Included in the collegium were also the rex sacrorum, the flamines, three assistant pontifices (minores), and the vestal virgins, who were all chosen by the pontifex maximus.
At Rome the vestal virgins, originally perhaps the daughters of the king).
He was believed to have made away with his wife and his son to win the profligate and wealthy Aurelia Orestilla; it was even suspected that he had been guilty of an intrigue with the Vestal Fabia.
As chief pontiff he inquired rigorously into the character of the vestal virgins, three of whom were buried alive; he enforced the laws against adultery, mutilation, and the grosser forms of immorality, and forbade the public acting of mimes.
His career was soon after interrupted by the triumphant return of Sulla (82 B.C.), who ordered him to divorce his wife, and on his refusal deprived him of his property and priesthood and was induced to spare his life only by the intercession of his aristocratic relatives and the college of vestal virgins.
A specified form of death penalty occurs in the following cases: - gibbeting (on the spot where crime was committed) for burglary, later also for encroaching on the king's highway, for getting a slave-brand obliterated, for procuring husband's death; burning for incest with own mother, for vestal entering or opening tavern, for theft at fire (on the spot); drowning for adultery, rape of betrothed maiden, bigamy, bad conduct as wife, seduction of daughter -in-law.
Leaven, which some deem the soul of bread, the spiritus which fills its cellular tissue, which is religiously preserved like the vestal fire--some precious bottleful, I suppose, first brought over in the Mayflower, did the business for America, and its influence is still rising, swelling, spreading, in cerealian billows over the land--this seed I regularly and faithfully procured from the village, till at length one morning I forgot the rules, and scalded my yeast; by which accident I discovered that even this was not indispensable--for my discoveries were not by the synthetic but analytic process--and I have gladly omitted it since, though most housewives earnestly assured me that safe and wholesome bread without yeast might not be, and elderly people prophesied a speedy decay of the vital forces.
According to Plutarch she urged her husband to take vigorous action against Catiline, who had compromised her half-sister Fabia, a vestal virgin; also to give evidence against Clodius, being jealous of his sister Clodia.
One of these groups is certainly of non-Jewish origin, as it conceives Mary as living in the temple somewhat after the manner of a vestal virgin or a priestess of Isis.
The daughter was not only in her father's power to be given in marriage, but he might dedicate her to the service of some god as a vestal or a hierodule; or give her as a concubine.