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vesta (mythology)

Vesta was a Roman goddess of the hearth or home. She was very important to the ancient Romans because she was responsible for keeping the fire in the temples and homes burning. Vesta was considered the guardian of the family and would protect them from harm.

She was often depicted as a lovely young woman dressed in a long gown or robe. She also wore a veil over her head. She carried a pot of fire on her head, which symbolized the hearth fire.

The temple of Vesta was in Rome, and it was considered sacred. Only a few people were allowed to enter the temple, and they were all women. The Vestal Virgins were priestesses who were chosen to serve the goddess Vesta. They were chosen when they were very young, usually around 6 or 7 years old. Once they were chosen, they would spend the rest of their lives in service to the goddess.

The Vestal Virgins had many duties. They were responsible for keeping the temple clean, preparing the offerings for the goddess, and keeping the fire in the temple burning. They also had to take care of the sacred objects in the temple, including the sacred vessels and statues.

The Vestal Virgins had to take a vow of chastity. This meant that they could not marry or have children. They were also not allowed to leave the temple. If they broke their vow of chastity, they would be punished by being buried alive.

Overall, Vesta was a very important goddess in Roman mythology. She was responsible for keeping the hearth fire burning, which was necessary for cooking and warmth. The Vestal Virgins were important priestesses who served her faithfully and helped keep the temple and home fires burning.
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