Have regular passive forms of the verb facere ever been used? If so, what is the first occurrence?

In all of the Latin I have seen, the passive forms of facere are replaced by fieri. Regular passive forms are easy to form (facior, faceris, facitur…) but appear to be completely out of use, at least in classical Latin. Regular passive forms can occur with prefixes like satis- or perhaps prepositions, but in this question I am only interested in the plain facere.

Nigidius (Grammatica) writes: uti 'facit' 'ποιεῖ', ita 'facitur' 'ποιεῖται' est. I would not count this as proper use in a sentence.

If my corpus searches are to be trusted, there are no proper classical uses of faci and other such forms from the present stem. But did such forms ever come to use? If yes, when? If you think such forms were never used, why do you think so?

  • 3
    Leumann mentions four occurrences only: two occurrences of faciatur: parui ... faciatur (Titinius, 97); faciantur [goes: faciatur] si tibi videtur, et triclinia (Petronius, Sat. 71); satisfacitur (Varro Men. 82), and calfaciantur (Vitr.)
    – Alex B.
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 4:10
  • @AlexB. Those two occurrences of plain facere would make a good answer.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 11:00
  • 1
    It had long been my observation that fio tends to be used instead of the passive of facio; still, I admit that when I read this question, my initial reaction was, 'That can't be right! It can't possibly be so one-sided!' And yet my own search (just on PHI) seems to confirm your findings; the passive forms of facio really aren't used very much at all (and mostly in compounds) – at least for pres., fut., and impf. tenses (obviously, it's impossible to say anything definitive about pf., fut.pf., and plupf., because the 2 verbs look identical in those tenses). A very illuminating question.
    – cnread
    Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 22:58

1 Answer 1


Passive forms of facio are rarely written, attestations such as in the Peregrinatio Egeriae and the Latin Dioscorides suggest that this might actually have been somewhat more frequent in spoken (vulgar) language. Also that some (normative) Grammarians insisted that facior does not exist may indicate that it was actually used. All known examples are listed in Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, Lipsiae 1900sqq., vol. VI,2 col. 83,1ff.

  • Are you the famous TLL lexicographer?
    – Alex B.
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 22:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.