Portraits of the Vestal Virgins, Priestesses of Ancient Rome
University of Michigan Press, 20 août 2015 - 291 pages
For more than eleven hundred years, the Vestal Virgins dedicated their lives to the goddess Vesta, protector of the Roman state. Though supervised by a male priest, the Pontifex Maximus, they had privileges beyond those of most women; like Roman men, they dispensed favors and influence on behalf of their clients and relatives. In 1883, Rodolfo Lanciani, Director of Antiquities for Rome, discovered the first Vestal statues. The recovery of the Vestals’ house, and the objects contained therein, was an exciting moment in Roman archaeology. Newspapers were filled with details about the huge numbers of sculptures, inscriptions, jewelry, coins, and terracotta figures.
Molly M. Lindner examines the sculptural presentation of the Vestal Virgins and investigates what images of long-dead women tell us about their lives. She addresses why these portraits were created, and why they only began to appear in the late first or second century CE—much later than portraits of other Roman priestesses and nonimperial women. Lindner sheds light on the distinctions between a Vestal portrait and portraits of other priestesses, and considers why Vestal portraits do not copy each other’s headdresses and hairstyles. In addition to the extensive illustrations that complement the text, a catalog of all known Vestal portraits displays historical clues embedded in the hairstyles and facial features of the Vestals and other women of their day. In Portraits of the Vestal Virgins, Priestesses of Ancient Rome, Lindner has given a voice to the long-silent women of these extraordinary marble portraits.
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Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Cult and College
Chapter 3 Architecture of the Atrium Vestae
Chapter 4 Display in the Atrium Vestae
Chapter 5 Iconography of Vesta and Numa
Chapter 6 Iconography of a Vestal Virgin
Chapter 7 Catalog of Sixteen Vestal Portraits
Chapter 8 Infula and Turban
Chapter 9 Exemplars of Sanctitas
acerra aedicule altar ancient ancient Rome Antonine Atrium Vestae Augustus braided turban bust chapter Chief Vestal Virgin coins college of Vestals crines Crispina cult of Vesta dedicated Deman depicted display Domitia Longina Domitian domus early Severan emperor empress excavated eyes face Faustina the Younger Fittschen-Zanker Fortuna funerary goddess Hadrianic hair roll hairstyle headdress honor honorific statues iconography Images of Vesta imperial cult imperial women infula rows infulae inscribed bases inscriptions Julia Domna Jungfrauen Lanciani Lindner Livia marble Matidia medallions Mekacher Musei Capitolini Museo Nazionale Romano Museum Ostia Palatine Palazzo palla Pietas portrait head portrait statues portraiture relief sculptures Reproduced courtesy rituals Roman women Rome sacrifice sanctitas sculpted second century Soprintendenza statue of Vesta statue type statues of Chief suffibulum surviving Vestal Temple of Vesta Trajanic turban coiffure Uffizi verism Vestal Burning Incense Vestal portraits Vestal priestesses Vestal statues visual vittae wearing woman