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FORNACA´LIA

FORNACA´LIA a festival in honour of Fornax, the goddess of furnaces, in order that the corn might be properly baked (Festus, s. v.). This ancient festival is said to have been instituted by Numa (Plin. H. N, 18.8), and, like the FORDICIDIA was celebrated by the Curies, probably in the Forum. The time for its celebration was proclaimed every year by the Curio Maximus, who announced on tablets, which were placed in the Forum, the different part which each curia had to take in the celebration of the festival. Those persons who did not know to what curia they belonged, performed the sacred rites on the Quirinalia, called from this circumstance the Stultorum feriae, which fell on the 17th of February. The Fornacalia usually preceded this festival, but sometimes coincided with it. It would seem that only plebeians could be ignorant of what curia they belonged to. (Ovid, Fasti, 2.513-532; Varr. L. L. 6.13, with Müller's note; Festus, s. vv. Quirinalia, Stultorum feriae; Marquardt, Staatsverw. 3.190 f.) The Fornacalia continued to be celebrated in the time of Lactantius (Lactant. 1.20.35).

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