Here’s an amazing item (from my collection) that I’d like to share with you. It’s the press photo taken shortly after the excavation of the tomb of the Vestal Cossinia in Tivoli, Italy, around 1930. This esteemed and beloved priestess served the goddess for sixty-six years.
The marble plaque on her tomb reads, “Here lies and rests the Virgin / Borne by the people/ Because she was faithful to Vesta for sixty-six years.”
Surely those of us who marvel at the old ways feel a sense of solidarity with this amazing woman and her legacy. You’ll read about her in my book Fire & Fortune: A Novel of the Vestal Virgins.
Today, there is a lovely park in Tivoli that is dedicated to Cossinia. If you’re ever in this beautiful city, be sure to visit both the Temple of Vesta and the tomb of its priestess, the Vestal Cossinia.