Penates, the Roman gods of the storeroom and kitchen. The family hearth, which formerly stood in the atrium, was their altar, and on it their images, two in number, were placed, with the image of the Lar between them. These penates were represented dancing and elevating a drinking horn in token of joy and plenty. The calends, nones, and ides of each month were set apart for their worship, as were the caristra (Feb. 22) and the saturnalia. Each family had its own penates, and the State had its public penates. The origin of these gods is extremely doubtful. As was the case with the Lares, their name was a synonym for home.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Pe*na"tes (?), n. pl. [L.] Rom. Antiq.

The household gods of the ancient Romans. They presided over the home and the family hearth. See Lar.


© Webster 1913.

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