Vesta was the Roman version of the Greek goddess, Hestia. She was considered the "guardian of the innermost things" - home and hearth. Her name comes from "vas," a Sanscrit word meaning approximately "shining." She personified earth, and domestic and religious fire. The perpetual sacred fire of her temples was tended by six women known as Vestal Virgins. Young girl who entered this order took strict vows of chastity for thirty years, after which they could marry. The fire of her hearth/altar was considered to be the center of the earth.

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