The Ancient Library

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On this page: Laodameia – Laomedon – Laquearia – Laquearius – Lara – Lararium – Lares



and, when the Greeks had departed for a time from Troy, leaving the wooden horse behind them, he again offended, by serving as a priest on the occasion of the sacrifice offered to PSseidon. Accordingly, in the midst of the sacrificial feast, the god sent two serpents who strangled Laocoon and one of his sona. In Vergil's account [^£n. ii 230] Laocoon draws down upon himself the wrath of Athena, not only for warning the Trojans against the guile of the Greeks, but for piercing with a spear the flank of the horse dedicated to the goddess. Whilst he was sacrificing to Poseidon on the beach, Athena caused two snakes to emerge from the sea and strangle the father and both of his sons. This incident has been represented in the famous group of sculpture (see cut), the work of the Ehodian artists Agesander, Pfilydorus, and Athenodorus, which was found in 1506 amid the ruins of the house of the emperor Titus at Rome. It is now in the Belvedere court of the Vatican Museum. (Corny. sculpture.)

La5dameia. (Lat. -la). The daughter of Acastus, and wife of Protesilaus (q.v.). She was celebrated for her attachment to her husband, whom she followed to death of her own free will.

Laomedon. Son of Ilus and Eurydice, father of Priam, Tithonus, and HesISne, and king of Ilium. Apollo and PSseidon served him for wages, the former pasturing his flock on Mount Ida, while the latter, either alone or with the help of Apollo and ^Eacus (q.v.), built the walls of the town. But Laomedon defrauded the gods of the payment that had been agreed upon. Apollo therefore visited the land with a plague, and Poseidon sent a sea-monster, to whom the king was forced to offer his daughter Hesione. Heracles, on his way back from the Amazons, found the maiden chained to a rock in the sea, and he offered to kill the monster if he were given the magic horses which Zeus had bestowed on Tros in exchange for Ganymede, whom he had carried off. Laomedon agreed to this, but again broke his promise. Accor­dingly Heracles (q.v.) subsequently waged

war against him, and after capturing the city, slew him and all his sons,except Priam.

Laquearia. See lacunaria.

Laquearius. See gladiatores.

Lara. See mania.

Lararium. The shrine of the Lares. (See lares.)

Lares (i.e. lords). The Latin name for the good spirits of the departed, who even after death continue to be active in bring­ing blessing on their posterity. The origin of the worship of the Lares is traced to the fact that the Romans buried their dead in their own houses, until it was forbidden by the laws of the Twelve Tables. Every house had individually a lar f&mlllaris, who was the " lord " or tutelary spirit of the family; his chief care was to prevent its dying out. His image, habited in a tOga,



stood between the two Pgndtes, in the Idrarium or shrine of the Lares, beside t!he household hearth, which in early days was

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.