HESTIA was the virgin goddess of the hearth (both private and municipal) and the home. As the goddess of the family hearth she also presided over the cooking of bread and the preparation of the family meal. Hestia was also the goddess of the sacrificial flame and received a share of every sacrifice to the gods. The cooking of the communal feast of sacrificial meat was naturally a part of her domain. The source of Hestia's sacred fire is the interior heat at the center of the earth. Her fire was tended constantly and never allowed to die out, for it represented the energy of all life. When a woman married, she brought Hestia's flame from her mother's home to begin the creation of a new family with a new hearth lit from the old. "The Olympic Torch is just one example of the living flame that has survived to modern times, though it is seldom recalled that it originally honored Hestia.