previous next


FASTI´GIUM (ἀετός, ἀέτωμα), literally a slope, in architecture a pediment, is the triangle which surmounts each end of a rectangular building, and which, in fact, represents the gable end of the roof. (See woodcut under ANTAE) It is composed of the cornice of the entablature which forms its base, the two converging cornices at the sides, and the tympanum or flat surface enclosed by them, so called from its resemblance to a three-cornered tambourine (Vitr. 3.3, 4.6; Cic. de Orat. 3.46.180; Liv. 40.2). This flat surface was generally ornamented with [p. 1.830]sculpture; originally, in the early temples of Zeus, with a simple eagle as a symbol of the god (Pind. O. 13.29, and Schol. ad loc.), an instance of which is afforded by the coin represented in the following woodcut (Beger. Spicil. Antiq. p. 6), whence the Greek name ἀετὸς which was at first applied to the tympanum and afterwards to the whole pediment; and in after-times with elaborate sculptures in high relief, such as those in the pediments of the Parthenon,

Fastigium. (From a coin.)

non, the fragments of which are among the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum, where also may be seen a full-sized model of the pediments of the temple of Zeus Panhellenius, at Aegina, with casts of the statues in them, restored. Most of the celebrated Greek temples

Temple at Aegina, restored. (Fergusson.)

were similarly adorned. (See Paus. 1.24.5; 2.7.3; 5.10.2; 9.11.4; Aristoph. Birds 1110.) Terra-cotta figures were applied in a similar manner by the Romans in the early ages. (Cic. de Div. 1.1. 0, § 16; Vitr. 3.2; Plin. Nat. 35. § § 152, 158; 36.6.) [ANTEFIXA]

The dwelling-houses of the Romans might have sloping roofs, but ornamental gables were not allowed; hence, when the word is applied to them, it is not in its strictly technical sense, but designates the roof simply, and is to be understood of one which rises to a ridge as distinguished from a flat one (Cic. ad Q. Fr. 3.1, 4.14; Verg. A. 8.491). Among other divine honours, the Romans decreed to Caesar the liberty of erecting a fastigium to his house (Cic. Phil. 2.43, § 110; Florus, 4.2; Plut. Caes. 81; comp. ACROTERIUM), that is, a portico and pediment towards the street like that of a temple.

[A.R] [W.W]

hide References (14 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (14):
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 1110
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.7.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.10.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.11.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.24.5
    • Cicero, Philippics, 2.43
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 8.491
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 3.2
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 3.3
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 4.6
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 3.46
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 35
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 40, 2
    • Cicero, De Divinatione, 1.1
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: