Vesta, the Roman name of the goddess of the home or hearth, identical with the Greek Hestia. According to the Hesiodic theogony, she was the daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea. Her brother Jupiter permitted her to assume a vow of perpetual celibacy, and granted her the first oblations in all sacrifices. She was not represented by any statue in the temple devoted to her honor, but by the symbolic fire which was kept perpetually burning on the hearth or altar by the vestals, her virgin priestesses. In art she was represented as a slender virgin of noble aspect, standing or sitting, clad or veiled, and holding a lamp or a sacrificial plate in one hand and a sceptre in the other. From her connection with the domestic hearth, every house was regarded in a certain sense as consecrated to her worship; and in the Roman religion she was connected with the Penates. In Greece her priestesses were widows; in Rome they were maidens, and were denominated vestal virgins. In Rome, on March 1 of every year, the sacred fire and the laurel tree shading her hearth were renewed; on June 9, the festival called Vestalia was celebrated; and on June 15 her temple was cleansed and purified.