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Hebe

Tales beyond belief

Hebe for kids
Discover the myths surrounding Hebe, the Greek goddess of Youth. She had the gift of restoring youth and beauty to those who had lost them. Hebe was the wife of Heracles (Hercules) and the daughter of Zeus and Hera, the king and queen of the gods on Mount Olympus. Her role was the cupbearer to the Olympian gods.

She is often depicted pouring out nectar from a cup, or holding a shallow dish containing ambrosia, the ever youth-renewing food of the immortals.

Who was Hebe?
Hebe was the Greek goddess of Youth and one of the extraordinary number of gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. The legend and myth about Hebe has been passed down through the ages and plays an important role in the history of the Ancient World and the study of the Greek classics. Although Hebe was a distinguished member of the Olympian family of gods she was happy to serve them. Her role reflected the ancient Greek custom, in which the daughters of the house personally assisted in serving the guests. She also helped her mother Hera into her chariot and prepared the bath for Ares, the god of war. The name Hebe comes from Greek word meaning "youth" or "prime of life" and means 'Flower of Youth'. She was the opposite to Geras, the Greek god of old age.

Facts about Hebe
Hebe features in the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks which are based on the idea that these supernatural beings resembled mortals but possessed great magical and mystic powers. The following information, facts and profile provides a fast overview of Hebe:

  • Greek Name: Hebe

  • Role & Function: The function of Hebe is described as being the cupbearer of the gods. Hebe served the gods with nectar (the drink of the gods) and ambrosia (the food of the gods) until she married

  • Status: Occasionally included amongst the names of the Olympians

  • Symbols: The chalice (a bowl-shaped drinking vessel) or a tall pitcher, wings

  • Alternative Names: Dia and Ganymeda

  • Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this goddess was Juventas

  • Name of Husband: Heracles (Hercules)

  • Name of Father: Zeus

  • Name of Mother: Hera

The Symbols of Hebe
Each ancient Greek god and goddess were associated with special symbols, animals and attributes. The Symbols of Hebe helped the ancient Greeks instantly recognize the gods and goddesses that were depicted in the pictures, mosaics, statues and images. The symbols of Hebe and their meanings were as follows:

  • The chalice (a bowl-shaped drinking vessel) or a tall pitcher. These symbols reflect her role as the servant of the gods

  • Wings: Her wings symbolized her as gifted with magic and the power of flight

Hebe (Roman Counterpart was Juventas)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Hebe, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Hebe was Juventas.

The Family of Hebe - Greek Gods Family Tree and Genealogy
According to Greek legends and myths the immediate family of Hebe were as follows:

  • Father:  Zeus

  • Mother:  Hera

  • Brothers:  Ares and Hephaestus

  • Husband:  Heracles (Hercules)

  • The names of the children of Hebe were:  Alexiares and Anicetus

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods and Goddesses

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