The fact that it was technically, against the law to either kill or spill the blood of a virgin the punishments created were even more horrifying and draconian.
And when the executioner offered her his hand, she shrank from it, and turned away with disgust; spurning the foul contact from her person, chaste, pure, and holy: And with all the deportment of modest grace, she scrupulously endeavoured to perish with propriety and decorum.
They were so revered by the people of Rome that if a convicted convict saw one on their way to execution they were pardoned unless it could be proved that the meeting was manufactured. As soon as she entered the atrium of Vesta's temple, she was under the goddess' service and protection.
The smoke from this fire could be seen coming out of the temple and was of massive symbolic importance to ancient Rome. This crime was viewed as a dire threat to the Roman state.
Vestal virgins hair
As the head of the College of Pontiffs, the Pontiffs Maximum represented both the husband and the father figure to the Vestal. Any sexual relationship with a citizen was therefore considered to be incestum and an act of treason. The purity that was upheld for the 30 year servitude was critical in the connection be;en aorta and divine, in this way Vests could connected with her divine counterpart. Some examples include the ability to make a will during their fathers life, perform daily affairs without a guardian, pardon a person being led to execution, buried inside the city, and special seating arrangements among elites to visually reinforce the publics awareness of their superior status. This gift was preserved inviolate till the time of the degenerate moneychangers, who diverted the maintenance of sacred chastity into a fund for the payment of base porters. After her year term of service, each Vestal retired and was replaced by a new inductee. Equally matched, Pollio's daughter was chosen only because Agrippa had been recently divorced. Compare this to the women of Athens, living in a society widely considered to have been at the forefront of education, science, philosophy and democracy but their women were not considered citizens and had no rights. The majority of crimes incenses cases occurred during periods of political instability. Because of their positions, any accusation based on jealousy or malice had the potential to take root and end with the virgins being punished. The Vestals political role in maintaining Romeos influence becomes a source of accountability when the State undergoes periods of turmoil. Summary It is without a doubt that the Vestal cult was one of Romes most cherished institutions and served as a source of inspiration and comfort for the people of the eternal city for almost 1, years.
Holt N. Public monies and donations to the order funded the cult and the priestesses.
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