Any locality consecrated by the pontiffs—a word derived by the ancients from fari
, because the pontifices in sacrando fati sunt finem
(Varr. L. L.
vi. 54; Fest. pp. 88
, Fest. 93
). It was a consecrated spot, whether a building was erected upon it or not.
The consecrated places in the Forum, where the couches of the gods were placed in the lectisternium
(q. v.), were also called fana, in reference to which the
phrase fana sistere
was used ( Fest. p. 351). Even a tree struck by
lightning was deemed a fanum
( Fest. p. 92). Everything not
consecrated—that is, not a fanum—was considered profanum;
and a res fanatica
might, in accordance with the
pontifical law, be again made into a res profana
by certain ceremonies
Sat. iii. 3, 4
, properly speaking persons belonging to a fanum, were more
specifically priests of the goddess of Comana in Cappadocia, whose worship was introduced into
Rome under the name of Bellona. They performed the worship with wild and frantic rites, whence
the word fanaticus
obtained its secondary meaning, and has passed into
modern languages. They were also called Bellonarii
Hor. Sat. ii. 3, 223
). In celebrating the festival
of the goddess they marched through the city in dark clothes, with wild cries, blowing
trumpets, beating cymbals and drums, and in the temple inflicting wounds upon themselves, the
blood from which they poured out as an offering to the goddess (Tibull. i. 6, 43 foll.; Hor. Sat. ii. 3, 223
; Juv. vi.
; Mart.xi. 84, 3Mart., xii. 57, 11
; Lucan, i. 565;
was also the name given to the
priests of Isis (C. I. L.
vi. n. 2234) and Cybelé (Juv. ii. 122
; Prudent. Perist.