Hestia is the goddess of the hearth and the home. On some ancient Greek vases she is depicted as a very gentle and kind goddess. Although she does not have a throne on Mount Olympus, she has a very important job tending to the Sacred Fire on Zeus' hearth. She is also sometimes thought of as the chief goddess.


Hestia is the oldest child of Kronos and Rhea as well as the oldest of all the Olympians. Kronos swallowed her as well as her five siblings, Zeus, Hades, Posieden, Demeter, and Hera at birth, but Zeus was able to force Kronos to spit out her and her siblings. Since she was the first swallowed she was also the last regurgitated, making her the oldest and youngest of the six. Since she was forever a virgin she had no offspring. Although she was proposed to by Apollo and Posieden, she asked Zeus to let her remain a virgin and reject these offers. He agreed and she took her position on Zeus' hearth.

Forms of Worship

Hestia received worship in every home and every hearth was her alter. In Rome she "lived" in an eternal flame inside a circular temple on the Forum. This eternal flame was tended to by six Vestal Virgins, and if these caretakers broke any rules in their vow of chastity, they would be buried alive.

Works Cited

Cotterell, Arthur. A Dictionary of World Mythology. New York: G.P. Putman's Sons, 1979.

Hestia. October 23, 2007. <>

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica. Hestia. October 23, 2007. <>

Gill, N.S. Hestia - Greek Goddess Hestia. October 23, 2007. <>