Responsum Pontificum de Diebus (Nova Roma)

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According to the Mos Majorum and to the Jus Sacrum, the pontifices of Nova Roma interpret the meaning of the different fasti of the Roman calendar in the following way:

Dies FASTI (F)

These are dies profesti, normal working days in which the Gods favour human activities.

  1. Tribunals may be open and the praetores may fully perform their duties. Petitio actionis and other documents may be accepted.
  2. Marriages and private worship may be celebrated.
  3. Contiones may be called and celebrated. Citizens may express their will, but any vote conducted will not be binding for the magistrates.
  4. Markets may be open, business may be made, contracts may be signed. Private activities may take place normally.

Dies COMITIALES (C)

These are identical to dies fasti, but they are reserved for the celebration of public assemblies.

  1. If no magistrate calls any of the Comitia on a dies comitialis, it shall be treated as a dies fastus.
  2. If a magistrate calls the Comitia, then a vote may take place. The result of such a vote would be binding for the magistrates.

Dies NEFASTI (N)

They are dies profesti (working days) that present some restrictions due to their religious character.

  1. Tribunals may be open and petitiones actionis and other documents may be accepted. However, the praetores cannot pass a sentence (because they cannot say the words do, dico, addico).
  2. Public worship has preference over private worship. It is not recommended to celebrate marriages.
  3. Comitia should not be called. Contiones may be called to inform the People, but no voting should take place. The Senate may meet, but affairs concerning cultus and religio should be dealt with before any civil affair in the Senate agenda.
  4. Private activities are not favoured. It is not recommended to begin a journey or to sign contracts, or to generally start a new activity. Should an action have begun on a previous day, however, it might be carried on normally. Markets may be open.

Dies ENDOTERCISI vel INTERCISI (EN)

These are "cut asunder" days, that prepare the feria of the following day. They are dies profesti (working days) with certain restrictions. They are dies nefasti in the morning (horae I to IIII) before and during the celebration of the sacrifices; but they become dies fasti at noon (horae V to VIII) and nefasti again in the evening (horae VIIII to XII) during and after the offering in the altars of the sacrifices performed in the morning.

Dies NEFASTI PVBLICI (NP)

A dies nefastus publicus is a dies festus, a holiday for all citizens (not for slaves), because they are reserved for public worship and dedicated to a given god (feriae). All the NP days are feriae publicae pro populo, but not all dies feriati are NP. They have the same characteristics as a dies nefastus, but tribunals are closed (because magistrates have to attend public religious ceremonies). These include fixed holidays (feriae stativae), mobile holidays (feriae conceptivae) decreed by magistrates and irregular holidays (feriae imperativae) decreed by the Senate.

Dies FASTI PVBLICI vel FASTI PVRI (FP)

The meaning of this dies is not yet completely clear. Further research is necessary, and the pontifices will one day issue a new responsum concerning this particular fastus. For the moment being, the pontifices recommend to treat these days as if they were NEFASTI PVBLICI.

Quando Rex Comitiavit Fas (QRCF)

These are fixed days (dies fissi) in the calendar, and they are also dies feriati (religious workship takes place) but dies profesti (working days). They are a dies nefastus from dawn till the Rex Sacrorum appears in the Comitium and performs the purifying rites. From then on it is a dies fastus and the Comitia may be adjourned.

Quando Stercus Delatum Fas (QSTDF or QSDF)

These are fixed days (dies fissi) in the calendar, and they are also dies feriati (religious workship takes place) but dies profesti (working days). They are a dies nefastus from dawn till the vestales finish cleaning the Temple and the House of Vesta and take the garbage out of the sacred grounds through the Porta Stercolaria. Garbage is then swept down the streets and thrown to the Tiber. From that moment onwards, it is a dies fastus.

Dies ATRI

These are "dark" days on which no sacrifices are properly made. No sacrifices should be offered on public altars. Neither shall the temples celebrate public worship nor hold sacrifices on these days, public Augures may not take auspicia on these days, nor should magistrates hold elections on these days. All religious ceremonies are private but without sacrifices. No one should invoke a God or Goddess by name while indoors, and no celestial God or Goddess should be invoked by name while outdoors. It is not fitting to offer sacrifice to the spirits of the dead on dies atri either, because in such ceremonies it is necessary to call upon Janus and Jove, whom it is not right to call upon on dies atri. Making journeys, starting new projects, or doing anything risky should be avoided. These days, so marked as dies atri, are religiosi and are always considered as dies fastus (F) or dies comitialis (C), never as dies nefastus (N) or dies nefastus publicus (NP). The dies atri include two special subcategories:

"Dies POSTRIDUANI: These are the days after all the Kalendae, Nonae and Idus of each month. They are, in general terms, dies fasti (F), but they are days of ill-omen for beginning private activities, business or journeys. Public worship is explicitly forbidden.
"Dies VITIOSI: These are specific dates decreed by the Senate, and considered unlucky days. The only two fixed dies vitiosi are the dies ALIENSIS, on July the 18th, a. d. XVI Kalendae Sextiliae, and August the 2nd, a. d. IV Nonae Sextiliae. Additional dies vitiosi, should they be needed, may be declared by the Senate through passage of a senatusconsultum."


Dies RELIGIOSI

These are days dedicated to the worship of infernal deities and of the dead; worship to celestial deities should not take place, and temples of celestial deities should close their doors. All ceremonies are private and celebrated in domestic shrines by the pater familias. These are always a dies nefastus (N), never a dies fastus (F), dies comitiales (C) or dies nefastus publicus (NP).

Special dates for marriages

Marriages should not to be performed during the periods of 13-21 February, 1-20 March, throughout the month of May, or during 5-15 June, nor were they to be performed on days when the mundus was opened (24 August, 5 October, and 8 November) and should be discouraged on those dates that dies Postriduani, dies Vitiosi, or dies ater. These dates specifically refer to the rite of confarreatio as some are periods when the Flamen and Flaminca Dialis would not have been available to attend, as required, while others concern feriae for the Manes. Although not proscribed in regard to other forms of marriages, they were still considered ill-omened days on which to marry.

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