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5 Facts About Hera

By Yona Williams    7/31/09

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Hera is often portrayed in Greek mythology as the woman filled with jealousy over the many affairs of Zeus. Whether she was serving as the goddess to women and marriage or trying to take the life of one of Zeus' offspring, Hera is a chief figure in Greek mythology. In this article, you will learn more facts and trivia regarding the wife of mighty Zeus.

An Ongoing Battle with Heracles

Zeus was not the only god that Hera came to feud with, as she would endure a long-going battle with Heracles – that started right at the early days of his conception and birth. Heracles' mother was Alcmene, who had been described as one of the loveliest of women who happened to be filled with wisdom and born to mortal parents. People often compared her face and dark eyes to none other than Aphrodite.

Hera was jealous of Alcmene and attempted to prevent the birth of Heracles by tying her legs in knots. However, a faithful servant tricked Hera into thinking that she had already given birth to the baby. The baby lived and while he was still an infant, Hera sent two serpents to take his life while he lie asleep. However, her plan to kill the babe was once again foiled, as the baby grabbed a snake in each hand. A nurse going in to check on the baby saw Heracles playing with the dead snakes as if they were toys.

5 Facts About Hera

·    Hera was born to Cronus and Rhea – the same parents as her husband, Zeus. However, after her birth, Cronus swallowed his daughter in fear that a prophecy involving one of his offspring would come true. Being told that one of his children would take his place on the throne, he took great pains to ensure his position in Mount Olympus.

Ironically, it would be Hera's husband that would best the god. Their mother, Rhea, executed a plan that hid the existence of Zeus. Rhea wrapped a stone in baby clothes so that Cronus would mistake the rock for his son. Zeus was relocated to a cave on Crete. Later on, Rhea gave Cronus an herb that caused him to regurgitate five of their children, including Hera. When Zeus grew old enough, Cronus was sent to Tartarus – situated deep in the underworld. Cronus was never in any danger of being killed because as a Titan, he enjoyed immortality.

·    Sacred animals associated with Hera are the peacock and the cow. Pomegranates and peacock feathers are often used as symbols for Hera.  

·    Hera was related to Demeter (the goddess of harvest), Hades (god of the Underworld), Poseidon (ruler of the sea), and Hestia (goddess of the hearth).

·    The Roman equivalent to Hera is Juno.

·    The jealous and vengeful nature of Hera knows no bounds. When Paris offends the goddess by selecting Aphrodite as the most beautiful of all goddesses, Hera is instantly filled with hatred. This will later play a role in Paris' life.

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