A “nun” who devoted her life serving in the temple of Vesta. Her person and chastity was considered absolutely inviolable.
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Vestales Virgines or Virgines Vesta were the Virgin Priestesses of Vesta. Their existance at Alba Longa dated from the soon after the foundation of Rome. At first there were two, then four, and finally six, a number never exceeded. Their chief duty was to keep the enternal fire burning in the temple, each vestal taking her turn in watching. Breach of chastity incurred fearful punishment.