One of the best known Vestales was Rhea Silvia, who broke her vows and conceived twins Romulus and Remus with the god Mars. Often known simply as Mater, or “Mother,” Vesta was recognized as the purest of Roman deities.An eternal virgin, Vesta inspired her priestesses, known as the Vestales (or Vestal Virgins), to adhere to a strict code of celibacy. 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). Hence the cultivation of the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. "In fact, the names Vesta and Hestia come from the same ancient root, dating back to a time when Greek and Latin were more or less dialects of the same now-lost mother language (which we call 'Indo-European' today). . She was virgin by choice. His twin brother was Remus. In ancient Roman religion, the Vestals or Vestal Virgins, were priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth. 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. Very few women had a powerful, public role anywhere in the ancient world. Girls from the ages of 6 to 10, originally from patrician, and later, from any freeborn family, were eligible to become Vestals (sacerdotes Vestales). A Vestal Virgin. In exchange for a commitment of 30 years (10 in training, 10 in service, and 10 training others) and a vow of chastity, Vestals were emancipated, and so, free to administer their own affairs without a guardian (that is, they were free of their father's potestas), given honor, the right to make a will, luxurious accommodations at state expense, and when they went out lictors carrying rods proceeded them. In ancient Roman religion, the Vestals or Vestal Virgins, were priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth. Roman law forbade the burial of persons inside the city, but ancient traditions decreed that the Vestal should be buried inside the city limits. Vesta's (in some versions she is called Vestia) fire was guarded at her Temples by her priestesses, the Vestales. According to legend, Romulus would eventually kill Remus and found the city of Rome. The practice ended in 394. Answer: ( One Word (Greek Name)) NEXT> 2. The Vestals were some of the few full-time clerics in the Roman religion. They were the guardians of the public hearth at the Atrium Vesta. The virgins would be chosen at an early age by the chief priest and would vow chastity for 30 years. "The 'Vestal Virgins' in Rome were priestesses of Vesta, who was the Roman goddess of the hearth," he says. The Vestales, or Vestal Virgins, guarded a sacred flame at the temple, and swore thirty-year vows of chastity. According to Plutarch, in his life of Numa, there were originally two Vestals, and then 2 pairs under Servius Tullius named Gegania and Verenia, Cannulae and Tarpeia, representing the Romans and the Sabines. One of the Vestales mentioned in mythology was Rhea Silvia, who with the god Marsconceived Romulus and Remus. They were a strictly female (Fantham et al. Besides … It was the Pontifex' task to administer their punishment. 1994, 225) religious cult devoted to the maiden goddess Vesta, goddess of the hearth. For some offenses, a Vestal might be whipped, but if the sacred fire went out, it proved a Vestal was impure. The Vestals weren't the only priestly office Numa Pompilius instituted. Special privileges were granted the Vestal Virgins. They were drawn from the patrician class and had to observe absolute chastity for thirt… The Vestals' collective virginity may have been a form of binding magic preserving the safety of Rome. There were four to six Vestal Virgins who tended the fire, as well as sought over rituals and protected sacred objects. From Good Goddess to Vestal Virgins argues that the ritual roles played out by women were vital in defining them sexually and that these sexually defined categories spilled over into other aspects of Roman culture, including political activity. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. They wore distinctive dress and probably seni crines, the hairstyle of a Roman bride. They were proceeded by lictors, who carried the rods and ax that could be used to inflict punishments on the people, if necessary. Hera remained faithful to her faithless husband. According to "Burial customs and the pollution of death in ancient Rome: procedures and paradoxes," by Francois Retief and Louise P. Cilliers, it was required that people be buried outside the city (beyond the Pomoerium) except for a privileged few that included the vestals. It was from this that the Vestales were named the Vestal virgins. See more ideas about Vestal, Vestal virgin, Goddess of the hearth. Should a Vestal be unchaste, her brutal ritual sacrifice would punish not only her but whatever might be polluting Rome. Breaking the vow of celibacy was punished by burying the offending priestess alive, outside the city of Rome. Sep 25, 2016 - Explore Magistra Michaud's board "Vestal Virgins", followed by 1039 people on Pinterest. Posted by Magical Europe. A third pair was formed when a third tribe was added to Rome. Zeus' wife was Hera. 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. Zeus had affairs with many other people, and had many children. But this 2nd-century AD head shows one of those who did. From "Why Were The Vestals Virgins? Vesta - Roman Virgin Goddess of Home and ... - Mythology.net On May 15, the Vestals threw straw figurines (Argei) into the Tiber. 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. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The goddess of the hearth and home, Vesta was a Roman deity that symbolized faith, family, and domestic order. As long as it remained intact, Rome would remain safe. They were disbanded in 394 CE by the Christian emperor Theodosius I who also prohibited the worship of Vesta along with the other gods of the pagans and closed the schools and temples. Hebe. In both the home and the city, she was at the center of daily life and all sacrifices were made through her. See more ideas about Vestal virgin, Vestal, Goddess. 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