Lararium

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Thu Oct 24, 2002 6:48 pm

Salve Urse

Romulus Iulius Ursus wrote:Oh, I live in a small town in Pennsylvania. Even using the statewide interlibrary loan system materials are still hard to locate. That's why I rely on websites like SVR and NR and discussion lists like this for the majority of my insight.

Romulus Iulius Ursus


Western Pa? Not far, if so, you'll have to come visit, as I am just next door in Ohio. The interlibrary exchange has always been helpful for me. You may have to wait a while at times. Problem though is that of what books are available, many are out of date. The only real source to stay on top of more recent ideas is through the professional journals or websites for archaeological digs. UPenn has a good classicist department where you should be able to access some periodicals and doctoral theses, even if not a student at the university. And if not by UPenn, you might check to see what would be available at your nearest university. University libraries are part of the library interchange, but not their periodicals or doctoral theses. And a university libray may be able to access doctoral theses from other universities for you too.

Good hunting
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Re: Out

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:13 am

Salve mi amice Mari!

Marius Peregrine wrote:(Pisci, your co-religionists are going to curse your name; now you're Stuck With Me.) >({|;-)

In fides,


Well then they will have to wait their turn in line.

I do not think I need reiterate that the Collegium Religionis was never intended to focus only on one tradition or one period of Roman religious history. If there is any period that best fits the religious milieu of the Collegium Religionis, I would think that would be the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Certainly Christianity was part of the mix then. As modern practitioners of the Religio Romana my fellow coreligionists who are part of the collegium must look at the evolution of the tradition and not limit our focus to any one period. When an issue arises concerning the tradition, true we look to the earliest sources available. We tend to admire the reforms of Numa over Cicero's rather narrow views, but we also look for inspiration from Marcus Aurelius writing in Greek as well as to Cato writing in an Archaic Latin. And due to our situation in modern times, we also look at Symmachus, Julian the Blessed, and Celsus among others. In discussion and debate with Christians there began to crystallize a pagan theology in Greek philosophy; at times we look towards Plotinus to Proclus for some explanations. It is the period of the resurgence of the ex patria traditions of the Empire that is our bridge to the past. In that period to be a Roman, practicing the Religio Romana also meant participating in other traditions, and I do not think Christianity at the time was so exclusive and opposed to the ex patria traditions that we should exclude them from our consideration within the collegium. It would, I think, do Christians well to consider the origins of their own faith, just as we look at our own, and both evolved alongside one another. Did not Paul and Seneca correspond with one another and have a mutual respect for each other's traditions?

No, Mari, you are most welcome to be here as a fellow collega.

Bene vale
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Postby Anonymous on Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:28 pm

Salvete Omnes!
I dont have a real Lararium at the time,being pretty new to the actual Religio,Ihavent had one made yet..But for the time I have a simple picture that I COPIED off the interenet of a Lararium with a Latin prayer below it..you have probably seen the picture on the net,it has a small temple with 3 figures in it with a snake below them and under it is the prayer..AT the time I have it over my computer desk,though I may move it to my mantle in the Living Room..though the fire place doesnt work.
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Postby Anonymous on Tue May 22, 2007 10:05 pm

I guess I should bump this! :wink:

I currently have no Lararium, though I am in the works of preparing one. I just have pictures of my father centered between statues of Iuno and Minerva, along with alstroemeria flowers scattered around with candles. I am currently considering moving it, however I'm unsure about this. I live in a small condo, renting a room, so space is very limited. The two statues are on a shelf on the wall, however it being drywall makes me nervous as I've had them break off and slip off the nails.

I am thinking of using the top of my 4 ft bookshelf/cd shelf to place the statues and the shelf above to use as the Lararium. The lars statues are on its way, however I will be using a simple facsimile copy of the Penates from an image online, as Caldvs, until I can find the plaque. I'm just unsure as how this would look - deities on the bottom, and lares on top? Any insight might be helpful if this is OK. I might have to reinforce the shelf with brackets, I just hate making more holes.

Vale!
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Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Sun May 27, 2007 6:05 am

Salve,

Do tell where you managed to find a statue of Juno?
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De Larariis

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Wed May 30, 2007 10:22 pm

Salvete sodales -

I don't have a lararium, and my spiritual-religious-philosophical background is mixed and contradictory - yet I had always thought to put together a shrine of some kind as an object of meditation, aspiration, and memory - something like the Lararia most of you have created.

