I set up a Google Alert for "Vestal Virgins" (the topic of my book, Sacred Fire) in case anyone posts new information. It's easy to do: just go to http://www.google.com/alerts and enter your search phrase and email address. Anytime someone posts that phrase on the internet, you get an email.
Most of the links I get are to travel journals of people who visited the temple of Vesta in Rome. I also get some pretty random sites, like Vestal Virgin lesbian porn, for example. I don't know why virginity is supposed to be so erotic; you'd think it would have the opposite effect on people.
Today I found the link to a song called "Vestal Virgin." I was excited... until I saw that the tag-line was "Deranged, estranged, and buried." Hmm. That's uplifting.
It's a poorly recorded punk mess, and it's pretty much the worst song I've ever heard. You gotta listen to it: click here.
The song refers to the method ancient Rome used to execute Vestal Virgins when they lost their virginity. They believed if a vestal was impure, it would anger the gods and possibly bring about the destruction of Rome, so they buried guilty vestals alive.
I guess if I were buried alive, I'd be pretty deranged and estranged too.