HERA-JUNO the Goddess of all Gods

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Hera-A Brief Description

Hera was the queen of all gods. She was one of the daughters from Cronus and Rhea, raised by the Titans, the godlike race of giants who were the most feared in all of mythological Greece. She was the wife and sister of Zeus, the god of all gods. Hera's symbol was a peacock and cow. In some images Hera's depicted with a pomegranate or crow since those were symbols that represented marriage. She was the stock character of comedy and a jealous wife. She had ingenious tricks to discomfort husbands that had wrongly treated their wives. Hera was the goddess of family, love within the family, and marriage. She made sure that all babies were born legitimate. When Hera was younger she was raped by Zeus. To cover up what Zeus had done the two married each other and had three children. Hera believed that no baby should be born if the two lovers were not married, Hera became pregnant after she was raped so she didn't want to contradict her role as a goddess. Hera then moved to the realm of Mt. Olympus, working beside Zeus, her brother and husband. Zeus was very attracted to women so whenever he had a child with another goddess, Hera took her anger out on the baby. She demanded loyalty from Zeus and was furious when he did not listen to her requests. Hera was never a very happy and she enforced her beliefs with anger and terror.

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Family

Hera's parents were Cronus and Rhea. Cronus, hearing that one of his children would someday overthrow him, swallowed all his children except for Zeus. Hera was swallowed too, and was saved from her fate in Cronus's stomach, by Zeus (her brother and husband) who convinced Cronus to throw up the rest of his children. Hera was raised by the Titans, later marrying Zeus when he tricked her by shape shifting into a injured cuckoo bird. She had three children Ares, Hephaestus, and Hebe. Hera was an extremely jealous goddess, so whenever Zeus had another lover or child with someone else, Hera would try to find a way to get revenge either by cursing them, punishing them with difficult challenges, or killing them.

Rebelling against Zeus

Hera one time convinced the other gods and goddesses to rebel against Zeus. She drugged her husband, tying him up in a chair while the gods and goddesses debated on what to do with him. Briareus, the 100 armed monster, overheard the arguing, and freed Zeus. When he was freed, Zeus was outraged. He threw his thunderbolts, making the gods and goddesses beg for his forgiveness. To punish Hera, Zeus hung her in the sky with golden chains, finally releasing her the next day when she agreed that she wouldn't plot against him again. However, Hera still continued to plan punishments for Zeus and the children and women that he had some relation to.

Punishment to Herakles

Zeus announced that he would let the next son who had his blood to rule Mykenai, expecting it to be Herakles. Hera didn't want Herakles to rule, so she tried to delay the birth. Her plan failed, when Herakles was born, so she sent snakes to kill him when he was a baby. Herakles managed to tie the snakes up, not getting injured. Angered by the outcome of the events, Hera drove Herakles mad until her murdered his wife and kids. The hero was then punished for his killings by completing twelve labors for the king Eurystheus. During these labors, Hera made sure that they became more challenging as they progressed.
http://library.thinkquest.org
http://library.thinkquest.org

Fun Facts

  • Hera was swallowed by her father Cronus along with her other siblings.
  • Hera mostly gave birth to children by slapping the ground or by eating lettuce.
  • She was only gracious to Jason in the myth of the Golden Fleece, where she aided him in his search.
  • Hera was worshipped throughout Greece, in some of the oldest temples created.
  • Liked to punish goddesses or people who thought that they were prettier than her.
  • Started the Trojan War, since Paris chose Aphrodite as the fairest for the golden apple.
  • Would renew her virginity each year by bathing in the Canathus spring.
  • The Milky Way was formed when Hera discovered that she was giving milk to Hermes.

Sources

Dean, Gordon. Hera. The Olympians. 1998. <http://www.mythweb.com/gods/Hera.html>

Lindemans, Micha. Hera. Encyclopedia Mythica. <http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/hera.html>

Sosa, Sylvia. Hera. Hera: The First Greek Goddess.
< http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/sosahera/hera.html>

Parada, Carlos. Hera. Greek Mythology Link. 1997. http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Hera.html