Encyclopedia Ichnographica




Sext. Pompeius Festus, a Roman grammarian of the fourth century A.D., author of a lexicographical work, De verborum significatione, in twenty books, of which only the last nine, in a very imperfect form, remain to us; with an abstract of the whole compiled by Paulus Diaconus in the eighth century.


According to Festus, it was Romulus who instituted the first horse-races in honor of Mars. These races became an annual event, and, due to their origin, are rightly considered the "proto" festival or feast of Roman tradition. According to Varro, the races took on the name of Equirria, which is derived "from the equorum cursus 'running of horses'; for on that day they currunt 'run' races in the sports on the Campus Martius." Furthermore, Ovid's Fasti lists the dates of the races as the 27th of February and the 14th of March, and, since the Roman calendar began the 1st of March, the holding of the first horse-race the day just before the new year further attests the Equirria's premire "fest" position.

Catalogo references to Festus:

Ara di Marte. «Festo supplito dallo Scaligero nella legge di Numa intorno alle spoglie»

Campo Scellerato. «Festo del lib. 15.»

Colonna Lattaria. «Festo»

Equirie. «Festo»

Ninfeo pubblico. «Festo del lib. 15.»

Petronia Fuime. «Festo lib. 18.»

Porta Catularia. «Festo lib. 3.»

Porta Collina detta altresi Quirinale. «Festo lib. 17 e 19.»

Porta Flumentana. «Festo lib. 6.»

Via Flaminia. «Festo alla parola Flaminius Circus., ed alla parola Clitellar.»




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