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On this page: Laphystius – Lapis – Lapithes – Lar – Lara – Larentia – Lares




LAPHYSTIUS (Aa^o-Ttos). 1. A surname of Zeus, which was derived either from .Mount Laphystius in Boeotia, or from the. verb Aa(J>i5<r-<T€ii>, to flee, so that it would be synonymous with 0if|to$ : a third opinion is, that it signified " the voracious," in reference to the human sacrifices which were .offered to him in early time. (Paus. i. 24. § 2, ix. 34. § 4.)

2. A surname of Dionysus, from the Boeotian mountain Laphystius, whence the female Bac­ chantes were called, in the Macedonian dialect, Laphystiae. (Tzetz. ad "Lycoph. 1236 ; Miiller, Orchom. p. 168, 2d edit.) [L. S.]

LAPIS, the stone, a surname of Jupiter at Rome, as we see from the expression Jovem La- pidem jurare. (Cic. ad Fain. vii. 12; Gell. i. 21 ; Polyb. iii. 26.) It was formerly believed that Jupiter Lapis was a stone statue of the god, or originally a rude stone serving as a symbol, around which people assembled for the purpose of wor­ shipping Jupiter. But it is now generally acknow­ ledged that the pebble or flint stone was regarded as the symbol of lightning, and that, therefore, in some representations of Jupiter, he held a stone in his hand instead of the thunderbolt. ( Arnob. adv. Gent. iv. 25.) Such a stone (lapis Capttolinus, Au­ gust. De Civ. Dei, ii. 29) was even set up as a symbolic representation of the god himself. (Serv. ad A en. viii. 641.) When a treaty was to be concluded, the sacred symbols of Jupiter were taken from his temple, viz. his sceptre, the pebble and grass from the district of the temple, for the purpose of swearing by them (per Jovem Lapidem jurare ; Liv. i. 24, xxx. 43 ; Fest. s. v. Ferelrius). A pebble or flint stone was also used by the Ro­ mans in killing the animal, when an oath was to be accompanied by a sacrifice ; and this custom was probably a remnant of very early times, when metal instruments were not yet used for such purposes. (Fest. s. v. Lapidem Silicem; comp. Liv. i. 24, ix. 5 ; Polyb. iii. 26 ; Plut. Sull. 10.) [L.S.]

LAPITHES (Acnrfflijs), a son of Apollo and Stilbe, the brother of Centaurus, and husband of Orsinome, the daughter of Eurynomus, by whom he became the father of Phorbas, Triopas, and Periphas. He was regarded as the ancestor of the Lapithae in the mountains of Thessaly. (Horn. //. xii. 128; Diod. iv. 69, v. 61.) They were governed by Peirithous, who being a son of Ixion, was a half-brother of the Centaurs. The latter, therefore, demanded their share in their father's kingdom, and, as their claims were not satisfied, a war arose between the Lapithae and Centaurs, which, however, was terminated by a peace. But when Peirithous married Hippodameia, and invited the Centaurs to the solemnity, a bloody war, stirred by Ares, broke out between the Lapithae and Cen­ taurs, in which the latter were defeated ; but the Lapithae were afterwards humbled by Heracles. (Horn. Od. xxi. 295,//. xii. 128, 181 ; Orph. Argon. 413 ; Diod. iv. 70 ; Paus. i. 7. § 2, v. 10. § 8 ; Strab. ix. p. 439; Ov. Met. xii. 210, &c. ; Horat. Carm. i. 18. 5 ; Plin. H. N. iv. 8, 15, xxxvi. 5, 4.) [L. S.]

LARA. [larunda.]

LARENTIA. [AccA larentia.]

LAR or LARS (Aapas, Plut. Poplic. 16, Aa'pos, Dionys. v. 21), was an Etruscan praenomen, borne for instance by Porsena and Tblumnius, and from the Etruscans passed over to the Romans ; hence


we read of Lar Herminius, who was consul b. c; 448. This word is supposed by many to have signified "Lord" in the Etruscan. (Val. Max. De Nomin. et Praenom. ; Liv. ii. 9, iv. I75iii 65.)

LARES. The worship of the Lares at Rome was closely connected with that of the Manes, and that of both was analogous to the hero worship of the Greeks. The name Lar is Etruscan, and signifies lord, king, or hero. The Lares may be divided into two classes, the Lares domestici and Lares publici, and the former were the Manes of a house raised to the dignity of heroes. So long as the house was the place where the dead were buried (Serv. ad Aen. v. 64, vi. 152), the Manes and Lares must have been more nearly identical than afterwards, although the Manes were more closely connected with the place of burial, while the Lares were more particularly the divinities presiding over the hearth and the whole house. According to what has here been said, it was not the spirits of all the dead that were honoured as Lares, but only the spirits of good men. It is not certain whether the spirits of women could become Lares; but from the sugrun" daria in Fulgentius (De Prise. Serm. p. xi. ed. Lersch.), it has been inferred that children dying be­fore they were 40 days old might become Lares. (Comp. Nonius, p. 114 ; Diomed.i. p. 379.) All the domestic Lares were headed by the Lar familiaris, who was regarded as the first originator of the family, corresponding in some measure with the Greek tfpws ^<aw^os9 whence Dionysius (iv. 2) calls him 6 /cat* oiKiav ijpoos. (Comp. Plut. De Fort. Rom. 10; and more especially Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 70 ; Plant. Aulul. Prolog.) The Lar fami­liaris was inseparable from the family ; and when the latter changed their abode, the Lar went with them. (Plaut. Tnn. 39, &c.)

The public Lares are expressly distinguished by Pliny (//. N. xxi. 8) from the domestic or private ones, and they were worshipped not only at Rome, but in all the towns regulated according to a Roman or Latin model. (Hertzberg, De Diis Rom. Pair. p. 47.) Among the Lares publici we have mention of Lares praestites and Lares compitales, who are in reality the same, and differ only in regard to the .place or occasion of their worship. Serv;.us Tullius is said to.have instituted their worship (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 70) ; and when Au­gustus improved the regulations of the city made by that king, he also renewed the worship of'the public Lares. Their name, Lares praestites, cha­racterises them as the protecting spirits of the city (Ov. Fast, v. 134), in which they had a temple in the uppermost part of the Via Sacra, that is, near a compitum, whence they might be called compitales. (Solin. 1 ; Ov. Fast. v. .128; Tacit. Ann. xii. 24.) This temple (Sacellum La/rum or aedes Laruni) contained two images, which were probably those of Romulus and Remus, and before them stood a stone figure of a dog, either the symbol of watch­fulness, or because a dog was the ordinary sacrifice offered, to the Lares. - Now, while these Lares were the general protectors of the whole city, the Lares compitales must be regarded as those who presided over the several divisions of the city, which were marked by the compita or the points where two or more streets crossed each other, and where small chapels (aediculae) were erected to those Lares, the number of which must have been very great at Rome. As Augustus wished to be regarded as the second founder of the city, the

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