• Above is a photo of the living space designated for the priestesses of the Goddess Vesta of hearth fire, known as the Vestal Virgins. These priestesses were chosen at the young age of 6-10 yrs old to be initiated, and if selected were to give their services to the upkeep of the temple and the eternal flame for minimum of 30 years.

    To be selected for service one must be the daughter of a freeborn parent that has no history of the family being in servitude. They must also have a history of honorable work, and have no physical or mental deficiencies. It was the head priest, known as the Pontifex Maximus, that made he ceremonies of induction and would condemn them to death if vows of chastity were ever broken. The breaking of the vows of chastity were severely punished with death by being buried alive.

    The Vestals also played a role in high-profile marriage ceremonies and government sponsored rituals. While outside of the temple and Vestal living areas the priestesses had the ability to pardon any criminal being sent to be executed. It was a great honor, with great responsibility and grave circumstances if any rules were ever broken. However, for many it was seen as a great honor to have ones daughter be selected to be a Vestal Virgin.