The goddess of the hearth fire. She was identified with Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth. In early Rome the family in each household would gather at the hearth once a day to perform a sacrifice to Vesta. There was a small circular temple of Vesta in the Forum at Rome, where the fire on her altar was kept constantly burning by the Vestal Virgins. This eternal flame represented the goddess, who was not portrayed by statues. Vesta had a festival on 9 June.
From Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome, by Leslie Adkins, and Roy A. Adkins.
Image courtesy of GinoMM, from Wikimedia Commons