Roman religion, an aedicula (pl. "aediculae") is a small shrine. The word "aedicula" is the diminutiveof the Latin"aedis" or "aedes", a temple or house; thus, an aedicula is literally a small house or temple.Many aediculae were household shrines that held small altars or statues of the Laresand Penates. The Lares were Roman deities protecting the house and the family household gods. The Penates were originally patron gods(really genii) of the storeroom, later becoming household gods guarding the entire house.
Other aediculae were small shrines within larger
temples, usually set on a base, surmounted by a pediment and surrounded by columns. In Roman architecture the aedicula has this representative function in the society. They are installed in public buildings like the Triumphal arch, City gate, or Thermes. The CelsusLibrary in Ephesus(2. c. AD) is a good example.
Similar small shrines, called
Naiskos, are found in Greek religion, but their use was strictly religious.
Aediculae exist today in Roman
cemeteriesas a part of funeral architecture.
*Adkins, Lesley & Adkins, Roy A. (1996). "Dictionary of Roman Religion". Facts on File, inc. ISBN 0-8160-3005-7.
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