were still alive and resident in Italy. The choice was made by lot out of a number of twenty, nominated by the pontifex. The virgin appointed to the priestly office immediately quitted her father's authority and entered that of the goddess. After her inauguration by the pontifex, she was taken into the atrium of Vesta, her future place of abode, was duly attired, and shorn of her hair. The time of service was by law thirty years, ten of which were set apart for learning, ten for performing and ten for teaching the duties. At the end of this time leave was granted to the Vestals to lay aside their priesthood, return into private life, and marry. They seldom took advantage of this permission. They were under the control of the pontifex, who, in the name of the goddess, exercised over them paternal authority. He administered corporal chastisement if they neglected their duties, more particularly if they allowed the sacred fire to go out; and, if any one of them violated her vow of chastity, he had her carried on a bier to the campus sceleratus (the field of transgression), near the Colline Gate, beaten with rods and immured alive. Her seducer was scourged to death. No man was allowed to enter their apartments. Their service consisted in maintaining and keeping pure the eternal fire in the temple of Vesta, watching the sacred shrines, performing the sacrifices, offering the daily and, when necessary, the special prayers for the welfare of the nation, and taking part in the feasts of Vesta, Tellus, and Bona Dea. They were dressed entirely in white, with a coronet-shaped head-band (infula), and ornamented with ribands (vittoe) suspended from it, and at a sacrifice covered with a white veil [called the suffibulum. This was a sort of hood made of a piece of white woollen cloth with a purple border, rectangular in form. It was folded over the head and fastened in front below the throat by a fibula (Festus, p. 340, ed. (Muller, quoted in Middleton's Rome, i 320)]. The chief part in the sacrifices was taken by the eldest, the virgo vestalis maxima. The Vestal Virgins enjoyed various distinctions and privileges. When they went out, they were accompanied by a lictor, to whom even the consul gave place; at public games they had a place of honour; they were under a guardian, and were free to dispose of their property; they gave evidence without the customary oath; they were, on account of their incorruptible character, entrusted with important wills and public treaties; death was the penalty for injuring their person; those whom they escorted were thereby protected from any assault. To meet them by chance saved the criminal who was being led away to punishment; and to them, as to men of distinguished merit, was assigned the honour of burial in the Forum.
Type: Standard
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