Sacellum Larum

Worship of the Lares

The particular location of the sacellum located in the peristyle of the Villa Romana del Casale underlines a precise choice that, compared to other destinations, aims to exalt the value of its gens through an architecturally elaborate and solemn structure. . The worship of the Lares, deities worshipped by the ancient Romans, does not originate in the context of private walls and the domestic hearth, but in agricultural properties.
The testimonies in the historical and artistic panorama lead us more to private worship than public, and inside the domus, lararia were also present in other rooms such as the bedrooms, the cubicula or the kitchen, where the guardian deities, venerated by servants, were usually only depicted on the walls for reasons of economy. In addition to painting, there were sacred furnishings, consisting of votive offerings and statues that might have depicted the family Genius, the Lares, Vesta and the Penates.
Every morning the dominus and the inhabitants of the villa would bring offerings to the protective deities before the main meals.
A possible connection of the sacellum and the worship of the Lares to the scene depicted in the vestibule cannot be ruled out. On the calends, in January, as in other particular periods of the year, the hearth had to be embellished with a crown, incense spread and spelt offered.

High-ranking characters depicted in the mosaics of the apsidal niches of the frigidarium

The main nuclei of the Domus

Outdoor breakfast

Auspicious symbols and perhaps the initials of the commissioner’s name decorate the mosaic of the apsidal room

The realistic depiction of a spa procession with a high-ranking female figure

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the monumental entrance

Worship of the Lares

The catalogue of animals

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The marble from the regions of the empire to decorate the basilica

The senses tell the room in the private apartment known as “small hunt”

The senses tell the Vestibule

Is the profile of the dominus hidden among the scenes depicted in the mosaics?

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

A large colonnaded portico, a place of connection between the rooms

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The late antiquity residence: locus amoenus and centre of administrative activities in the heart of Sicily

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

A hidden meaning

The senses tell the Basilica

Form of greeting or ritual?

The senses tell the bi-apsed ambulatory – Corridor of the “Great Hunt”

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

An eloquent symbol: the signum

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The rural sacrifice

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

Semi-public rooms

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The Latifundium

The possible celebration of a solemn event

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The senses tell the frigidarium

The public and private rooms of the villa

A chariot race, set in the circus Maximus of Rome, connects the villa to the city and centre of power

The apotheosis of Hercules

The golden age: hypotheses about the villa’s period of construction and clues

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

The senses tell the massage room

A day of hunting at the villa

The protagonists of the mosaics

Banquets and panegyrics enlivened the vast hall, against the background of a floor mosaic celebrating the feats of Hercules

A small room represents one of the activities of the thermal bath route