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Document Details :
Title: A Roman Cult in the Italian Countryside?
Subtitle: The Compitalia and the Shrines of the Lares Compitales
Author(s): STEK, T.D.
Volume: 83 Date: 2008
The Roman religious festival of the Compitalia (‘cross-roads festival’) was celebrated in both city and countryside. It is generally assumed that it originated as a rural cult which was later incorporated in the city, where it became the principal festival of the vici or urban quarters. In this paper it will be argued that the spread of the Compitalia might have been in the opposite direction; in this view the Compitalia, a Roman urban festival with administrative aspects, was spread outside Rome alongside Roman influence. It is not known where the Compitalia were celebrated in the countryside. It will be suggested that ancient ‘Italic’ sanctuaries have been re-used for celebrating the Roman rite of the Compitalia, apparently by now functioning within a Roman administrative and religious system.