Law, Religion, and Constitution of the Vestal Virgins

  title={Law, Religion, and Constitution of the Vestal Virgins},
  author={Inge Kroppenberg},
  journal={Law \& Literature},
  pages={418 - 439}
Abstract The aim of this paper is to put the Vestals at the center of legal, religious, and political life in the Roman republic as was done by lawyers, historians, and poets. With their virgin bodies they represented the separation of the legal, religious, and political spheres of Roman life, the domestication of raw power through division. As sovereign figures, the Vestals would wander freely among the religious world of the aedes Vestae, in which they were subject to the sacral jurisdiction… 

The Vestal Virgins’ Socio-political Role and the Narrative of Roma Aeterna

Roman women – priestesses, patrician women, mysterious guardians of the sacred flame of goddess Vesta, admired and respected, sometimes blamed for misfortune of the Eternal City. Vestals identified

Ancient Roman Politics. The Vestals – Women’s Empowerment

Vestals had political and religious power in ancient Rome. Their peaceful presence at the forum was one of the first attempts (if not the first) in favor of gender equality or women’s empowerment in

Rome's vestal virgins: public spectacle and society

The city of Rome developed from a small agricultural village near a small river on the Italian peninsula into the capital of an empire encompassing the entire Mediterranean world and its hinterlands

Vestal virgins and their families

This article reexamines the evidence for the relationships between the Vestal virgins and their natal kin from the second century BC to the third century ad. It suggests that the bond between these

The Vestal Habit

In her epochal study of the Vestal virgins, Mary Beard called attention to the ambiguous position of these priestesses in relation to the normative categories of gender in Roman society. Drawing on

Camillus as Numa: religion in Livy’s refoundation narratives

Abstract Livy’s first pentad of Ab Urbe Condita begins and ends with the founding and refounding of the city. Both are achieved first through violence and then through the establishment and

Pontificalis honor : a re-evaluation of priestly Auctoritas and sacro-political violence in the transition from republic to principate

This thesis examines the transition from the Roman republic to the Principate of Augustus through the lens of the pontifex maximus, the office of the head of the pontifical college. Despite

Beauty, power, propaganda, and celebration: Profiling women in sixteenth-century Italian commemorative medals

by CHRISTINE CHIORIAN WOLKEN In the sixteenth-century, commemorative medals served as some of the most popular objects depicting the ideas and ideals of men and, as I contend, women from Italy. This

Tarpeia the Vestal

  • J. Neel
  • History
    Journal of Roman Studies
  • 2019
Abstract Tarpeia's role as a Vestal has become a matter of scholarly consensus in the past two decades. This article questions that consensus by suggesting that Varro and Propertius are the two major

The Name of the Vestal, or When a Vestal is Named

The Vestals were not to be named and usually they were not, so we know few names of priestesses when compared to the best-known names of Roman male public priests. Rare examples of priestesses’ names



Pliny Ep. 0. , , . See 05. section IV.B.3 below. See 06. section III above. Lovisi, 07. supra note 3, at 703. Fundamentally, Sigmund Freud, 0

  • Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 3, repr. 6)

There is no case recorded of a Vestal Virgin suspected or convicted because she was pregnant nor any case where a Vestal was charged with unchastity because she had been raped

  • Univ. Innsbruck, 3), 65, 6. Staples, 7. supra note

06 Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte

  • Romanistische Abteilung

7?) and the manipulations that sometimes occurred during the draws show that it was not easy to recruit young priestesses. For an instructive overview, see Mekacher, supra note 5

    supra note 2, at 57 with further references in n.7. Fögen, 5. supra note 6, at 3ff.; Matthes, supra note 

      63 Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Romanistische Abteilung 75, 6 (3). Lovisi, supra note 3