The custom of censers and censing in imperial Rome
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The function of the Roman ceramic censers has long since been a controversial one. Based on the information gained from the processing of the censers found in Zalalövo and on the ancient sources we can refute that the censers were used as oil-lamps, libation vessels, fruit bowls or flower pots. There were turibula in each roman household (Liv. XXIX,14,13) and on the basis of the burned traces they were used for the regular offerings for the domestic gods. The name of the turibulum derives from the most often burned substance, the frankincense, which - beyond its ritual aspect - had several practical advantages. With the spread of Christianity, the censers started to disappear from the life of the Roman people because the early Christians considered substance-burning as a pagan act, and refused it.
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