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Sextus Pompēius. A grammarian, supposed to have lived before the third century A.D. He made an abridgment, in alphabetical order, of the large work of Verrius Flaccus (q.v.), on the signification of words (De Verborum Significatu)—a rich storehouse of most important information on Roman antiquities and early Latin. This abridgment has been divided by editors into twenty books, each of which contains a letter. Festus has passed over in silence those words which Verrius had declared obsolete, and he intended, it would seem, to have treated of them in a separate work. Sometimes he does not coincide in the opinions of Verrius (e. g. on monstrum), and on these occasions he gives his own views of the subject matter. The abridgment of Festus is one of the most useful books that we possess; it has experienced, however, in some respects, an unhappy fate. It existed entire down to the eighth century, when one Paul Warnefrid (commonly quoted as Paulus Diaconus) conceived the idea of making a small and meagre extract from it. This compilation, dedicated to Charlemagne, henceforward supplanted the original work in the libraries of the day, and the latter was so far lost to modern times that but a single manuscript copy (Codex Farnesinus, now in Naples) of it was found, and this an imperfect one, commencing with the letter M. It was brought from Illyria, and was first copied as a whole by Politian in 1485. The first edition of the epitome of Paulus was printed by Zarotus (Milan, 1471). Paulus and Festus were printed together at Milan (1510), and at Venice by Aldus Manutius (1513). More valuable is the edition by Agostino (Venice, 1559-60), with its collation of the Farnese MS. The edition of Joseph Scaliger (1565) contains many acute emendations, as does that of Fulvius Ursinus (Rome, 1581). The best editions are those of Dacier (Paris, 1681); Egger (Paris, 1838); K. O. Müller (Leipzig, 1839; 2d ed. 1880); Thewrewk de Ponor (Pesth, 1891). See the excellent paper on Verrius Flaccus by Nettleship, Lectures and Essays (Oxford, 1885); also Hoffmann, De Festi ‘De Verborum Significatu’ Quaestiones (Königsberg, 1886); Bugge, Altlatein bei Festus u. Paulus in the Neue Jahrb. für Philol. u. Pädagogik, 105.91; and the article Lexicon.


Porcius, governor of Iudaea after Felix, whom the Jews solicited to condemn St. Paul or to order him up to Jerusalem. The apostle's appeal to Caesar (the emperor Nero) frustrated the intentions of both Festus and the Jews (Acts, xxv. 1 foll.).


Rufius, or Rufus. The author of an abridgment of Roman history (Breviarium Rerum Gestarum Populi Romani) based upon Eutropius and Florus, and written about A.D. 369. It is dedicated to the emperor Valens. Editions are those by Forster (Vienna, 1874), and Wagener (Prague, 1886). See also Jacobi, De Festi Breviarii Fontibus (Bonn, 1874), and Mommsen, C.I.L. vi. 537.

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