LA'RES (Latin plural; sing. Lars early plural Loses; no satisfactory derivation of the word has been given). Local divinities of the ancient. Romans. They belong to the original clement in the Roman religion, and were in early times worshiped especially in the country. At cross-roads or where several pieces of property joined, were erected coolpila. or (-Impels for the Larcs compilalcs, with an altar on each separate piece of property so that the owner could make his offerings on his own land. At the hearth also was an image or shrine of the La• fami liaris (the singular is always used till the time of Augustus), though properly he is the guar dian of the land rather than the house. The worship of this guardian spirit seems to have been especially connected with the servants of the house or the slave tenants. At the rompito(ia, au annual festival, the slaves were allowed much license, and the rustic feast was an occasion for general merry-making. At the hearth the !Air received an offering on the Kalends, Nones, and Wes, as well as at all family festivals. This was usually merely garlands or incense and wine; only on very solemn occasions, as after a death, was a victim saeriticed. Alongside these Lares privati were the Lairs ',abaci. who watched over the public lands, and whom the Arval Brothers (9.v.) invoked in their ancient hymn. The wor
ship of the Laves compitales even entered the city of Rome. though under the Repuhlie it does not seem to have been found within the ancient limits of the Septimontium. The concgc •lio celebrated this worship. were made up of freedmen and slaves. belonging thus to the lower classes. and proving so fruitful a source of disorder that the Semite in n.c. 64 attempted their suppression, and they were finally abolished by Ca-sar. Linder Augustus the whole worship received a new direction. Ile established a Conipilum in each of the Viet into which he di vided the city of Rome. where the Lures, now called Larcs Augusti, were worshiped• and be tween them the Oral/Ls of the Emperor. This worship spread through Italy and the provinces, and even was adopted in the household cult, where we now find the two Larcs with the Genius of the house owner between them. The Tares are regularly represented as dancing youths, in short tunics, a cup or patera in one hand, into which they pour wine from a horn held aloft in the other. The type was an old one. and evi dently refers to the feasting and dancing of the early rural festival.