Rome's Vestal Virgins
: A Study of Rome's Vestal Priestesses in the Late Republic and Early Empire.
As was the case with the distinctive entrances, special boxes were provided at the north and south ends respectively for the Emperor and the Vestal Virgins
. Naturally, those seats had the best views of the arena.
This imagery was inspired by the story of the Vestal Virgin
, Tuccia, who in order to prove her chastity, carried a sieve full of water from the Tiber to the temple.
But it customarily meant women, as in pagan Rome's vestal virgins
. Emperor Augustus, Incidentally, frowned on celibacy.
By far the biggest tourist attraction in Romania is the prince of darkness, Count Dracula, the Transylvanian legend who had a blood lust for vestal virgins
and was scared of crosses.
In the adjoining room, three large-scale paintings--Will you love me tomorrow too I, II, and III--appear as lofty and hermetic as vestal virgins
. Dolven places shades of white oil paint in undulating stripes on aluminum and then scrapes them off the hard surface.
IN Roman times, six priestesses known as the Vestal Virgins
kept a fire burning in the circular temple dedicated to Vesta, goddess of the hearth.
In the first, Sanghyang Dedari, meaning "holy angels," two "vestal virgins
" (my words), youngsters who appear to be about ten years old, are carried into the candlelit circle, having previously entered into a trance.
An Abner Dean cartoon of some thirty years ago shows the vestal virgins
exiting their temple with expressions of transcendent revelation.
Further evidence is claimed in the Kollyridian predilection in the fourth century for offering little cakes to Mary as the Queen of Heaven, and in the Protoevangelium of James, where Mary's service in the Temple recalls the Vestal Virgins
, and a personage in the story named Salome recalls Semele, whose name is derived from that of an Anatolian Earth-Mother.
Name Calling, symbolized by the ancient sign of condemnation used by the Vestal Virgins
in the Roman Coliseum, a thumb turned down.
In Rome the six vestal virgins
received civic honors and ritual privileges virtually equal to those of men; they even assisted in the butchering ritual and thus helped to secure the gods' favor for the Roman state.