Pagina:A First Latin Reader.pdf/19

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Haec pagina emendata est

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Above is shown the statue of a Vestal Virgin found at Rome in the ruins of the Temple of Vesta, a goddess upon whose altar a pure bright fire was always kept burning, and whose public worship was in the hands of virgin priestesses chosen in childhood for a term of thirty years’ service. The Vestal Virgins were held in the highest honor, even the consuls yielding them precedence when they appeared in public; and a condemned criminal was saved, if he were but fortunate enough to meet some of them as he was being led away to execution.