LIBATION (Lat. libatio, from libare, to take a portion of something, to taste, hence to pour out as an offering to a deity, etc.; cf. Gr. \elj3av), a drink offering, the pouring out of a small quantity of wine, milk or other liquid as a ceremonial act. Such an act was performed in honour of the dead (Gr. x o< "> Lat. profusiones),in making of treaties (Gr. airovofi, <rirev5tiv= libare, whence ffirovSai, treaty), and particularly in honour of the gods (Gr. Xoi/3ii, Lat. libalio, libamentum, libamen). Such libations to the gods were made as part of the daily ritual of domestic worship, or at banquets or feasts to the Lares, or to special deities, as by the Greeks to Hermes, the god of sleep, when going to rest.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)