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.