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Lares

Articles on pp314‑316 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.


Lares, Aedes: (delubra, Ovid): a temple of the Lares in summa sacra via (Solin. I.23), mentioned first in connection with the prodigies of 106 B.C. (Obseq. 41),º and by Cicero (de nat. deor. III.63; Plin. NH II. 16) to locate the fanum Orbonae. It was restored by Augustus (Mon. Anc. IV.7 = Grk. X.11: ναὸς Ἡρώων πρὸς τῇ ἱερᾳ ὁδῷ, and its day of dedication was 27th June (Ov. Fast. VI.791‑792; Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 99). These are the only references that belong indisputably to this temple, and they indicate a site at the top of the Sacra via, that is, near the arch of Titus.

In describing the line of the original pomerium, Tacitus (Ann. XII. 24) gives four points, magna Herculis ara, ara Consi, curiae veteres, sacellum Larum, presumably the four corners of the quadrilateral. Again Ovid, under date of the kalends of May (Fast. V.129, 130), makes this the day of dedication of an altar of the Lares Praestites:

Praestitibus Maiae Laribus videre kalendae

aram constitui signaque parva deum.

It was thought that Ovid here and in the passage quoted above might have been referring to the same shrine, and that May 1st was the festival day of the earlier p315temple, while 27th June was that of Augustus' restoration, a fact that the poet forgot to make plain; but the discovery of Fast. Ant. (which is a calendar earlier than Caesar) makes this hypothesis impossible. It is also possible that the sacellum Larum of Tacitus may be the aedes in summa sacra via, and that for some unknown reason he preferred to mark the pomerium line at this point rather than at the north-west corner. Further complication is introduced into the problem by two marble bases with dedicatory inscriptions — CIL VI.456: Laribus publicis sacrum imp. Caesar Augustus ex stipe quam populus ei contulit k. Ianuar. Apsenti; VI.30954: Laribus Aug. sacrum — the first found near the entrance into the forum from the Farnese gardens about 1555, that is, a little north-west of the arch of Titus, a point corresponding to summa sacra via; and the second found in 1879 opposite SS. Cosma e Damiano. Whether either of these bases belongs to the aedes, or to some of the monuments erected throughout the city by Augustus (Suet. Aug. 57), has been much disputed. If the first does belong to the aedes (Richter 161), it is some evidence for the site of the temple; if not (Mommsen, RGDA 82; HJ 22), it has no value either way. The second is of no topographical value.

The relationship of these two or three shrines has given rise to much discussion, but the most probable, although not altogether satisfactory, explanation is that the aedes restored by Augustus in summa sacra via had no connection with the sacellum of Tacitus, which was at the north-west corner of the Palatine and identical with the ara Larum Praestitum of Ovid (Jord. I.2.420; HJ 22; Richter, Die älteste Wohnstätte des röm. Volkes 9, 10; Top. 33, 160‑161; WR 171; Wissowa, Ges. Abh. 277 ff.; Rosch. II.1871; Gilb. III.424; BC 1914, 99; RE XII.813; and other literature cited in these references). It has also been conjectured that the sacellum Larum formed part of the Atrium Vestae (q.v.).

During recent excavations some ruins were found on the south-west side of the arch of Titus, which may have belonged to this temple, but reconstructions have been so extensive at this point that any certainty seems impossible (CR 1905, 75‑76, 237, 328; 1909, 61; Mitt. 1905, 118‑119; BPW 1905, 428‑429; HC 250; DR 138‑142).

Lares Alites: see Vicus Larum Alitum.

Lares Curiales: see Vicus Larum Curialium.

Lares Permarini, Aedes: a temple of the Lares who protect sailors, in the campus Martius. It was vowed by the praetor, L. Aemilius Regillus, while engaged in a naval battle with the fleet of Antiochus the Great in 190 B.C., and dedicated by M. Aemilius Lepidus, when censor, on 22nd December, 179 (Liv. XL.52.4; Macrob. I.10.10; Fast. Praen. ad XI Kal. Ian., CIL I2 pp238, 338; Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 120; HJ 487; Gilb. III.149; Rosch. II.1870‑1871; WR 170). On the doors of the temple was a dedicatory inscription in Saturnian metre (Liv. loc. cit.; cf. Baehrens, Frag. poet. Rom. 54‑55). The temple stood 'in porticu Minucia' (Fast. p316Praen.), and therefore its exact site depends on that of the porticus (q.v.; AR 1909, 76, p1; RE XII.812.).

Lares Querquetulani, sacellum: a shrine placed by Varro on the Esquiline (LL V.49), although Mons Querquetulanus (q.v.) is said to have been an early name for the Caelian, and the Porta Querquetulana (q.v.) was probably on that hill. This shrine is otherwise unknown, but was evidently not an aedes sacra but rather one of the shrines erected at the compita (WR 171; HJ 221‑222; Rosch. II.1871; Gilb. II.37‑38, 63 for an elaborate but fanciful explanation of this name and location of the shrine).


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