LAPWING, in ornithology, the genus Vanellus and species V. eristatus. The specific name refers to the occipital feathers of the male in winter, which are very loose, long, and curved upward, so as to constitute an erectile crest. This crest, the top of the head, the front of the neck and breast are glossy black, the up per parts green with brilliant reflections. The sides of the neck, the under parts pure white, most of the tail black, lower coverts reddish, bill blackish, feet red dish brown. Length about a foot. It is seen in spring flying over fields and downs, turning somersaults in the air, and uttering a musical cry, from which it is often called peewit.
LAR, plural LARES (la'rez), more rarely LARS, a tutelary divinity, usu ally a deified ancestor or hero. The worship of the Lares is a species of Manes Worship, and was very prevalent among the Romans. They were of two kinds: domestic and public. Of the for mer the Lar familiaris, regarded as the founder of the family, and inseparable therefrom, was the most important, and corresponded to the eponymic hero of the Greeks. The latter was divided into Prwstites, guardians of a whole city; Compitales watching over a certain por tion of a city; Rurales, gods of the coun try; Viales, protecting travelers; and Marini or Permarini (Liv. xl: 25), gods
of the ocean. (See PENATES.) LAR, capital of the district of Laris tan, in South Persia; on a -wooded plain, 60 miles from the Persian Gulf and 170 S. E. of Shiraz; has trade in tobacco, cotton, and grain; pop. about 12,000.
LARA (la'ra), a celebrated Spanish family, the founder of which was Ferdi nand Gonzales, Count of Castile and Lara; died in 970. In 1130, the family was divided into two branches, the first from Manrique De Lara, which took the title of Viscount of Narbonne, for its stock; and the second deriving from Or dogno Perez, and preserving the title of Count of Lara, till it became extinct in the latter half of the 14th century. The members of this family played an im portant part in the civil wars of Castile, under Alphonso X., Sancho IV., Ferdi nand IV., and Alphonso XI., with whom they often disputed the crown.