Historical Nonfiction

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Vestal Virgins

Since it was illegal to kill or harm a Vestal Virgin, they would be executed by burying them alive. Crimes included sleeping with anyone, especially because since they were under the guardianship of Rome relations with a citizen of Rome counted as incest, an improper “love of dress,” and allowing the sacred fire to burn out. Or, if the army did badly, they could be killed just because.

Other than that, though, the Vestal Virgins had a good deal. Only six were chosen from Rome’s highest families. They did not have to answer to a male guardian, unlike every other woman in the city. As handmaidens to one of the most powerful of the Roman pantheon, the Vestal Virgins also had much prestige and religious power.

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    Correction: the Pontifex Maximus oversaw their general upkeep as the symbolic “paterfamilias,” but rarely intervened in...
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    Oh Michelle those are the ladies I was telling you about a while back!
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    And all at the price of a 30-year commitment bringing before puberty. :)
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    There were a shit ton of non-“citizens” running around the Roman world…
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