The College of the Vestals and its well-being were regarded as fundamental to the continuance and security of Rome. They cultivated the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. The Vestals were freed of the usual social obligations to marry and bear children and took a year vow of chastity in order to devote themselves to the study and correct observance of state rituals that were forbidden to the colleges of male priests.
All rights reserved. Marcus Licinius Crassus was one of the richest and most powerful Roman citizen in the first century B. Yet he nearly lost it all, his life included, when he was accused of being too intimate with Licinia, a Vestal Virgin.
Vestal Virginsin Roman religionsix priestesses, representing the daughters of the royal house, who tended the state cult of Vestathe goddess of the hearth. The cult is believed to date to the 7th century bc ; like other non-Christian cults, it was banned in ad by Theodosius I. Afterward they could marry, but few did.
The fires of the hearth of the Roman home were symbolic of its stability: Keep the home fires burning, and keep the home thriving. The daughter of the household often held the vital responsibility of tending these fires, making sure they constantly burned. This concept of continuity extended out into the civic arena, where at the Temple of Vestaa group of chosen women known as the Vestal Virgins stoked the home fires of the people of Romewhose message paralleled that of the Roman household: stability and permanence. Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth, and her role in public religion was obviously crucial in a metaphorical sense to the strength of the ties among the citizens of the "Roman family".
The Vestal Virgins and the permanent placement of the religious institution, the College of Vesta, existed throughout Roman antiquity. They were a strictly female Fantham et al. The Vestal Virgins existed long before the creation of the Roman Empire, however it is unknown for how long.
Amongst the ruins of the Roman forum sits the temple of the Vesta, goddess of home, family and hearth. Although easily missed the ruins of this temple, still the home of a few statues of the women themselves was one of the most influential institutions of ancient Rome from her earliest days until a relatively new religion from the east became too influential, Christianity. Even after Christianity was the dominant religion in the western and eastern Roman empires the Cult of Vesta was one of the longstanding pagan cults.
There was, however, one Roman religious college that was off limits to men, even to the pious emperor himself. This was the College of the Vestals, popularly known as Vestal Virgins, which only had women amongst its ranks. The College of the Vestals was an important institution that served to ensure the well-being and security of Rome.
A lone priestess walks towards an underground chamber. People line the streets to watch as she proclaims her innocence. It doesn't matter.
Vestal virgins were women priestesses to the goddess of Hearth, Vesta, in Ancient Rome. The main duty they must perform was to guard the fire of Vesta. With this they would be endowed with many honors and rights that a normal female would not have at that time.
The Roman Forum is a labyrinth of ruins — crumbling columns and walls overgrown with weeds and wildflowers. Once the centre of public life in Rome, with its courthouses, temples, and even venues for gladiatorial combat, now all that remains are some evocative fragments. One of the better-preserved temples is the Temple of Vestaat the eastern edge of the Forum.