Religion Past and Present

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Vesta, Roman goddess. Her name was felt to be Greek, and her sphere – hearth and altars, protection of “the innermost things” – led her to be identified with the Greek goddess ῞Εστία/Hestía (Cic. Nat. d. 2.67). The etymology of her name is still debated. Her sanctuary, aedes Vestae, a rotunda in the Roman Forum, was part of an ancient complex beside the via sacra, which included the house in which the Vestal virgins lived (Rome: II, 2.b). Although she was a virgin, she bore the honorific title Mater. Her cult was associated with the preservation of the Roman state. H…

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Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard, “Vesta”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 03 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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