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A Question of Ancestry

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:35 am
by Aulus Flavius
Salve amici,

Well I'm back, to a degree. So sorry for the long period of inactivity. Events have been hectic but hopfully this message will herald my magnificent return :)

I've noticed one or two articles on here pertaining to Lararium practices and this led me to ask this particular question. I realise this wont pertain to every practitioner of the Religio Romana, but hear me out and give me your thoughts on the matter.

The Lararium is centred around ancestor worship, we all know an agree upon this. The question I posit is can someone, say for example myself, pay homage to the deceased members of the gens Flavii?, considering that it was an actual Roman family at one point that we know of. Or, yes OR!, can worship only be delivered to my own biological family members of past generations and anything I say to the gen Flavii (and yes I'm talking about Vespasian and his lot, and I realise there were other Flavii gens) can only be taken in the context of the Cult of the Divine Emperors? Is it possible to 'adopt' a past Roman family with the adoption of a factual Roman family name or is it more a show of respect and admiration?

Well...chew on that for awhile.


A. Flavius

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:21 am
by Horatius Piscinus
Salve Aule Flavi

Yes, you may "adopt" among your Lares anyone you wish. AFAIK it began with the followers of Epicurius who celebrated his birthday and included his image in their lararia. Others then began to do the same with philosophers whom they felt especially drawn towards. Some bronze images have been found of such philosophers, identified as such by their dress but who are now unknown to us. One emperor was said to have included images of Jesus and Apollonius of Tyana as he considered them equally philosophers and holy men. Also it was an obligation to adopt Manes under certain circumstances. If you came upon the body of a person, you were obliged to perform proper rites for the deceased, and would also adopt the person among your Lares in order to maintain his rites. Or if you had a close friend who did not have any family members to maintain his rites, you would adopt him among your Lares. As the Flavii are unlikely to have had anyone maintaining their rites for so long, I would think that they would appreciate if you do welcome them among your family Lares.

Vale optime

Adopted Ancestors

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:02 am
by Aldus Marius
Avete amici,

I've been burning incense to Gaius Marius for years...I think he likes having someone remember him for something besides his last Consulship!

In fide,