Vesta (Myths and Legends of the World)
In Roman mythology, Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth. Worshiped in every Roman household, Vesta served as a symbol of home and family as well as the guardian of the sacred fire in her temples. As keeper of this flame source of life and the goddess played a prominent role in Roman culture.
Vesta was an important figure in Greek mythology as well. Known as Hestia, she was the daughter of the Titansone of a family of giants who ruled the earth until overthrown by the Greek gods of Olympus and Rhea and the sister of the gods Zeusin Greek mythology, king of the gods and husband of Hera (Roman god Jupiter), , HadesGreek god of the underworld; brother of Zeus and husband of Persephone (Roman god Pluto), , and HeraGreek goddess, wife and sister of Zeus; queen of heaven (Roman goddess Juno). The Greeks kept her sacred fire burning in their capital cities and took it with them when they founded new colonies.
The Romans believed that their legendary ancestor had brought the sacred fire to Italy from Troyancient city that was the site of the Trojan War; present-day Turkey near the Dardanelles. They thought that if Vesta's fire went out, Rome would experience a great disaster. Virgin...
(The entire section is 271 words.)
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