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On this page: Larentalia – Lares – Largitio – Larnaces – Later




and in which their images were kept and wor­ shipped. It seems to have been customary for re­ ligious Romans in the morning, immediately after they rose, to perform their prayers in the lararium. This custom is said at least to have been observed by the emperor Alexander Severus (Lamprid. AL Sev. 29, 31), who had among the statues of his Lares those of Christ, Abraham, Orpheus, and Alexander the Great. This emperor had a second lararium, from which the first is distinguished by the epithet majus, and the images of his second or lesser lararium were representations of great and distinguished men, among whom are mentioned Virgil, Cicero, and Achilles. That these images were sometimes of gold, is stated by Suetonius ( Vitell. 2). We do not know whether it was cus­ tomary to have more than one lararium in a house, or whether the case of Alexander Severus is merely to be looked upon as an exception. [L. S.]

LARENTALIA, sometimes written LAREN-TINA'LIA and LAURENTA'LIA, was a Ro­man-festival in honour of Acca Larentia, the wife of Faustulus and the nurse of Romulus and Remus. It was celebrated in December on the 10th before the Calends of January. (Festus, s, v. ; Macrob. i. 10 ; Ovid, Fast. iii. 57.) The sacrifice in this festival was performed in the Velabrum at the place which led into the Nova Via, which was outside of the old city not far from the porta Romanula. At this place Acca was said to have been buried. (Macrob. L c. ; Varr. de Ling. Lat. v. 23,24.) This festival appears not to have been confined to Acca Larentia, but to have been sacred to all the Lares. (Hartung, Die Religion derRomer, vol. ii. p. 146.)

LARES. See Diet, of Gr. and Rom. Biography and Mythology.

LARGITIO. [ambitus ; frumentariae leges.]

LARNACES (\dpmKes'). [FuNus, p. 555, b.J

LATER, dim. LATERCULUS (vXiveos, dim. nXivd'iSy irKivQiovJ) a brick. Besides the Greeks and Romans other ancient nations employed brick for building to a great extent, especially the Baby­lonians (Herod. 179 ; Xen. Anal), iii. 4. §§ 7, 11-; Nahum, iii. 14) and Egyptians. In the latter country a painting on the "\\alls of a tomb at Thebes ( Wilkinson's Manners and Customs, vol. ii. p." 99) exhibits slaves, in one part employed in procuring water, in mixing, tempering, and carrying the clay, or in turning the bricks out of the mould [forma], and arranging them in order on the ground to be dried by the sun, and in another part carrying the dried bricks by means of the yoke [AsiLLA]. In the annexed woodcut we see a man with three bricks suspended from each end of the yoke, and beside him another who returns from having de­posited his load.

These figures are selected from the above-men­tioned painting, being in fact original portraits of two 'Aiyinrnoi irXivQofyopoi, girt with linen round the loins in exact accordance with the description given of them by Aristophanes, who at the same time alludes to all the operations in the process of brick-makiug (7rAu>0o7roaa, Schol. in Pind. Ol. v. 20), which arc exhibited in the Theban painting. (Aves9 1132—1152 ; Schol. ad loo.)

The Romans distinguished between those bricks which were merely dried by the. sun and air (la-teres crudi) Plin. H. N. xxxv. 48 ; Varro, de, Re Itust. i. 14 Col. de Re Rust, ix. 1 j TT\ivdos a?

Paus. viii. 8. § 5), and those which were burnt in the kiln (cocti or coctiles ; otttcu, Xen. Anab. ii. 4. § 12 ; Herod. I. c.). They preferred for the pur­pose clay which was either whitish or decidedly red. They considered spring the best time for brick-making, and kept the bricks two years before they were used. (Pallad. de Rust. vi. 12). They made them principally of three shapes ; the Ly~ dian, which was a foot broad, l£ feet long ; the tetradoron, which was four palms square, i. e, 1 foot; and the pentadoron, which was five palms square. They used them smaller in private than in public edifices. Of this an example is pre­sented in the great building at Treves, called the palace of Constantine, which is built of " burnt bricks, each of a square form, fifteen inches in diameter, and an inch and a quarter thick." (Wyt-tenbach's Guide to the Roman Antiquities of Treves, p. 42.) These bricks therefore were the pentadora of Vitruvius arid Pliny. At certain places the bricks were made so porous as to float in water ; and these were probably used in the construction of arches, in which their lightness would be a great advantage. (Plin. //. N. xxxv. 49 ; Vitruv. ii. 3.) It was usual to mix straw with the clay. (Vitruv. I. c. • Pallad. de Re Rttst. vi. 12 ; Exod. v. 7.) In building a brick wall, at least crudo latere, i. e. with imburnt bricks, the interstices were filled with clay or mud (luto, Col. I. c.), but the bricks were also sometimes cemented with mortar. (Wyttenbach, p. 65, 66.) For an account of the mode of arranging the bricks, see murus. The Babylonians used asphaltum as the cement. (Herod. I. c.) Pliny (vii. 57) calls the brickfield lateraria, and to make bricks lateres ducere, corresponding to the Greek ir\iyQovs eAwetv or epveiv. (Herod, i, 179, ii. 136.)

The Greeks considered perpendicular brick walls more durable than stone, and introduced them in their greatest public edifices. Brick was so com­mon at Rome as to give occasion to the remark of the emperor Augustus in reference to his improve­ments, that, having found it brick (lateritiam), he had left it marble. (Sueton. Aug. 29.) The Bab}^-lonian bricks are commonly found inscribed with the characters called from their appearance arrow-headed or cuneiform. It is probable that these in­scriptions recorded the time and place where the bricks were made. The same practice was enjoined by law upon the Roman brickmakers. Each had his mark, such as the figure of a god, a plant, or an animal, encircled by his own name, often with the name of the place, of the consulate, or of the owner of the kiln or the brickfield. (Seroux

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