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p545 Fornacalia

Unsigned article on pp545‑546 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

FORNACA′LIA, a festival in honour of Fornax, the goddess of furnaces, in order that the cornº might be properly baked (Festus, s.v.). This ancient festival is said to have been instituted by Numa (Plin. H. N. XVIII.2). The time for its celebration was proclaimed every year by the Curio Maximus, who announced in 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 circumstancea the Stultorum feriae, which fell on the last day of the Fornacalia (Ovid, FastiII.527; Varro, De Ling. Lat. VI.13, p546with Müller's note; Festus, s.v. Quirinalia, Stultor. feriae).

The Fornacalia continued to be celebrated in the time of Lactantius (Lactant. I.20).


Thayer's Note:

a from this circumstance: and then again, maybe not. In Plutarch's mind at least, there was enough doubt about this that he considered the question open (Quaest. Rom. 89).


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Page updated: 26 Aug 09