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Tales beyond belief

Hera for kids
Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Hera, the Greek goddess of the Family. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea and the sister and wife of Zeus. Hera was the Queen of the gods (as her husband was Zeus) and she was the Greek goddess of the family, marriage and childbirth. Much of the Ancient Greek mythology surrounding Hera tells of her jealousy prompted by the numerous love affairs of Zeus.

Hera (Roman Counterpart was Juno)
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 Hera, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Hera was Juno.

Facts about Hera
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Hera:

  • Personality: Suspicious, cruel, jealous, vengeful and interfering

  • Appearance: Mature, fully draped, majestic, regal, elegant, attractive

  • Role & Function: The function of Hera is described as being the goddess of family, childbirth and of marriage. She was the protector of women and frequently punished offending husbands

  • Status: A Major goddess and one of the Twelve Olympians

  • Symbols: Crown, peacock, cuckoo, lion, cow and pomegranate (the symbol of marital love and fruitfulness).

  • Alternative Names: Queen of the gods

  • Gender: Female

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

  • Name of Husband: Zeus (she was also his sister)

  • Name of Father: Cronus

  • Name of Mother: Rhea

  • Names of Children: Ares, Hephaestus, Hebe, Eris and Eileithyia

Hera in Greek Mythology - Hera and Zeus
The relationship between Hera and Zeus, her husband, was a turbulent one. Most of the problems sprang from Zeus having numerous affairs with other women - refer to the Lovers of Zeus. His infidelities made Hera extremely jealous and led to quarrels between her and Zeus. To try to resolve the problem Zeus gave a nymph named Echo the task of distracting Hera from his affairs by incessantly talking. But Hera discovered the deception and she cursed Echo to repeat the words of others. Regardless of their differences Zeus was protective towards Hera and Zeus condemned Ixion, king of the Lapiths, to be tied to a winged fiery wheel for eternity as punishment for attempting to violate her. Whilst understanding her jealousy of other women, Zeus could not tolerate her jealousy of his son, the Demigod Heracles. Hera attempted to drown Heracles in a storm and Zeus punished Hera by having her hung upside down from the sky.

Hera in Greek Mythology and the Iliad - The Golden Apple of Discord
Hera was very beautiful, but did not have the sexuality and charisma of Aphrodite. The myth about the Apple of Discord in classical Greek mythology tells of a golden apple that was thrown into a banquet of the gods by Eris, the goddess of discord, who had not been invited to the feast. The the apple had "for the fairest" written on it and the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite all claimed it. Paris, the Prince of Troy, awarded it to Aphrodite beginning a chain of events that led to the Trojan War.

Hera and the Golden Apple of Discord

Hera and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods, that included Hera, were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes.

Facts about Hera in Greek Mythology
The facts about the goddess provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Hera in Greek Mythology.

  • In Greek mythology the goddess is associated with the pomegranate, symbol of marital love and fruitfulness

  • Zeus punished Hera when she attempted to drown Heracles (Hercules) in a storm. According to the myth she was her hung upside down from the sky

  • The Hesperides were beautiful maidens who dwelt in a lovely garden (believed by some to be the island of Atlantis). The garden of the Hesperides grew the golden apples which Earth gave to the goddess on her marriage with Zeus.

  • Athamas was an unlucky man who was driven to madness by he goddess and forced to kill his own son, Learchus

  • Pelias was king of Iolcus and the son of Tyro and Poseidon who defiled one of her temples. She plotted his downfall with Medea. Pelias suffered a terrible fate of being boiled in a cauldron

  • Lamia, a queen of Libya, was loved by Zeus. The goddess turned Lamia into a monster and murdered their children.

  • A nymph named Chelone refused to attend the marriage of Zeus and Hera. Zeus condemned her by turning her into a turtle.

  • The deception of Zeus - In this myth Hera deceives and distracts Zeus enabling the Greeks to obtain the upper hand during the Trojan War.

  • After the birth of Athene from the head of Zeus, the goddess was angered and invoked the powers of Heaven and Earth producing the monster Typhon.

  • The Metamorphoses - The king and queen of the gods turned King Haemus and Queen Rhodope into mountains

Hera and her symbol of the Peacock
Hera is often represented in art with her symbol of the peacock. According to ancient Greek mythology Io was the lover of Zeus. Zeus transformed Io into a white cow, in order to defeat the jealous rage of Hera. However Hera placed Io in the guise of the white cow under the care of a man called Argus Panoptes, who fastened her to an olive-tree in the grove of Hera. Argus Panoptes, the guardian of the grove, had a hundred eyes, of which, when asleep, he never closed more than two at a time. Hermes was ordered by Zeus to put all his eyes to sleep with the sound of his magic lyre, and then to kill him. In commemoration of the services which the hundred-eyed Argus Panoptes had given her, Hera placed his eyes on the tail of a peacock, as a lasting memorial of her gratitude.

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods and Goddesses
Hera and Zeus

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