Ovid and the Fasti. An Historical Study. by Geraldine Herbert-Brown

By Geraldine Herbert-Brown

Ovid's Fasti has remained interestingly ignored as an old resource for the interval within which it was once written. This new examine finds that the poem of a few 5 thousand strains at the Roman calendar, written and revised within the years among A.D. 4-16, offers scholars of the Augustan age with a wealth of knowledge, either in regards to the writer himself, and approximately his cultural and political surroundings. as well as revelations in regards to the method during which Augustus and his kinfolk have been integrated into the traditional faith of town of Rome, and information of the decade of Augustus' lifestyles and the 1st years of Tiberius' rule, Herbert-Brown unearths within the poem new facts of the strategies which marked the transition from the Republic to Empire.

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75 Fink et al. (1940) 146. 76 But oddly enough not by the Arvals, as noted by Weinstock (1971) 207. WHY FASTI} 25 continued to be commemorated in the calendar had Octavian not won the struggle for the position of Caesar's political heir. Being Caesar's son and Julian family heir, and even having the unique advantage of being 'filius divi' since 42 BC, was not enough. For example, his birthday, 23 September, was not made a public festival until 30 BC, after he had won at Actium and for which it was a reward (Dio, 51.

The Roman state feriae, both stativae and conceptivae, affected the character of a day officially. An example of how this happened is provided by Cicero. The kalends of January was ordinarily marked F, but in the year 58 BC the Compitalia, feriae conceptivae fell on this day (Cicero, Pis. 8) and so changed it to NP. 55 Religion and the calendar, then, were inextricably intertwined in Roman public life. This fact explains why the power to make intercalations for correcting inexactitudes had been vested in the pontiffs, who also happened to be magistrates.

4. 4; Fam. 8. 11. 1), Caesar (BG 2. 35), Plutarch (Sull. 8. 3), and Appian (BC 1. 56. 5; 59. 6). Dio (49. 62. 1) cites a case where a pontifex attempted to intercalate an extra month for the enactment of the senate's measures. Abuse of the system of intercalation for negligence is cited by Cicero (Leg. 2. 12. 29), for impropriety by Suetonius (Div. Iul. 40), for corruption by Solinus (1. 43), for political gain by Censorinus (20. 7). Paradoxically, both despite and because of the Republican calendar's inefficiency in time-reckoning, its importance in the political-religious life of the city was paramount.

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