At one time, during a time of sincere attachment to Christianity but during which I was unable to shake off the glory of the big gods of antiquity (and some representations from my own fancy), I had planned a kind of trinity arrangement, Christ atop, Thor to his right, Venus to his left - the immortal and commanding spirit over what I felt were "the powers of the Earth".

What's interesting is that when my mother-in-law passed away, who was from a Chinese family, my wife and her brother created a shrine for her, composed of her picture, flowers, and candles to either side, and Goon-yum (Guanyin) poised in a painting up above it all. Nightly we burn candles for her and try to take a minute to speak with her spirit, with the idea or memory of her that we have.

Valete bene.
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:43 pm

Salvete bene Serenilla, Caldus, et omnes

Caldvs wrote:But for the time I have a simple picture that I COPIED off the interenet of a Lararium ...you have probably seen the picture on the net,it has a small temple with 3 figures in it with a snake below them .


Caldus refers to a wall painting from a shop in Pompeii. The serpent represents the genius loci of the place where the shop is located. The central figure could be a Lar, representing the shop keeper's ancestor offering to the genius loci. The two flanking figures are sometimes called penates or otherwise Lares Augustales, but what they represent are Lares compitales. Although this image is widely used today by gentiles Romani, it does not represent a lararium of the home.

As part of his so-called Restoration, Augustus reorganized the City into new neighborhoods. As part of this, he established new shrines (saculla) at street intersections that defined the neighborhoods. This was done after the manner of altars set up at rural crossroads for Lares compitales. Augustus personally presented statues of Lares compitales to these new shrines, and thus they came to be called Lares Augustales. They were thought of in terms of being Penates of the imperial house, extending their protection over the empire and all of its residents.

There are two versions of these Lares Augustales. What are seen in Pompeii are the later form. The bottom of their tunics flare as they dance, while holding up a rhiaton in their right hands and a serving platter in their left hand. The earlier version had them holding a cornucopia on their left and a patera, or offering dish, in their right hands. It would seem, too, that these earlier Lares Augustales were singular, and thus became a model for the central figure seen in the Pompeian images.

The image to which Caldus refers essentially belonged to an imperial cultus. A household lararium would most properly include images of the family's ancestors. A little shop keeper like a baker, which is where one such image was found, was likely a freedman or possibly a freedwoman. Their ancestors would not have been so respectable - being either slaves or barbarians. So instead they identified themselves into the imperial cultus, into the Pax Romana established and maintained by the emperor, as one thing that did offer them some protection against the currents of fickle fortune.

Valete
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:07 am

Salva sis, Serenilla

Serenilla wrote:I'm just unsure as how this would look - deities on the bottom, and lares on top? Any insight might be helpful if this is OK.


There are a few reasons why it would be considered improper to mix different deities together. There are also some exceptions that might allow you to include certain deities along with your Lares in a lararium. It would come down to how you think of the Gods - a subject onto itself. But the fact that you are having qualms about it does mean that you make separate shrines for your deities from the lararium, and this is most proper anyway.

Vale et vade in pace Deorum
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:08 am

Salvete cultores Deorum

Anything that is used for ritual purpose is to be dedicated to that purpose alone - the place, the implements, the offerings themselves - and further they are generally to be dedicated to one deity alone.

The primary example given is that of M. Macellus when he wished to dedicate a single temple to Virtus and Honos. The pontifices interfered "on the grounds that a single sanctuary could not properly be dedicated to two deities, arguing that if some prodigy were to occur therein, it would be impossible to determine to which of the two an expiatory ceremony should be performed and that it was not customary to sacrifice to two deities at once, with some exceptions," or else, "moreover a single victim could not be properly sacrificed to two gods simultaneously except in certain recognized cases." Thus Marcellus ended up having to build two temples, increasing his personal costs and delaying his dedication (Valerius Maxmimus 1.1.8; Livy 27.25.7-10). One of the exceptions would be where there is a collective deity – the Parcae, the Tempestes, the three Junones, or Di indigiti, or of course with the Lares.

Another problem arises when you mix ritual for different categories of deities. Basically there are three categories - the Di caelisti, Di inferi, and Di inferni, or the celestial Gods above, the earthly, lesser gods, and then the Gods and other entities of the Underworld. Among the Manes there is something of the same divisions, with the Lares more or less having a celestial abode, the Lemures bound to the earth, while some Manes and the Larvae would be associated with the Underworld. There are differences in the manner that ritual is performed for each of these categories, so that you really cannot combine them together.

