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Firma'nus, Taru'tius

a mathematician and astrologer, contemporary with M. Varro and Cicero, and an intimate friend of them both. At Varro's request Firmanus took the horoscope of Romulus, and from the circumstances of the life and death of the founder determined the era of Rome. According to the scheme of Firmanus, Romulus was born on the 23d day of September, in the 2d year of the 2d Olympiad = B. C. 771, and Rome was founded on the 9th of April, between the second and third hour of the day. (Plut. Rom. 12; Cic. de Divin. 2.47.) Plutarch does not say in what year Firmanus placed the foundation of Rome, but the day is earlier than the Palilia (April 21st), the usual point from which the years of Rome are reckoned. The name, Firmanus, denotes a native of Firmum, in Picenum, the modern town of Fermo, in the Marca d' Ancona, but Tarutius is an Etruscan appellation (Plut. Rom. 5, Quaest. Rom. 35; Licinius Macer, apud Macrob. Saturn. 1.10; Augustin. de Civ. Dei, 6.7), and from his Etruscan ancestors he may have inherited his taste for mathematical studies.

[W.B.D]

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771 BC (1)
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