Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Place at the AltarPriestesses in Republican Rome$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Meghan J. DiLuzio

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169576

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169576.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

The Ritual Activities of the Vestal Virgins

The Ritual Activities of the Vestal Virgins

(p.185) Chapter Six The Ritual Activities of the Vestal Virgins
A Place at the Altar

Meghan J. DiLuzio

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the ritual obligations of the Vestal Virgins. The extensive ritual program assigned to the Vestal order further emphasizes the connection between these priestesses and the wellbeing of the community. They participated in various rites designed to cleanse the city of ritual impurity. At the Fordicidia, the October Horse, and the December rites of Bona Dea, they played a role in guaranteeing the fertility of the fields and flocks. They were also involved in rites concerned with the preservation of the food supply, on which the security of the city depended, and with the transformation of raw grain into a substance suitable for consumption. Perhaps most significantly, the Vestals prepared mola salsa, the salted grain used to consecrate sacrificial victims and thereby to maintain Rome's relationship with the gods.

Keywords:   rituals, Vestal Virgins, ritual impurity, Fordicidia, October House, December rites, Bona Dea, fertility, food supply, mola salsa

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.