Rites performed for the celestial Gods are to be conducted during daylight, preferably at dawn, when the Light of the Gods enters into the world once more. As such, prayers addressed to the celestial Gods are generally said while facing east towards the rising sun, although other orientations can be used since some deities are associated with specific directions or phenomenon. Rites to the infernal Gods are performed at night, or else beneath a canopy or roof to shelter the rites from the view of celestial Gods. The west or northwest is generally associated with the infernal Gods, and one would face towards the setting sun as rites to infernal Gods began. For the terrestrial Gods rites might more generally be conducted during twilight hours. They can be conducted in daylight, but would also be conducted at night if addressing Their infernal aspect. With terrestrial Gods one orients on Their location - towards a forest if forest deities, towards the sea or river, or towards mountains and hills, or however else may be appropriate.

The gesture used when addressing the celestial Gods is either the right hand or both hands held manus supina with the palm(s) directed toward the sky. For terrestrial Gods and Goddesses the right hand only is held manus supina and the palm is direct toward an earthly feature with which the deity is identified. The infernal deities are addressed using the right hand only, held manus prona. The palm faces down over an altar, or over a pit or chasm. Also, the right hand is used when making offerings to celestial or terrestrial deities or to the Lares, but the left hand is used instead when offering to infernal deities.

The altars used in rites for the celestial Gods are square, and the fire placed upon the altar should be made square, by first forming the square molucum. The simplest were those cut from turf. The individual altars that can be commonly seen were likewise topped with turf. The special U-shaped altars, as with the Ars Pacis or those at Lavinium, were likewise intended for celestial deities. With those, sacrifices were made side by side to more than one deity, but likely squares of turf were placed on these so that separate fires were kept. For the infernal Gods, pits are dug first, and an altar or fire is then placed inside the pit. The altar and/or fire is round, the wood first stacked up to form a cone shape. For terrestrial deities often times no fire is used and neither is an altar constructed for the purpose of sacrificing offerings. Instead offerings would be left at places in nature. That is, flowers were offered into rivers, spring fed ponds, and fountains, or else hung at places dedicated to terrestrial deities, bread, fruits and vegetables were left at their places, and wine or blood was poured on the roots of trees or vines and portions of a victim might be hung on trees. For terrestrial deities there was also a special sort of altar, one that was round and hollow, where a round fire could be built down in its well.

Arbores felices were used for celestial and terrestrial deities when making a fire. They could also be used for infernal deities when called upon to perform some benefit. Trees of purification, like pine, juniper, and cypress were more apt to be used for the infernal deities. Arbores infelices were generally avoided in ritual use, but could be used in some cases with infernal deities, depending on the rite.

The source of water used in ritual could be a consideration as well. Water used to purify a space or person has to be "pure," which is to say it has to come from a flowing source like a natural spring or a river, and never from pipes. For terrestrial deities the location of the source could have some significance. For celestial deities - rain water was collected, but rivers and springs could also be used as these were believed to be connected to celestial waters (see Seneca's Natural Questions as one example). Sulfur springs and volcanic shafts were believed to lead down into the Underworld. We know that some rites were performed near such places. I don't recall any specific mention of sulfurous water being used in rites concerning the Underworld, but it would have been a possibility at such places as Albunea.

Incense was offered to present a pleasing fragrance or else to purify a place. Exotic incense such as myrrh, frankincense, cinnamon, and nard were generally reserved for the celestial Gods. Foul scented sulfur was used for infernal deities, more often to ward off than to attract Them. Herbs of the earth were most commonly used for terrestrial deities. Some trees and herbs were more closely identified with certain deities over others. However it was more often the location from which the herbs came, rather than what herbs, that was important.

In general, milk is the preferred libation to use for terrestrial and infernal deities, while wine is most often used for celestial deities. However, what governs which libation is used depends more on the cultus Dei, the particular rite, and the particular deity. Libations to the celestial Gods were burned on the altar, while libations to infernal deities were poured into pits or chasms. Libations to terrestrial deities would be poured into rivers, lakes, fountains, ponds and the sea, or else onto the earth, and quite often over a large stone. Water was offered not as a libation but for cleaning and thus set out in lebes. Olive oil and honey were common offerings, not considered as libations, but offered in the same way as was appropriate.

