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see lemureslemures
, in Roman religion, vampirelike ghosts of the dead; also called larvae. To exorcise these malevolent spirits from the home, the Romans held rites, the Lemuria (May 9, 11, 13).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



or lemures, in Roman religion; the ghosts of those who died prematurely or violently. Larvae returned to earth to haunt and harm the living. In order to propitiate them, Romans celebrated Lemuria, holidays held on May 9, 11, and 13. The word “larva” entered medieval demonology as a term for “apparition” or “specter.”

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.