Festival of the Terminalia


Surveying has a long and storied history stretching back to ancient Egypt where early boundary marking techniques were used for dividing land into plots for taxing landowners.


The ancient Greeks took these methods a step further, using geometry to calculate precise measurements and inventing the earliest known piece of surveying equipment––the Diopter.


A few centuries later, the ancient Romans integrated surveying into their mythology through the worship of Terminus, a god who protected boundary markers and property. Each year on February 23rd, Roman landowners celebrated “Terminalia,” a festival to honor Terminus while renewing their spirits for the coming year.


The Cippus of Probus, Carthage

The Cippus of Probus, Roman boundary marker


Today, surveyors are still celebrating Terminalia, however a few things have changed. Ritual sacrifices and communal feasts have turned into a slightly more subdued evening of refreshments and good conversation with fellow surveyors.


Instead of traveling to the Roman countryside, this year’s Festival of Terminalia is being held closer to home. The Connecticut Association of Land Surveyors (CALS), for example, is one state association organizing meetups for surveying professionals in local establishments throughout the state, giving surveyors in the area a chance to get together, have a drink, and enjoy the company of others in the industry.


Visit ctsurveyors.org to learn more about the Connecticut Association of Land Surveyors and visit our survey monument product pages to browse our selection of modern marking products.


Photo credit:

"Cippus of Probus, at Carthage" by AWIB-ISAW is licensed under CC BY 4.0

“IMG_7169” by Ewan Topping is licensed under CC BY 2.0