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1 Called the "Fasti;" probably because this was the first word of the title.
2 "Dies fasti." These were the days on which the courts sat, and the Prætor, who was the chief judge, gave his decisions. The word "fasti" is derived from the ancient Latin "for," or from the old Greek word φάω, both signifying "to speak:" consequently the "dies fasti" were "the speaking days," and the "dies nefasti" the "non-speaking days," in allusion to the restrictions put upon the judgments of the Prætor.
3 This complex state of the Roman Calendar long remained one of the sources from which the priesthood and the patrician order derived their power and influence over the plebeians. Having no other method of ascertaining what days were "fasti," and what were "nefasti," the lower classes were obliged either to apply to the priests and nobles for information, or to await the proclamation by the priests of the various festivals about to take place.
4 Appius Claudius Cæcus, the Censor and jurisconsult, who constructed the Appian Way.
5 A.U.C. 440, or B.C. 314.
6 In the war, probably, with the twelve nations of Etruria, who were conquered by the Consul Fabius A.U.C. 444. See Livy, B. ix.
7 The father of the former C. Pœtilius Libo, was Consul A.U.C. 428: the father of the latter, Cneius Domitius Calvinus, was Consul A.U.C. 432.
8 "Anulos abjectos."
9 The "phaleræ" were bosses of metal, often gold, attached to the harness of the horse. See B. vii. c. 29.
10 He would probably imply hereby that, as he states subsequently, at this period gold rings were not as yet worn by all the members of the senate.
11 A.U.C. 449.
12 "Ædiculam æream"—of brass or bronze.
13 For the explanation of this term, see B. vii. c. 60.
14 See B. x. c. 2. Livy tells us that this shrine or temple was built in the area or place of Vulcan.
15 Livy, B. xxiii. speaks of one modius as being the real quantity. Florus, B. ii. c. 16, says two modii: but Saint Augustin, De Civit. Dei. B. iii. c. 19, and most other writers, mention three modii.
16 Q. Servilius Cæpio. He and M. Livius Drusus had been most intimate friends, and each had married the other's sister. The assassination of Drusus was supposed by some to have been committed at the instigation of Cæpio. The latter lost his life in an ambush, B.C. 90.
17 See B. xxviii. c. 41.
18 See B. ii. c. 85.
19 M. Calpurnius Flamma. See B. xxii. c. 6.
20 A patrician family; branches of which were the Cincinnati, the Capitolini, the Crispini, and the Flaminini.
21 This is an erroneous assertion, both as to the East, and as to Egypt. See instances to the contrary in Genesis, c. xli. v. 42; and in Esther, c. iii. verses 10, 12, and c. viii. verses 2, 8, 10.
22 "Literis contenta solis."
23 The Thirty-seventh Book. See also his remarks in B. ii. c. 63: "We tear out earth's entrails in order to extract the gems with which we may load our fingers. How many hands are worn down that one little joint may be ornamented!" Martial, Epigr. B. v. Ep. 11, speaks of his friend Stella as wearing on the joint of one finger sardonyxes, emeralds, and jaspers.
24 "Violari." See B. xxxvii. c. 1.
25 A fashion much followed at the present day.
26 This also is a not uncommon fashion at the present day.
27 From the "Trinummus" of Plautus, A. iv. s. 4, we learn that the ring worn by slaves was called "condalium." From the "Truculentus" of Plautus we learn also that these rings were sometimes made of bronze. The "jus anuli," or right of wearing a gold ring, was never conceded to slaves.
28 See B. iv. c. 23. In the Origines of Isidorus Hispalensis, B. xix. c. 32, we find mention made of "A Samothracian gold ring, with an iron bezil, so called from the place of its invention." Pliny has already made allusion to the luxurious habits of the slaves, in B. xiii. c. 4; and B. xviii. c. 2; a subject upon which Juvenal enlarges in his Third Satire.
29 The reasons are mentioned by Ateius Capito, as quoted by Macrobius, Saturnal. B. vii. c. 13: also by Apion the Grammarian, as quoted by Aulus Gellius, B. x. c. 10.
30 The ring of each finger had its own appropriate name.
31 The "dactyliotheca," or "ring-box."
32 Juvenal, Sat. i. l. 26, et. seq., speaks of the summer rings of the Roman fops, and their fingers sweating beneath the weight.
33 Martial, Epigr. B. xiv., speaks of the numerous accidents to which a weighty ring was liable.
34 Hannibal, too, for instance, as mentioned in Note 51 to the preceding Chapter.
35 He alludes, probably, to forgeries perpetrated through the agency of false signets.
36 Plautus, Cicero, Horace, and Martial, each in his own age, bears testimony to the truth of this statement.
37 Or remembrancer; a slave whose duty it was to remind his master of the name of each member of his household; see B. xxix. c. 8. Athenæus, B. vi., speaks of as many as twenty thousand slaves belonging to one household. Demetrius, the freedman of Pompey, mentioned in B. xxxv. c. 58, had a retinue of slaves equal to an army in amount.
38 Meaning "Marci puer," or "Luci puer"—"Marcius' boy," or "Lucius' boy."
39 Suetonius says, c. 73, that Tiberius, in his last illness, awoke after a long lethargy, and demanded his signet-ring, which his son-in-law, Caligula, had removed from his finger, under the supposition that he was dead. Macro, to avoid any unpleasant results in the way of punishment, caused the emperor to be smothered with the pillows and bedclothes.
40 This famous and somewhat improbable story of the ring of Polycrates is told by Valerius Maximus, B. vi. c. 9; Herodotus, B. iii.; and Cicero, De Finibus, B. iv. Pliny again mentions it in B. xxxvii. cc. 2, 4.
41 He was crucified by Oroetes, the Persian satrap of Sardis.
42 "Anulo exsiliente."
43 In Chapter 13 of this Book.
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