08 maio 2017

Why Vestal Virgins Were Special

The Vestal Virgins were six priestesses in ancient Rome who came from the leading families and served the temple for 30 years. Their duties included keeping a sacred flame eternally burning, presiding over many religious ceremonies, and never having sex with anyone. Wait, what? Yup, no fun times for the Vestal Virgins. The reason that it was so important they never had sex with anyone wasn’t just a religious matter related to sex (or the lack thereof) having a mystical value. It was largely because of what those women represented in an official capacity. See, priestesses at the Temple of Vesta didn’t merely serve the faith of one particular goddess. Or any goddess – they represented Rome.

They were supposed to be, in a very real sense, married to the entire city of Rome. So if the Vestal Virgins had sex, it wouldn’t mean that they were betraying the tenets of their religion. It would mean they were guilty of a much more Earthly crime: treason. And unless the person they had sex with happened to not be from Rome, it was also regarded as incest. Ew!

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