Virginia (Volumnius)

Virginia (Volumnius)

Virginia was the daughter of Aulus Verginius, a patrician.

Virginia’s new husband in 296 BCE was Lucius Volumnius Flamma Violens. He became a novus homo the previous year. That same time the patrician "important ladies" insulted her by forbidding her access to the ceremony at the Patrician Pudicitia honoring the female virtue pudicitia, a public religious function. This chapel is inside the Forum Boarium up against the round temple of Hercules.

The patrician women did not allow her the sacred rites of pudicitia because she had married outside the patriciate. She was unceremoniously removed from the Temple. This led to an altercation in which many other women were involved including women like Virginia wanting to go to the temple for the same purpose.

Virginia protested she had entered the temple of Pudicitia in good faith as a pure woman. She owned a house at Vicus Longus and separated a portion of it to make a modest shrine. She then invited the wives of the plebian there and told them about the arrogance of the patrician women,

I am dedicating this shrine to the Plebeian Pudicitia and invite you each to compete in a wifely modesty as the men in this City. I beg the patrician women to show the same spirit of emulation on the score of chastity that the men display with regard to courage and valor, so that this shrine may, if possible, have the reputation of being honored with a holier observance manner and by purer worshippers than that of the patrician women.

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