Fasti, in Roman antiquity, registers of the days, months, and other divisions of the year, corresponding to modern calendars. The term is variously derived from fas, divine law, and fari, to speak, as it properly designated those days of the year on which legal business could without impiety be transacted, or legal judgment be given by the magistrates. The fasti calendares or sacri, the chief division of these registers, contained the enumeration of all the days, divided into months and weeks of eight days according to the nundinal (the days of each of the latter being designated by the first eight letters of the alphabet), the calends, nones, and ides. Days on which legal business could be transacted were marked by F. as fasti; those from which judicial transactions were excluded by N. as nefasti; the days on which justice could only be administered at certain hours were called ex parte fasti, also intercisi, and were marked in the calendar, when justice could be demanded during the early part of the day, by F. P.,fasto primo; and days on which the assemblies of the comitia were held by C. Primarily these registers are said to have been intrusted by Numa as sacred books to the care of the pontifex maximus, and for nearly four centuries the knowledge of the calendar continued to be in exclusive possession of the priests, one of whom regularly announced the new moon, and the period inter-tervening between the calends and the nones.

On the nones the rex sacrorum proclaimed the various festivals to be observed in the course of the month, and the days on which they would fall. This knowledge, previously jealously kept to themselves by the priests and patricians, was first made public in 304 13. C. by Cneius Flavius, by some believed to have been a scribe to Claudius Ca3cus. Besides the above mentioned divisions of time, with their notation, they generally contained the enumeration of festivals and games, which were fixed on certain days, astronomical observations on the rising and setting of the stars and on the seasons, and sometimes brief notices about religious rites, as well as of remarkable events. In later times flattery inserted the exploits and honors of the rulers of Rome and their families. The rural fasti (rustici, distinguished from the urbani) also contained several directions for rustic labors to be performed each month. A different kind of fasti were those called annates or historici also magistrates or consular-es, a sort of chronicles, containing the names of the chief magistrates for each year, and short accounts of remarkable events noted opposite to the days on which they occurred.

Hence the meaning of historical records in general attached to the term fasti in poets, while it is used in prose writers of the registers of consuls, dictators, censors, and other magistrates, belonging to the public archives. Several specimens of fasti of different kinds have been discovered in the last three centuries, none of which, however, are older than the age of Augustus. The fasti Maffeani, the complete ar-ble original of which was long preserved in the Maffei palace at Rome, but finally disappeared, are now known by a copy prepared by Pighius; the Verriani, known as the Praenestine calendar, comprising only five months, are historically no less remarkable. The latter appear to have contained ample information about festivals, and details of the honors bestowed upon and the triumphs achieved by Caesar, Octavia-nus, and Tiberius. A most remarkable specimen of the second class was discovered in 1540 in the forum Romanum, in large fragments, giving the list of consuls from the 250th to the 705th year of Rome, and is known under the name of fasti Capitolini. New fragments of the same tablets were found in 1817 and in 1818. Originally they contained the records of Rome from the expulsion of the kings to the death of Augustus. Labbe has given fasti con-sulares out of a MS. of the college of Clermont in his Bibliotheca Nova. Several modern writers, as Sigonius, Reland, and Baiter, have published chronological tables of Roman magistrates under the title of fasti.