Lares, a class of inferior divinities or protecting spirits in ancient Rome, domestic and public. Their worship was closely connected with that of the manes, but only the spirits of the good were honored as lares. The household lares were headed by the lar familiaris, who was revered as the founder of the family. When the latter changed abode, he followed them. The worship of the public lares is said to have been introduced by Servius Tullius; it was renewed by Augustus. They were considered as the protecting spirits of the city, and had a temple in the Via Sacra. There were others who were regarded as presiding over the several divisions of the city, over the rural districts, high roads, etc. In great houses the images of the household lares had their separate apartment, called cedicula or lararium. Their worship was simple; they received offerings in patella, especially on the calends, nones, and ides of every month. On joyful occasions they were adorned with wreaths. (See Penates.)