Sep 25, 2016 - Explore Magistra Michaud's board "Vestal Virgins", followed by 1039 people on Pinterest. Origins of the Vestal Virgins The Vestal Virgins and the permanent placement of the religious institution, the College of Vesta, existed throughout Roman antiquity. The Vestal Virgins, or Vestals, were Roman women dedicated to the service of Vesta (Greek: Hestia). Romulus was the son of Rhea Silvia (a Vestal Virgin and the daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa) and Mars, the Roman god of war. Hence the cultivation of the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. Vesta And Her Six Vestal Virgins – Highly Venerated Goddess Of Hearth And Family AncientPages.com | December 24, 2019 | Featured Stories , Myths & Legends , News , Roman Mythology A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com - In ancient Roman beliefs, Vesta (the equivalent of the Greeks' Hestia) was the goddess of the fire, home, and family. In this position, the virgin goddess became the keeper of the hearth. They were the guardians of the public hearth at the Atrium Vesta. Start studying Religion and the City: Temples. Personal dedications to her are attested among all classes, especially plebeians, freedmen and women, and slaves. The Vestal Virgins kept the sacred fire burning in her temple and tended to her hearth in gratitude for her charity and care of the people. Special privileges were granted the Vestal Virgins. Vesta's (in some versions she is called Vestia) fire was guarded at her Temples by her priestesses, the Vestales. Among others, he created the office of Pontifex Maximus to preside over rites, prescribe rules for public ceremony, and watch over the Vestals. NEXT> 3. The Vestal Virgins, or Vestals, were Roman women dedicated to the service of Vesta (Greek: Hestia). Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Who is this goddess? Girls from the ages of 6 to 10, originally from patrician, and later, from any freeborn family, were eligible to become Vestals (sacerdotes Vestales). The Vestals also kept wills and participated in ceremonies. These daughters of Rome took vows of purity and loyalty, and lived holy lives in order to better serve their deity. As was Athena, who didn't even kill the guy who spied on her. She is one of the priestesses known as the Vestal Virgins, who had the important job of guarding the sacred hearth of the city in their temple in the Roman Forum. Those chosen as Vestal Virgins had to be of the required age, be freeborn of freeborn and respectable parents (though later the daughters of freedmen were eligible), have both parents alive, and be free from physical and mental defects. The practice ended in 394. The Vestales were one of the few full-time clergy positions in Roman religion. One of the Vestales mentioned in mythology was Rhea Silvia, who with the god Marsconceived Romulus and Remus. Marble head of a Vestal Virgin. https://mythology.wikia.org/wiki/Vestal_Virgins?oldid=37619. They were far and away the most privileged women in Roman society, and in fact they were the only women who […] Answer: ( One Word (Greek Name)) NEXT> 2. The College of the Vestals was regarded as fundamental to the continuance and security of Rome. After her descent, the steps were removed and dirt heaped on the entrance to the room. The Vestal Virgins were venerated priestesses of Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth fire (full title: Vesta publica populi Romani Quiritium), and the guardians of the luck of Rome who could intervene on behalf of those in trouble. Those who broke their vows were punished harshly.Those who failed to attend the sacred fire were scourged. Besides aristocratic birth, vestals had to meet certain criteria assuring their perfection, including being free of bodily imperfection and having living parents. The reasons behind the virginal status of the Vestals have been scrutinized by classicists and anthropologists. On the last day of the festival, the temple was ritually cleansed. Vestal Virgins, who were plucked from upper-class families at a young age, were expected to spend three decades of their lives serving the virgin goddess of the hearth and home, Vesta. Besides … One of the best known Vestales was Rhea Silvia, who broke her vows and conceived twins Romulus and Remus with the god Mars. For some offenses, a Vestal might be whipped, but if the sacred fire went out, it proved a Vestal was impure. The Vestal was brought to steps leading down to a room with food, a bed, and a lamp. The dedication ceremony of a Vestal Virgin. Roman, 2nd century AD. Their term as priestesses of the goddess Vesta was 30 years, after which they were free to leave and marry. It was also forbidden to shed the blood of a Vestal. Should a Vestal become ill, she must be tended by a married woman outside the sacred area (aedes Vesta), according to Holt N. Parker, citing Pliny 7.19.1. Hence the cultivation of the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. The Vestals' chief function was the preservation of an undying fire (ignis inextinctus) in the shrine of Vesta, goddess of the hearth, but they had other functions as well. The Vestals were some of the few full-time clerics in the Roman religion. They may have originally represented the daughters of the chief/priest, according to William Warde Fowler in The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (1899). This first Vestal may have been taken by the second of 7 kings of Rome Numa Pomilius (or, possibly, Romulus, the first king and founder of Rome), according to the 2nd century A.D. Roman antiquarian Aulus Gellius (A.D. 123-170). Before that, they had to maintain chastity or face a frightening death. In ancient Roman religion, the Vestals or Vestal Virgins, were priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth. Very few women had a powerful, public role anywhere in the ancient world. Here we have Hypnos, the god of Sleep. On May 15, the Vestals threw straw figurines (Argei) into the Tiber. Since Romulus is credited with creating the three tribes this is problematic. In both the home and the city, she was at the center of daily life and all sacrifices were made through her. Originally, there were 2, then 4 (in Plutarch's time), and then 6 Vestal Virgins. They were proceeded by lictors, who carried the rods and ax that could be used to inflict punishments on the people, if necessary. The virgins would be chosen at an early age by the chief priest and would vow chastity for 30 years. Any sexual relations with citizens was deemed incestuous in nature. 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