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Fasti

sc. dies. Properly speaking, the Roman 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 (fas) 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, feriae, and on other religious grounds, the courts could not sit, nor the Comitia assemble. (See Feriae.) The dies religiosi were also counted as nefasti. 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—e. g. 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 feriae, 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 (B.C. 304) Gnaeus 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 to 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 A.D. 354, the other a Christian version of the official calendar, made by Polemius Silvius in A.D. 448. See Calendarium; Dies.

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 B.C. 36-30, engraved on the marble wall of the Regia, or official residence of the Pontifex Maximus, and afterwards continued first to B.C. 12, and afterwards to A.D. 13.

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