Why Vestal Virgins Were Special
The Vestal Virgins were six priestesses in ancient Rome who came from the leading families and served the temple for 30 years. Their duties included keeping a sacred flame eternally burning, presiding over many religious ceremonies, and never having sex with anyone. Wait, what? Yup, no fun times for the Vestal Virgins. The reason that it was so important they never had sex with anyone wasn’t just a religious matter related to sex (or the lack thereof) having a mystical value. It was largely because of what those women represented in an official capacity. See, priestesses at the Temple of Vesta didn’t merely serve the faith of one particular goddess. Or any goddess – they represented Rome. They were supposed to be, in a very real sense, married to the entire city of Rome.
So if the Vestal Virgins had sex, it wouldn’t mean that they were betraying the tenets of their religion. It would mean they were guilty of the much more Earthly crime of treason. Treason against their spouse, Rome. And if the person the vestal virgin had sex with was from Rome, it was also regarded as incest. Ew!