Roman Gods index


Title: Goddess of the home

Greek name: Hestia

Relations: Sister of Jupiter

Vesta was the goddess of the hearth, the centre of the Roman home.

She was a quiet well-behaved goddess, who didn't join in the arguments and fights of the other gods.

She was protector of the sacred flame, which was supposed to have been brought from Troy to Rome by the hero Aeneus. The flame was relit every March 1st and had to be kept alight all year. If this flame ever went out, disaster would fall on Rome. The flame was kept alive by the Vestal Virgins. These priestesses were chosen when they were as young as six years old. They had to stay as priestesses for thirty years, and were not allowed to marry.

In Roman homes, every day, during a meal, a small cake was thrown on the fire for Vesta. It was good luck if it burnt with a crackle.