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6. Lateranus,41084108    No mention is made of this deity by any other author. as you say, is the god and genius of hearths, and received this name because men build that kind of fireplace of unbaked bricks. What then? if hearths were made of baked clay, or any other material whatever, will they have no genii? and will Lateranus, whoever he is, abandon his duty as guardian, because the kingdom which he possesses has not been formed of bricks of clay? And for what purpose,41094109    Lit., “that he may do what.” I ask, has that god received the charge of hearths? He runs about the kitchens of men, examin478ing and discovering with what kinds of wood the heat in their fires is produced; he gives strength41104110    Lit., “good condition,” habitudinem. to earthen vessels that they may not fly in pieces, overcome by the violence of the flames; he sees that the flavour of unspoilt dainties reaches the taste of the palate with their own pleasantness, and acts the part of a taster, and tries whether the sauces have been rightly prepared. Is not this unseemly, nay—to speak with more truth—disgraceful, impious, to introduce some pretended deities for this only, not to do them reverence with fitting honours, but to appoint them over base things, and disreputable actions?41114111    Lit., “a disreputable act.”

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