The celestial gods were offered white animal victims. Only certain portions of the animal were allotted for the celestial Gods. Black animal victims were used for infernal deities, and the victim had to be burnt whole. Red animal victims were used for Vulcanus and Robigo. Mature animal victims were preferred for celestial deities, immature animal victims were often used for infernal deities. Terrestrial deities were most often treated as celestial Gods in this regard, or else were served special prepared dishes, or else a portion of a meal prepared for mortals. Meals could be shared between mortals and the celestial or terrestrial deities, but never between mortals and infernal deities.

First fruits, fruges primis, were offered to celestial and terrestrial deities. These would be burned on the altar for celestial deities. They might instead be buried for some terrestrial deities, burned in some cases, or otherwise would be left out for terrestrial deities.

Salt was an important offering to give to infernal and terrestrial deities. The specially prepared mola salsa used for sanctifying sacrifices to the Gods was not salt. It was salted grain meal. Bowls of salt would be placed out for terrestrial deities and for Manes, while salt was also poured in pits to infernal deities. I do not recall offerings of salt, as such, being offered to celestial deities.

The above is only a general guideline on some ritual differences. The Lares are dealt with more as celestial deities than as terrestrial, and in spite of their being considered spirits of the honored dead, they are not treated in the same manner as infernal deities.

Thus, to reinforce what I wrote earlier, generally you would not mix other deities in with your Lares, although there would be some exceptions.

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Postby M.Apollonius Silvanus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:00 pm

Salve!

My Lararium is just something I concocted by looking up photos of Lararium on the net. Mine is simply made out of a styrofoam material that I cut out and pinned together with a photo of the Lares placed in it. It sits on my wall altar that is located in our dinning area which is between the living room and kitchen. Here is a photo of it. Nothing fancy, but it works for me.

Image

As you can see it contains 2 small ceramic dishes(libation jug and salt pot), a ceramic dish(food dish),insence holder,2 oil lamps and 2 small metal vases,other than the Lararium itself.
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Postby Marcus Lupinius Paulus on Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:13 pm

Salve Silvanus,

I am not a religio practitioner, but I must say that set up of yours is IMPRESSIVE! A very creative solution for one unable to afford a custom carved marble piece!

What kind of products did that styrofoam package? If I see similar pieces, I may try to make a "replica" of an Isian piece.

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Postby M.Apollonius Silvanus on Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:27 pm

Marcus Lupinius Paulus wrote:Salve Silvanus,

I am not a religio practitioner, but I must say that set up of yours is IMPRESSIVE! A very creative solution for one unable to afford a custom carved marble piece!

What kind of products did that styrofoam package? If I see similar pieces, I may try to make a "replica" of an Isian piece.

Paulus

Salve Paulus,

Thanks! It came in a box that my computer was packaged in. It had the # 32-040-080821 on it and is a layered recycled type foam,not the kind some ice chests are made of. It is very easy to cut. I drew lines on it with a ruler and cut it with a pair of scissors. ;) I then cut out 2 sqaures in the bottom peice and slide the top part into it so it would stand up. Oh and I peiced the other parts together with tooth picks lol. The back is just a peice of card board.

That may be a little more info than you wanted but thats how I made it.

Vale!
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Postby Marcus Lupinius Paulus on Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:24 am

That is a clever way to do it. And you have an original. I have seen only one or two replicas that people can buy. But by making your own, no matter if it is cheap, you have something original. Plus, as an old pastor I knew used to say, "He who cuts his own firewood warms himself twice."

Here is an attempt of my own at producing a picture for my future Isis website. What do you do when you have a statue of Isis without a head and with a broken arm, and a head of Isis without a body?

This picture needs improvment, but Iam pleased with it. I cannot afford Photoshop and would not knowhow to useit. But necessity can lead you to creative things even with Windows Paint and an obsolete viewer like Winjpeg!

Image[/img]
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Isidis Imaginis Reconstructio

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:02 am

Salve, Marce -

Nice job.

Vale.
Last edited by Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cepasaccus on Thu May 01, 2008 12:32 am

cepasaccus Marco s d

You might want to try gimp. Unless you want to do professional printing or are accustomed to its interface, gimp is probably the better choice and it is free.

vale
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