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Facts About Hera – Goddess of Marriage

By Yona Williams    4/26/10

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When you're married to the leader of all gods, you're bound to face an uphill battle of hardships, especially when your husband as a taste for beautiful ladies. Hera was constantly looking over her shoulder to make sure Zeus' eyes weren’t wandering. As Queen of the Gods, she had a reputation to uphold. In this article, you will learn about some of the myths regarding Hera, as well as associations linked to the goddess.

About Hera

While Hera was known as the protector of marriage, it's pretty interesting that she spent a great deal of time protecting her own. Zeus was known to go after his fair share of beautiful women. He was always trying to come up with new and inventive ways to pull the wool over her eyes. Hera was no slouch either. She was young and beautiful – some even said that she was more attractive than Aphrodite. It's also said that Hera restores her virginity every year by bathing in a scared spring in Kanathos.

Bird of Choice

The peacock serves as a symbol for Hera.

Fruit of Choice

Pomegranates are often associated with Hera.

Her Family

Born of Rhea and Kronos, Hera wound up marrying Zeus, where they gave birth to the god of war, Ares. Her siblings include Hestia (goddess of home), Demeter (goddess of agriculture), Hades (god of the underworld), and Poseidon (god of the sea). In some myths, the lame god Hephaestus, was said to have Zeus as a father, but is sometimes attributed as only having Hera as a mother. The other children that Hera had were produced without the help of a man. She gave birth to Hebe, goddess of health, and Eileithyia, the Cretan goddess of childbirth. The serpent of Delphi called Typhon, was also her offspring.

Temples Site

The location where Zeus and Hera are said to have spent the first clandestine 300years of their marriage – the island of Samos – was known as a site for temples paying homage to the goddess.

Myths Involving Hera

In ancient Greek times, it was not unheard of for brothers and sisters to fall in love within the pages of mythology. Zeus and Hera are actually siblings and when she first laid eyes on him, she fell in love. Seeking assistance from Aphrodite, she received a love charm that allowed her to make Zeus her husband.

Throughout her relationship with Zeus, she has encountered numerous mistresses – many of which have produced offspring of their own with her husband. Consumed with jealousy, Hera likes to take out her frustrations on the illegitimate children of Zeus, especially Heracles.

For example, when Alcmene was pregnant with Heracles, