Roman Lar - the prancing patron gods of Rome
To be protected is a human desire that is as ancient as humanity itself.
The desire for safety, security and protection from enemies, disease and the forces of nature lives in all people, regardless of age, gender or social status, today just as it did long ago.
Lares - the little gods of the original inhabitants of Italy
In ancient times, Roman lares were small deities who guarded places, such as roads, crossroads and entire cities, but also crops, homes and families.
Their origin is not known. Evidence suggests they existed from the 5th century BC, actually much earlier, they were the earth-related gods of the primitive people. Later they moved into Roman households and from then on it was impossible to imagine life without them. Every family had its personal Roman lares who took part in family life as if they were members of the family themselves. They never left the house.
The Romans were deeply religious and superstitious. In every household there were several cult shrines, the lararia, in kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, even gardens. Small offerings were made daily to the Roman larar, fruits, and gifts from the table.
- Height of the Lar: approx. 7cm
- solid brass casting
Traditions show them singly, but also in pairs in a dual, often with the "genius", the "inner working principle" of the householder in the middle, depicted as a white toga over the head of the lord. The Roman lares carry a drinking horn (rhyton) in the raised hand, the situla (wine bucket), or patera (sacrificial bowl) in the lowered one. They are always young men, slender, light-footed and prancing.
Their female partners were the virae. The worship of the Roman lares and penates was banned on 8 November 392 (Codex Theodosianus 16.10.12).
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