Vestal virgin definition

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Fine Dictionary. School of the Vestal Virgins. In literature: Besides, Arras without the Hearts would be like the Altar of the Vestal Virgins without the ever-burning lamp.

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Roman mythology one of the virgin priestesses consecrated to the Roman goddess Vesta and to maintaining the sacred fire in her temple. Origin: Latin; virgines Vestales referred to the priestesses in charge of the sacred fire in the temple of Vesta in Rome. In ancient Roman religion, the Vestals or Vestal Virgins, were priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth.

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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.

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At varying times there were four to six priestesses employed. They were the only full-time clergy collegia of a Roman deity which attests to the high regard in which the goddess was held. They also ritually prepared the herbs sprinkled on sacrifices and made the bread pane which was offered on feast days such as March 1st, which was the Roman New Year. The virgins were chosen between the ages of six and ten years old by the chief priest and had to serve for 30 years during which time they, of course, had to remain chaste.

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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.

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Roman Mythology One of the priestesses who tended the sacred fire in the temple of Vesta in ancient Rome and remained celibate during their servitude. Switch to new thesaurus. Roman mythology - the mythology of the ancient Romans.

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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.

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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vestal virgin. Send us feedback. Vestavia Hills.

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The notion that any Roman woman could be responsible for such a dereliction of her traditional duty as helpmate and guardian of the household as to betray it to barbarian invaders was anathema even to its early chroniclers, who condemned a Vestal Virgin named Tarpeia for treacherously opening the gates of Rome to the Sabines in exchange for gold. Liz: Ah yes, found that, too -- the Vestal Virgin who is sister to the mother of Romulus and Remus -- the brothers who founded Rome after being raised by a she-wolf. He thought that his poetry would last as long as the Vestal Virgin climbed the Capitoline Hill.

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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.

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