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FORNAX dim. FORNA´CULA, FURNUS (κάμινος, dim. καμίνιον), a kiln; an oven; a furnace. The construction of the kilns used for baking earthenware [FICTILE] may be seen in the annexed woodcut, which represents part of a Roman pottery kiln discovered near Castor, in North-amptonshire. The dome-shaped roof has been destroyed; but the flat circular floor on which the earthenware was set to be baked is preserved entire. The middle of this floor is supported by a thick column of brick-work, which is encircled by the oven (furnus, κλίβανος). The entrance to the oven (praefurnium) is seen in front. For the account of another oven found at Heddernheim, see FICTILE p. 845. The lower part of a smelting-furnace, shaped like an inverted bell, and sunk into the earth, with an opening and a channel at the bottom for the discharge

Fornax, a kiln. (Discovered near Castor, in Northamptonshire.)

of the melted metal, has been discovered near Arles (Florencourt, Ueber die Bergwerke der Alten, p. 30). In Spain these furnaces were raised to a great height, in order that the noxious fumes might be carried off (Strabo iii. p.146). They were also provided with long flues (longinquae fornacis cuniculo, Plin. Nat. 9.133), and with chambers (camerae) for the purpose of collecting more plentifully the oxides and other matters by sublimation (Ibid. 34. § § 101, 128, 135, 136, 142, 144). In the primitive forges known to Homer, there was no furnace, only melting-pots (χόανοι), each with their separate bellows (Il. 18.470; FOLLIS). Melting-pots or crucibles have been found at Castor, and at different places in Egypt, in form and material very like those which we now employ (Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. 2.235, ed. Birch, 1878). A glass-house, or furnace for making glass, was called ὑελουργεῖον (Dioscor. 5.182).

Furnaces of an appropriate construction were erected for casting large statues of bronze (Claud. de Laud. Stil. 2.176), and for making lamp-black (Vitr. 7.10). [ATRAMENTUM] The lime-kiln (fornax calcaria) is described by Cato (de R. R.. 38; see also Plin. Nat. 17.53; Vitr. 7.3). For the furnus used in heating baths, see p. 279.

The early Romans recognised, under the name of Fornax, a divinity who presided over ovens and furnaces [FORNACALIA].

[J.Y] [W.W]

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