The Lares, Roman household gods of antiquity, were in some respect regarded as the secret heart of the Roman household. Hardly a crime within the family was weighed more heavily than an insult or dishonor of Lares. In extreme cases such blasphemy was even punished by the pater familias with death. Thus the family members were always concerned about their household gods, because of the constant risk that they could be stolen by hostile parties and the own house would be faced with ruin.
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