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The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the GardenReligion at the Roman Street Corner$
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Harriet I. Flower

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175003

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175003.001.0001

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Celebrating Lares

Celebrating Lares

(p.160) III Celebrating Lares
The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden

Harriet I. Flower

Princeton University Press

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.

Keywords:   lares, compital shrines, Compitalia, Rome, crossroads shrines

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