Zonaras 7.8 Part IV: Punishment of Vestal Virgins

Tarquinius Priscus punishes a Vestal Virgin who violated her oath of chastity:

Later, Tarquinius waged war against the Latin tribes who were rebelling, and subsequently he fought against the Sabines who were aided by the Etruscans; he conquered them all. When he learned that a certain one of the Vestal Virgins (who were ordered to preserve their maidenhood throughout their lives) had engaged in indiscreet intercourse with a man, he had an oblong passage dug underground, in which he placed a couch and a table with an abundance of food. He had the ruined woman sent down there, and after she was led into the chamber, he had it sealed off. Thus, from that event, the custom prevailed that those priestesses who did not take care of their chastity were punished. The men who so defiled these women were forced to place their heads upon cloven logs in the forum, and after being stripped naked and degraded, were deprived of their lives.

Μαχεσάμενος δὲ Λατίνοις ἀποστατήσασιν, ἔπειτα καὶ Σαβίνοις εἰς τὴν ῾Ρωμαΐδα ἐμβαλοῦσι συμμαχουμένοις ὑπὸ Τυρσηνῶν, ἁπάντων ἐκράτησε. τῶν δὲ τῆς ῾Εστίας ἱερειῶν, ἃς παρθενεύειν διὰ βίου νενόμισται, φωράσας τινὰ συμφθαρεῖσαν ἀνδρί, ὑπόγεών τινα κατασκευάσας ὑποδρομὴν προμήκη, κλίνην τε θεὶς ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ λύχνον καὶ τράπεζαν σιτίων ὑπόπλεων, ἐκεῖ τὴν φθαρεῖσαν προπεμπομένην ἐκόμισε, καὶ ζῶσαν εἰσαγαγὼν ἐγκατῳκοδόμησε. καὶ οὕτω τὰς τὴν παρθενίαν μὴ τηρησάσας τῶν ἱερειῶν ἐξ ἐκείνου τιμωρεῖσθαι κεκράτηκεν· οἱ δὲ ταύτας αἰσχύνοντες εἰς ξύλον τὸν αὐχένα δίκρουν ἐμβάλλονται ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο γυμνοὶ αἰκιζόμενοι ἀποψύχουσιν.

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