Often there is a reredos behind it; it is also fenced in by rails to preserve it from profanation of various kinds.
This idea that material representation involves a profanation of divine personages, while disallowing all religious art which goes beyond scroll-work, spirals, flourishes and geometrical designs, yet admits to the full of secular art; and accordingly the iconoclastic emperors replaced the holy pictures in churches with frescoes of hunting scenes, and covered their palaces with garden scenes where men were plucking fruit and birds singing amid the foliage.
This temple was cared for, and the cult attended, by women only, and the same was the case at a second celebration at the beginning of December in the house of a magistrate with imperium, which became famous owing to the profanation of these mysteries by P. Clodius in 62 B.C., and the political consequences of his act.
The sabbath, once a festival, had become more strictly observed, and when he found the busy agriculturists and traders (some of them from Tyre) pursuing their usual labours on that day, he pointed to the disasters which had resulted in the past from such profanation, and immediately took measures to put down the evil (Neh.
In this festival Pales was invoked to grant protection and increase to flocks and herds; the shepherds entreated forgiveness for any unintentional profanation of holy places of which their flocks might have been guilty, and leaped three times across bonfires of hay and straw (Ovid, Fasti, iv.