The personification of trust and good faith, Fides presided over promises,
contracts, and pacts. Fides was the object of veneration dating from the
reign of Numa. The temple of Fides Publica on the Capitoline Hill was
dedicated on October 1, 254 B.C.E., and the anniversary of its dedication
became the yearly festival of the goddess. The Senate used this temple on
occasion for its meetings, and the building became a repository for laws and
treaties, which were recorded on bronze tablets on the temple's walls. A
pair of covered hands was her symbol, perhaps because the joining of hands
was a gesture of agreement.
Those offering her sacrifice were required to have their right hands covered
with a white cloth.