Brill’s New Pauly

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(785 words)

[German version]

(Lat. virgo Vestalis 'Vestal virgin'). Vesta's cult was taken care of by six virgines (or sacerdotes 'priestesses') Vestales, who lived in the atrium Vestae , near the aedes Vestae on the Forum Romanum (Rome III E, 2nd map, nr. 44). The group was headed by the virgo Vestalis maxima (honorary inscriptions esp. of the 3rd cent. AD with statues on the forum: CIL VI 32415 ff.; [2]) and stood under the jurisdiction of the pontifex maximus . The vestal was 'taken' (capere) as a six- to ten-years-old child by the pontifex maximus. This act had civil-law consequences: (a) w…

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Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard (Tübingen), “Vestals”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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