This chapter focuses on the mid-winter festival of Compitalia, the most important celebration of the lares compitales at their crossroads shrines, whether in town or on the farm. The rituals and practices used for their annual festival at the crossroads shrines provide vivid glimpses of what was a high point in the year for many ordinary people, including especially slaves and freedmen. The chapter has three related themes that are explored in some detail. These include the annual festival itself, the relationship of the compital shrines to their local administrative structure(s), and the practice of local politics in a compital context in republican Rome.
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