This page is about the Roman household deities. For the Puerto Rican town, see Lares, Puerto Rico
Lares (pl.) were ancient Roman deities who protected the house and the family - household gods. See also Genius, Larvae, Di Penates, Manes.
Lares are presumed sons of Mercury 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. 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 Manes, deities of Hades (and the most virtuous dead persons of the family). Finally the confusion included the Penates (other minor deities) as well.
- Turan, the Etruscan love goddess
Images for kids
Lar holding a cornucopia from Axatiana (now Lora del Rio) in Roman Spain, early 1st century AD (National Archaeological Museum of Spain).
Bronze Lar holding a rhyton and patera, 1st century AD (Capitoline Museum)
Inscription to the Lares Viales, the Lares of the roads
A fresco from a building near Pompeii, a rare depiction of Roman men in togae praetextae with dark red borders. It dates from the early Imperial Era and probably shows an event during Compitalia
Compitalia; the image of a Lar is carried in procession. Drawing from a fragment of bas-relief in the former Lateran Museum
Gallo-Roman Lar from the Muri collection, Imperial period (Historical Museum of Bern)