Vestal Virgins – Part 2/3: Origin, Festivals & Downfall

Origin

Daughter of Saturn, venerable dame,
Who dwell’st amid great fire’s eternal flame,
In thee the gods have fix’d their dwelling place,
Strong stable basis of the mortal race.

Vesta is the Latin form of the word Hestia, who was the daughter of Chronos (Time) and Rhea (Earth) in Roman legend. It is believed that the cult originated in B.C. 715 at the time of the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius. However, this is just the recorded history. The history of Vestal virgins goes back much further, possibly to the times of Romulus.

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