Priestesses of Vesta, Goddess of hearth, home and family, the College of Vestal Virgins were Rome’s only full-time priesthood. They numbered only six and were selected from noble Roman families at an early age, between six and 10 years old. They would tend the sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta and remain virgins for the duration of their tenure, which would stretch long into womanhood, lasting at least 30 years. Their importance to Rome was paramount and throughout this ancient civilisation's pagan history, the Vestal Virgins remained right at the heart of Roman society. But things were not always plain sailing for the Vestals during their 1,000 year history... I was delighted to be joined by a leading light on this subject Peta Greenfield to talk through the history of the Vestals. From the importance of fire and water for the cult to the infamous Vestal punishment of 'incestum' Peta explained the history behind all in this brilliant chat.