Location on Forum Plan

Via Sacra
Lapis Niger
Curia (Senate House)
Basilica Aemilia
Templum Antonini et Faustinae
Basilica Constantini
Templum Veneris et Romae
Arcus Titi
Atrium Vestae
Templum Vestae
Templum Juli
Templum Castoris
Basilica Julia
Templum Saturni
Templum Divi Vespasiani
Templum Concordiae
Lacus Curtius
Miliarium Aureum
Arcus Septimii Serveri
Carcer (Prison)

Temple of Vesta

The round temple of Vesta, at the eastern end of the Forum, like the Regia, was said to have been built by the king Numa, who legend proclaims established the sisterhood known as the Vestal Virgins. This temple was the most sacred building in Rome, containing as it did, the sacred fire (the "hearth fire" of the city) and the Palladium, a wooden statue of Pallas Athena, which is said to have been brought from Troy to Italy by Aeneas. Suetonius and Tacitus tell us that the Vestals guarded public treaties, imperial wills, and other state documents. This shrine continued to be the city altar, and the fire was kept burning until after Christianity had become the religion of the Empire. The emperor Theodosius about 395 A.D. ordered the temple closed and the Vestals banished from the Atrium. Tradition says that with sorrowful hears the priestesses watched the flames flicker and die, then destroyed the inmost shrine; but no one knows what became of the sacred emblems which they guarded.

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please contact any of the project developers with suggestions or comments:
Leslie Flood,Germantown High School, Memphis, Tennessee
Cindy Pope, StarNet Television Network,San Antonio, Texas
Joan Jahnige, Kentucky Educational Television , Lexington, Kentucky
Randy Thompson, Winston Churchill High School, San Antonio, Texas