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Sulpicia, the daughter of Paterculus, and wife of Fulvius Flaccus, has been considered, in the judgment of matrons, to have been the chastest of women. She was selected from one hundred Roman ladies, who had been previously named, to dedicate a statue of Venus, in obedience to the precepts contained in the Sibylline books.1 Again, Claudia gave strong proof of her piety and virtue, on the occasion of the introduction into Rome of the Mother of the gods.2

1 We have this anecdote related by Valerius Maximus, B. viii. c. 15. He informs us, that it was the statue of Venus Verticordia which was ordered to be consecrated; the more readily to win the hearts of the maidens and matrons from wanton thoughts to a life of chastity.—B.

2 Her story is told at great length by Ovid, in the Fasti, B. iv. 1. 305, et seq. Her name was Claudia Quinta, and she is supposed to have been the sister of Appius Claudius Pulcher, and grand-daughter of Appius Claudius Cæcus. The vessel which was conveying the statue of Cybele from Pessinus to Rome having stuck fast on a shallow at the mouth of the Tiber, the soothsayers declared that none but a really chaste woman could move it. Claudia, who had been previously accused of unchastity, being in the number of the matrons who had accompanied Scipio to Ostia to receive the statue, immediately presented herself, and calling upon the goddess to vindicate her innocence, seized the rope, and the vessel moved forthwith. A statue was afterwards erected to her in the vestibule of the temple of the goddess.

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