Sacrilegium was narrowly construed as the theft of sacred things from a sacred place.
The object of the story is to establish the close connexion between Hermes, the god of theft and cunning, and the three persons - Sisyphus, Odysseus, Autolycus - who are the incarnate representations of these practices.
As slavery is assassination inasmuch as it destroys all that is valuable and desirable in human personality, so property is theft inasmuch as it appropriates the value produced by the labour of others without rendering an equivalent.
In an old confession of faith, the convert is pledged to abjure the theft and robbery of cattle and the ravaging of villages inhabited by worshippers of Mazda (Yasna, 12, 2).
The gods have vanished from the scene; there is nothing of Loki and his theft of Andvari's hoard, nothing of Odin and his gifts of the sword Gram and the magic horse Grani; and not till the third Aventiure, when Siegfried comes to Worms, are we given even a hint that such things as the sword and treasure exist.
The Larceny Act of 1861 punishes the breaking into, or out of, a place of divine worship in the same way as burglary, and the theft of things sacred in the same way as larceny.
Distinct from all these courts, if similar in its sphere, is the court which the Italian quarter generally enjoyed in each town under its own consuls - a court privileged to try all but the graver cases, like murder, theft and forgery.
His family was ruined, however, by a lawsuit while he was still young, and Hebert came to Paris, where in his struggle against poverty he endured great hardships; the accusations of theft directed against him later by Camille Desmoulins were, however, without foundation.
The death penalty was freely awarded for theft and other crimes regarded as coming under that head; for theft involving entrance of palace or temple treasury, for illegal purchase from minor or slave, for selling stolen goods or receiving the same, for common theft in the open (in default of multiple restoration) or receiving the same, for false claim to goods, for kidnapping, for assisting or harbouring fugitive slaves, for detaining or appropriating same, for brigandage, for fraudulent sale of drink, for disorderly conduct of tavern, for delegation of personal service, for misappropriating the levy, for oppression of feudal holders, for causing death of a householder by bad building.
Sacrilegium, which originally meant merely the theft of sacred things, although already in Cicero's time it had grown to include in popular speech any insult or injury to them.