A shrine within a Roman house, dedicated to the genius, or family line of the house, along with the Lares and Penates, the gods of the family and the home, respectively. Here family members performed a daily ritual, customarily in the morning after they rose, which went hand-in-hand with the tending of the hearth fire and the preparation of the morning meal. The rite was normally a simple prayer and offering of reverence, demonstrated by a movement called adoratio, or raising the right hand to the lips, kissing the fingertips of the right hand, and then extending the hand out in offering. More elaborate rituals were held on the Ides of each month or on any significant family event, and would include a longer prayer, wine and a burnt offering. The typical lararium of a common Roman house was a mantle or simple niche in the wall that provided a resting place for the Lares, which were symbolized as figurines of youthful people engaged in dance. Often these festive figures would be painted on the wall above the lararium, along with a pair of snakes beneath it, as images standing for peace and prosperity. A second type of lararium, typically found in the homes of Romans of greater status, was an intricate three-dimensional miniature temple that sat on a podium called an aedicule.

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