THE period of winter leisure which began for the agriculturist in December continued into January. From the solstice to Favonius (i. e. Feb. 7) is Varro's eighth and last division of the agricultural year, in which there is no hard work to be done out of doors ( R. R. i. 36: cf. Virg. Georg. 1. 312; Colum. xi. 2). So too the rustic calendars; 'palus aquitur, salix harundo caedetur.' Columella tells us, however, that if the weather be favourable, it may be possible from the Idea of January 'auspicari culturarum officia.' We have seen that in December this easy time was occupied with a series of religious rites of such extreme antiquity that their meaning was almost entirely lost for the Roman of later ages. After the solstice this series cannot be said to continue: the calendars have only three festivals in January marked with large letters, the Agonia on the 9th, and the two Carmentalia on the 11th and 15th. On the other hand, there were two feriae conceptivae in this month which do not appear in the calendars; the Compitalia (which might, however, fall before the beginning of the month), and the Paganalia towards the end of it. Both these were originally festive meetings in which rural folk took part together, and seem to indicate that agricultural labours had not yet really begun.
[AESCU]LAPIO, VEDIOVI IN INSULA. (PRAEN.)
This temple of Vediovis was vowed by the praetor L. Furius Purpureo in 200 B. C., and dedicated six years later1. For this____________________