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Fax

φανός). A torch. The descriptions of poets and mythologists, and the works of ancient art, represent the torch as carried by Diana, Ceres, Bellona, Hymen, Phosphorus, by women in bacchanalian processions, and, in an inverted position, by Sleep and Death. In ancient marbles the torch appears to be formed of wooden staves or twigs, either bound by a rope drawn round them in a spiral form, or surrounded by circular bands at equal distances. The inside of the torch may be supposed to have been filled

Fax. (Column of Antoninus.)

with flax, tow, or other vegetable fibres, the whole being abundantly impregnated with pitch, rosin, wax, oil, and other inflammable substances. As the principal use of torches was to give light to those who went abroad after sunset, the portion of the Roman day immediately succeeding sunset was called fax or prima fax (Gell. iii. 2.11; Macrob. Sat. i. 3.8). The torch was one of the necessary accompaniments and symbols of marriage. See Matrimonium.

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