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Lares

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Topics in Roman mythology
Important Gods:
Legendary History
Roman religion
Greek/Roman myth compared
Other minor Roman deities:

Lares (pl.) (also called Genii loci or, more archaically, Lases) were Roman deities protecting the house and the family - household gods. See also Genius, Larvae, Di Penates, Manes.

Lares are presumed sons of Hermes and Lara, and deeply venerated by ancient Romans through small statues, usually put in higher places of the house, far from the floor, or even on the roof (but some statues were also on some crossings of roads). Of the Lares proper, there are only two, and they had inferior power. Over time, their power was extended over houses, country, sea, cities, etc., as the Lares became conflated with other Roman deities and protective spirits.

The Genius loci was presumed taking part in all what happened inside the house, and a statue was also put on the table during the meals.

In the early roman times, in every house there was at least one little statue. Later, a sort of confusion connected their figure with those of Mani, deities of Hades (and the most virtuous dead persons of the family). Finally the confusion included the Penates too (other minor deities, so called because usually represented with an evident erected penis).

Types of Lares:

  1. Lares Compitales - crossroads
  2. Lares Domestici - the house
  3. Lares Familiares - family
  4. Lares Patrii
  5. Lares Permarini - the sea
  6. Lares Praestitis - the state
  7. Lares Privati
  8. Lares Rurales - land
  9. Lares Viales - travelers

Lares is also a town in Puerto Rico.de:Laren (Mythologie) fr:Lares (mythologie) it:Lari (mitologia) nl:Laren (mythologie) pl:Lary

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