The Housage of Vestals (the only female priesthood in Old Rome), on the southern side of the Via Sacra, was a complex consisting of the Temple of Vesta and also the house wbelow the vestal virgins lived. As priestesses of the cult of Vesta, they were the custodians of the spiroutine hearth and also were charged via transferring out the numerous rites contained. The just womanly body of priests in Rome, the 6 vestal virgins were picked amongst the kids of patrician family members in between 6 and also 10 years old. They were necessary to remajor in the order for thirty years, appreciating a vow of chastity.

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Many a monastic convent in the present-day would certainly uncover its specific prototype in the Housage of Vestals, within whose circular holy place melted the undying flame, symbol of the residential hearth and of the family. The house was totally self-had. Within it deserve to be viewed the oven, the mill, the baths, the kitchen and dining room, and also the small lararium (the bit shrine in honour of the Lares, the divinities of the family).


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Ruins of the Housage of Vestals in the Roguy Forum. Rome, Italy


After the burning of Rome in A.D. 64 the House of Vestals was reconstructed by Nero. Trajan totally renovated it and also later Septimius Severus carried earlier the whole complicated, consisting of the holy place.

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Statues of the chief Vestals stood in the porticoes of the courtyard; some of the sculptures and also their plinths are still in existence now. The House of Vestals ongoing in presence until the Theodosius officially banned heathen worship in A.D. 391; after that time it was supplied by royal servants.