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Deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron or protector of a particular place
A tutelary ( or ) (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of "tutelary" expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship.
Stone doors of a tomb of the period of the Northern Dynasties to T?ang Dynasty, excavated in Ching-pien County of the city of Yü-lin, Shensi Province. It shows two figures with tridents as the guardian deities of the tomb.
Chinese folk religion, both past and present, includes a myriad of tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages and prominent ancestors will be deified and honored after passing away. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors.
Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of individual locality and each locality has its own Earth Deity.
Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of individual city, and are worship by local officials and locals since imperial times.
In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped.
Thai provincial capitals have tutelary city pillars and palladiums. The guardian spirit of a house is known as Chao Thi (?) or Phra Phum (?). Almost every traditional household in Thailand has a miniature shrine housing this tutelary deity, known as a spirit house.
Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:
You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me ... . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.
The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: For instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens.
Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of [Juno (mythology)|Juno}, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome.
The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as "tower-crowned" represents their capacity to preserve the city.
A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was MarsCamulus,
Lararium depicting tutelary deities of the house: the ancestral Genius (center) flanked by two Lares, with a guardian serpent below
Tutelary deities were also attached to sites of a much smaller scale, such as storerooms, crossroads, and granaries. Each Roman home had a set of protective deities: the Lar or Lares of the household or familia, whose shrine was a lararium; the Penates who guarded the storeroom (penus) of the innermost part of the house; Vesta, whose sacred site in each house was the hearth; and the Genius of the paterfamilias, the head of household. The poet Martial lists the tutelary deities who watch over various aspects of his farm. The architecture of a granary (horreum) featured niches for images of the tutelary deities, who might include the genius loci or guardian spirit of the site, Hercules, Silvanus, Fortuna Conservatrix ("Fortuna the Preserver") and in the Greek East Aphrodite and Agathe Tyche.
The Lares Compitales were the tutelary gods of a neighborhood (vicus), each of which had a compitum (shrine) devoted to these. During the Republic, the cult of local or neighborhood tutelaries sometimes became rallying points for political and social unrest.
^Derks, Ton (1998). Gods, Temples, and Ritual Practices: The transformation of religious ideas and values in Roman Gaul. Amsterdam University Press. pp. 100, 105, 108-109. Local elites ... were well aware of the mythological tales connected with the various Roman gods, and in the choice of a tutelary god for their civitas or pagus opted deliberately for a deity who, in all his aspects, was most in keeping with their own perception of the world.
^Warrior, Valerie M. (2006). Roman Religion. Cambridge University Press. pp. 28-29.
^Martial. Epigrams. 10.92. cited by Warrior. Roman Religion. pp. 29-30.
^Rickman, Geoffrey (1971). Roman Granaries and Store Buildings. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35, 52, 57, 313-314.
^Gradel. Emperor Worship and Roman Religion. p. 11.