Episode 2 – Entering Virgin Territory

It’s finally here! We enter virgin territory with our second episode. That’s right we’re considering those pure Roman women: the Vestal Virgins!

In this episode we look at:

  • the background of the cult of Vesta;
  • the role that the Vestals played in Roman religious thinking;
  • and, staying on the broader theme of sex in Ancient Rome, we’ll consider the reasons why these particular women weren’t getting any action.

These priestesses are one of the stand out colleges of women participating in ritual in Ancient Rome. When we understand their place in the greater scheme of Rome we can start to appreciate their connection with the politics of the City.

The Vestal Virgins

Vestal Virgins Vestal Virgin
The Ara Pacis Augustae (detail). On the inside left wing of the altar, there is a small frieze depicting the six Vestal Virgins in procession. Currently held in the Ara Pacis Museum, Rome. Image courtesy of Amphipolis / Wikimedia Commons.

You can find a general introduction to this topic by checking out Dr G’s collaboration with TED-Ed.

Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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