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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Vestal Virgins

Virgil reading The Aeneid before Augustus, Livia and Octavia, by  Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1812) Toulouse, Musée des Augustins (Public Domain)

When In Rome: Legends - Fact Or Fiction, Does It Matter?

The Greeks exhibited an amazing aptitude for fashioning myths about gods and heroes. Not so the Romans, who failed to produce an independent mythological tradition. But what the Romans did excel at...
Roman Street Scene by Ettore Forti (late 19th century) (Public Domain)

Matrons, Plebeians And Prostitutes, The Women Of Ancient Rome

Rome was the very essence of a male dominated society, being militaristic, proud, go-getting and determined on expansion. The man of the house, the Paterfamilias, was the head of the family with...
The Tuccia Vestal by Louis Hector Leroux (1874) (Public Domain)

The Precarious Fates of Rome’s Vestal Virgins

The fate of Rome depended upon the chastity of the Vestal virgins and their transgressions could lead to live entombment. In the first century BC, Marcus Licinius Crassus , one of the richest and...
Keepers of the Sacred Flame from Ancient Rome to India

Keepers of the Sacred Flame from Ancient Rome to India

The ability to ignite, maintain and control fire was a dramatic and powerful development in the habits of early humans and changed mankind’s quality of existence forever. Fire generates heat and made...
Vestal Virgins Tending the Sacred Fire.

Vestal Virgins: Powerful Priestesses of Rome’s Sacred Flame

In the Res Gestae Divi Augustus (‘The Deeds of the Divine Augustus’), Augustus demonstrates his piety by stating that he was a member of all four major priesthoods in Rome – the Pontifices, Augures,...