The Guardian Lares In Book V Of Ovid's Fasti

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The Lares were known to have an association with dogs. They were often made to look like young men wearing dog skins. Dogs were also depicted at the feet of the Lares. The relationship between dogs and the Lares is described in Book V of Ovid’s Fasti: To the Guardian Lares, with small statues of the gods. Curius vowed them: but time destroys many things, And the long ages wear away the stone. The reason for their epithet of Guardian, Is that they keep safe watch over everything. They support us, and protect the City walls, And they’re propitious, and bring us aid. A dog, carved from the same stone, used to stand At their feet: why did it stand there with the Lares? Both guard the house: both are loyal to their master: Crossroads are dear to…show more content…
Food was closely linked to the domestic cult, as the welfare of the house lie in the nutrition and health of its members, and household gods were concerned with the protection of the family’s food supplies. In this, Lares were closely tied to the slaves who were responsible for preparing the food, “working in the present to preserve and continue past traditions for future generations.” The lararia appearing in Pompeiian kitchens depicted the genius of the paterfamilias, the male head of the household, and were likely placed purposely for their slaves. These lararia differed greatly in style and quality from those found in the atrium or public areas of the household, suggesting there were two spheres within domestic religion. These shrines were essential in forming a collective identity within the home between master and slaves. Slaves also appear in the shrines themselves. In a kitchen lararium the wall-painting depicts both the family and the slaves, identified by their tunics, are shown participating in the sacrifice performed for the paterfamilias. The genius of the paterfamilias sustains the household and slaves pour libations to him, renewing subordination through the act of ritual. Establishing close relationships with the family was believed to hinder possible slave revolt. Shared experiences and cult practices were used to nurture emotional bonds and create a sense of community within the household, while also reinforcing distinctions in class and

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