At the end of the lesson, the professor remained seated in the lecture hall, talking to some students while Esther waited outside to arrange a meeting with her. (…)
“Excuse me professor,” she called out. Despite having an unmistakably American accent,Esther spoke Italian very well.”I would like to speak to you or someone from your department,if I may.”
“Are you having problems with the classes?”
“No, not at all.On the contrary.I find the subject extremely interesting! I would like to speak about my thesis and seeing as I don’t know where to start researching…”
“What is it about?”
“The intervention of the church on ancient art. It may sound strange, but here in Rome,there is so much information that rather than helping me, it just seems to confuse me…”
“Come with me. I’ll give you some documents for you to start reading where you might find some useful information to start researching. You can also use the internet.”
That night Esther made the dream again .She dreamt her brother with the girl . It was impossile for her to see her face but she could remember what she said:” Come to the circular temple ,please come…find it please.”
The morning she tried to understand the meanig of her dream,but it was impossible so she decided to ask professor Bruni about circular temples in Rome.
“The Romans built many circular temples. Among the most important remaining examples of these are the temples of Vesta and Mater Matuta in Rome, Vesta at Tivoli, and Venus at Baalbek. The greatest surviving circular temple of antiquity, and in many respects the most important Roman building, is the Pantheon in Rome. It consists of a rotunda about 142 feet (43 metres) in diameter surrounded by”……Professor Bruni explained ” But why do you want to know?” she continued.
Esther didn’t want to tell her about her dream so she said she would start her research on Roman temples and then continue with churches…. Professor Bruni continued :”The circular temple of Vesta dates back to the 4th century BC. The small temple was one of Rome’s most important as it was dedicated to the protectress of both the family and State. Here the Vestal Virgins guarded the sacred eternal flame, symbol of the eternal life of Rome. The Virgins guarding the flame were chosen by the Pontifex Maximus, the supreme religious authority of the State. The girls, who had to be aristocrates, had to serve for 30 years.
“How terrible for these young girls ” She thought.
“During that time they had to stay virgins, otherwise they would be buried alive ,this happened to 10 of them. ”
“Oh ,my God! Esther esclaimed
“The Vestal Virgins were highly regarded and enjoyed many perks…”
Esther was confused . She didn’t see the connection with her brother so she changed subject and said :”I’ve started visiting the central monuments and churches near Campo Marzo area,that’s right, isn’t it?”.
“Campo Marzio.I’d say that’s a great starting point.” Encouraged the professor.(To be continued)