Mythology surrounding Vesta
The mythology and information about the Roman Goddess Vesta
Name: Vesta ***
A major deity and one of the 12 Olympian Gods
Jurisdiction: Vesta was described as being the Roman Goddess of the Hearth, the Home and the Roman state ***
Mythology: Mythical Family Tree or Relatives: Vesta was believed to be the Goddess of the Home. Vesta was the daughter of Saturn and Opis and the sister to Jupiter, Pluto, Neptune, Juno and Ceres
Depiction / Description / Symbol: The sacred Eternal flame ***
Name of equivalent Greek Goddess: Hestia
Festivals of the Roman Goddess Vesta
Vestalia was the festival of Vesta celebrated June 7 to June 15 when the curtained sanctum her temple was opened, for the only time during the year for women to offer sacrifices ***
A series of Spring festivals opened with the Fordicidia on the 15th April, when pregnant cows were sacrificed, their unborn calves were torn from them and burnt and their ashes kept by the Vestal Virgin in Vesta's storehouse for use at the festival of Parilia ***
At the Consualia festival in August an offering was made by the flamen Quirinalis, assisted by the Vestal virgins, at an underground altar in the Circus Maximus, specially uncovered for the occasion ***
Opiconsivia was the state harvest festival which was held in August at the shrine of the Regia, and attended only by the pontifex maximus and the Vestal virgins.
History, Facts and Information about Vesta
In Rome the temple of Vesta was the king's hearth. The sacred fire was kept continually blazing except on the 1st of March was the Roman New Year when it is allowed to go out and was ceremonially renewed. The Vestal virgins, sworn to perpetual virginity and charged with the preservation of the sacred flame lived in a kind of convent (atrium Vestae) and under the charge of the pontifex maximus. It was their duty to make the salt cake (mola salsa) to be used at the year's festivals and to preserve it and other sacred objects, such as the ashes of the Fordicidia, in the storehouse of Vesta.
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