Explore the Vestals’ world

Women of Fire: The Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome

VC 1 web sizeThe Vestal Virgins were women of fire in every sense. Not only was a Vestal a priestess of the goddess of the hearth fire, Vesta, she was protectress of Rome, political powerhouse, A-list woman of the city, untouchable, more independent than any other Roman woman, and had the strength of character to withstand a lifetime of strict chastity with the constant threat of punishment by death.

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Scandals and scapegoats: Vestals who touched the fire

Women who walk with the fire goddess are going to connect at times with her wild, passionate side, and my research has found at least 20 Vestals hauled before the courts for misbehaviour, most commonly taking lovers: a crime punishable by death.

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