Cult Of Vestal Virgins

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Vestal Virgins: Commitment To The Fullest

Vestal Virgins were perceived and viewed as an ultimately central organization and Roman’s very survival depended on the chastity and legality of the Vestal Virgins who were considered more significant than all of the female cults and priestesses in the Roman society. The Cult of Vesta was formed in 715 B.C. by King Numa Pompilius who was the most religious of Rome’s seven kings and managed to withstand the Cult of Vesta over thousand of years. The main reason behind forming the Vestal Virgin groups was for the protection and a secure strategy in Rome which was a warlike national so the idea of Vestal Virgin was used for the main purpose of protecting the survival and safety of the Roman interior
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Vestal Virgins was unique in that she did not belong to any person nor any one family but as being in charge of worship which was central to the state. Vestal virgin should be exterior and above all other women and families since she represented or was an emblem for the Roman society as a whole. One of the main principal and belief of Roman society was that a women always belong to a male guardianship mostly either her husband or her father-in-law but a Vestal Virgin did not belong to anyone and there was a complicated and comprehensive steps or strategy in order to make her free from the guardianship of her family. Parker states “The first step in the process was to exempt the Vestal initiate from the power of her father (patria potestas). Since this was normally accomplished by coemptio, a form of sale that merely placed her in someone else's power, she was specifically said not to have undergone emancipation, which normally simply passed a woman into the tutela of her nearest male relative. She was then freed from any form of tutela but uniquely without loss of status (capitis minutio), i.e., without falling into the manus of any other man. Though she was under the formal discipline of the Pontifex Maximus, who could scourge her for minor offenses, he exercised neither patria potestas nor tutela over her. Thus the complex legal procedure…show more content…
A women that was non-virgin was seen as polluting the sacred rites and called down the fury and anger of the goddess on both the city and people. If a Vestal Virgin was found guilty of losing her virginity then she would pay the ultimate punishment which was through the act of stoning to death. If a man was also found guilty of having an affair with a Vestal virgin then he was also given the punishment of being put to death. The article “ Catiline and the Vestal Virgins,” T.J. Cadoux talks about the punishment of a Vestal Virgin who would broke the laws and rules that were placed before them. Cadoux states “She that has broken her vow is buried alive near the gate called Collina, where a little mound of earth stands, called in Latin agger; under it a narrow room is constructed, to which a descent is made by stairs; here they prepare a bed, and light a lamp, and leave a small quantity of victuals, such as bread, water, a pail of milk and some oil; so that the body which had been consecrated and devoted to the most sacred service of religion might not be said to perish by such a death as famine. The culprit herself is put in a litter, which they cover over, and tie her down with cords on it, so that nothing she utters may be heard. They then take her to the Forum; all people silently go out of the way as she passes,
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