Fasti

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For the poem by Ovid, see Fasti .




In ancient Rome, the fasti (Latin plural) were chronological or calendar-based lists, or other diachronic records or plans of official and religiously sanctioned events. The word fasti continued to be used for similar records in Christian Europe and later Western culture.

Public business, including the official business of the Roman state, had to be transacted on dies fasti, "allowed days". The fasti were the records of this business. In addition to the word's general sense, there were fasti that recorded specific kinds of events, such as the fasti triumphales, lists of triumphs celebrated by Roman generals. The divisions of time used in the fasti were based on the Roman calendar.

The yearly records of the fasti encouraged the writing of history in the form of chronological annales, "annals," which in turn influenced the development of Roman historiography. The Fasti of the Augustan poet Ovid is a six-book elegiac poem on Roman religion and customs structured by the sequence of Roman holidays from January to June.

Etymology

Fasti is the plural of the Latin adjective fastus, most commonly used as a substantive. The word derives from fas, meaning "that which is permitted," that is, "that which is legitimate in the eyes of the gods." Fasti dies were the days on which business might be transacted without impiety, in contrast to dies nefasti, days on which assemblies and courts could not convene. The...
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