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AEDIC´ULA

AEDIC´ULA signifies in the singular a room (Plaut. Epid. 402 ), but in the plural a small house (Ter. Phorm, 663). It is, however, more frequently used in the sense of a shrine, whether attached to a temple (Liv. 35.9, aediculam Victoriae virginis prope aedem Victoriae M. Porcius Cato dedicavit), or quite an independent building, of which there are many representations in works of art; or finally niches in the walls of temples or houses, containing images of gods and goddesses, like that here figured (Overbeck, Bildwerke, pl.

Aedicula or Shrine.

30, 1). (Liv. 35.41; Plin. Nat. 33.19; Petron. 29; Apul. Met. p. 96: Eponae deae simulacrum residens aediculae.) The topographers of Rome speak of 423 aediculae in Rome, one for every vicus; these were probably partly chapels, partly niches, and were usually placed at the cross-ways. They contained the images of the tutelary deity of the vicus. On the other hand, the aediculae within the house contained images of the Lares and Penates. There were also portable shrines, often of precious materials, like those made at Ephesus (Act. Ap. 19.4).

[A.S.W]

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