Los lemures Picture

In Roman mythology, lemures (singular lemur) were shades or spirits of the restless or malignant dead, and are probably cognate with an extended sense of larvae (sing. larva = mask) as disturbing or frightening. Lemures is the more common literary term but even this is rare: it is used by Horace, and by Ovid in his Fasti.[1]. Lemures may represent the wandering and vengeful spirits of those not afforded proper burial, funeral rites or affectionate cult by the living: they are not attested by tomb or votive inscriptions. Ovid interprets them as vagrant, unsatiated and potentially vengeful di manes or di parentes (ancestral gods of the underworld). To him, the rites of their cult suggest an incomprehensibly archaic, quasi-magical and probably very ancient rural tradition. Much later, St. Augustine describes both the lemures and the larvae as evil and restless manes that torment and terrify the living: lares, on the other hand, are good manes.
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