1. Small room or niche in a Roman house used as a type of private chapel or shrine where images of the lares and penates (household deities) were placed for devotional observances. Emperor Alexander Severus (222–35) furnished his lararia with an eclectic collection of the principal Roman deities to which he added Abraham, Achilles, Alexander the Great, Christ, Cicero, Orpheus, and Virgil.
2. Place or room for the display of Antique statuettes, as in Thomas Hope's celebrated house in Duchess Street, London (1799–1819).
Alexander Severus (Marcus Aurelius Alexander Severus) (sĬvēr´əs), d. 235, Roman emperor (222–35), b. Syria. His name was changed (221) from Alexius Bassianus when he was adopted as the successor to Heliogabalus. Although he won a triumph in a campaign (232) against Ardashir I of Persia, he could not maintain discipline among his own troops and had to retire from battle. In a mutiny on the Rhine, he and his mother, Julia Mamaea, were murdered by the supporters of Maximin (d. 238).