lares

lares (lârˈēz) [key], in Roman religion, guardian spirits. According to some they were ghosts of the dead, destructive spirits who frequented crossroads and had to be propitiated. Others say that the lares were farm deities, worshiped as fertility powers of the earth. The most common myth, however, identifies them as household gods, beneficent spirits of ancestors, worshiped in close connection with the penates.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on lares from Fact Monster:

  • penates - penates penates , in Roman religion, household gods, primarily guardians of the storeroom. Theirs ...
  • manes - manes manes , in Roman religion, spirits of the dead. Originally, they were called di manes, a ...
  • Quintana Roo - Quintana Roo Quintana Roo , state (1990 pop. 493,277), 19,630 sq mi (50,842 sq km), SE Mexico, on ...
  • Roman religion: Origins and Development - Origins and Development The indigenous Italic religion, which was the nucleus of the religion of ...
  • Mexico: Presidents - Mexico: Presidents Presidents Guadalupe Victoria (1824–1829) Vicente Ramón Guerrero ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient Religion