Question on the Lares and the Lararium

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Question on the Lares and the Lararium

Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:38 am

I have seen that many of you have a deity that is associated to your Lares, particularly an epithet of Ceres. So how do you know which epithet She is, or even can it be any deity for that matter?
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:32 am

Salve Aeneas

Could you explain your question again?
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Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:40 am

I am asking if the deity you associate with your Lares is always an epithet of Ceres, or can it be another deity?
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Postby Aulus Flavius on Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:36 am

Salve amici,

There would really be no problem in paying homage to other Gods alongside the Household dieties as far as I can tell. I'll let Horatius answer in full, he certainly has a far more expansive knowledge in this area then I, but as far as I myself can tell, there would be no problem combining other Gods into the Lararium.

Horatius also has a certain affinity for Ceres as well. At least I'm sure you do, whenever I chat to you Horatius it's usually far too late for me to recall various sections of what we talk about :)

Vale.

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:59 pm

Salve Aeneas

Aeneas wrote:I am asking if the deity you associate with your Lares is always an epithet of Ceres, or can it be another deity?


As Aulus said, in my case, with my family, Ferentina is our Lar Familiaris, and She happens to be Ceres, just by another name.

A lararium is for your Lares. Other deities you would worship should technically be offered separate shrines. Some families did lay claim to a divine origin, and thus might have one of the higher Gods or Goddesses as a Lar. The Iulii for example, claiming descent from Aeneas, also posed Venus as their Lar Familiaris. The Iulii also maintained a cultus genialis, or family religion, in which other deities were worshipped at separate shrines in Bovillae. Some other deities were placed in family lararia. I have seen images of Hercules that appear to have been made specifically for a lararium. There though Hercules probably represents virility in the male members of the family, so that the family line might continue. Images of Fortuna and Roma are also found that suggest they were intended for a lararium. A case in point is a bronze lararium from Antioch where the central figure is that of Roma as a Tyche (Fortuna of the City of Rome), with Victoria in the back holding a laurel wreath over Roma, and then two winged (unusual) Lares holding up cornucopiae.

Modern practitioners of the religio Romana seem to confuse the lararium as a place of worship for all the Gods and Goddesses. I guess you can do that if you like. Better, I think, to have separate little shrines throughout your house and on your land, as the Romans did themselves. Why, for example, would you worship Janus at your lararium rather than provide a little shrine to Him at your front door? Why not have a shrine to Vesta in the kitchen? Perhaps another little shrine in your bathroom, and maybe a shrine to Minerva amongst your books, another to Mercurius over your computer? Why on earth would you place a shrine to Volcanus inside your house? The Romans did not even place shrines to Volcunus inside the City, lest it might cause a fire. The Gods are all around you, why would you then have only one shrine to Them? But for modern convenience I can see where you might bring some deities together at one place of worship. Properly speaking that would not be a lararium though.

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Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:06 am

Thanks for the replies. :D
I was only wondering about the deities because i've seen some have what you called the Lar Familiaris. I was confused by that. But i get it now.
And for reference my Lararium and altar to the deities is separate.
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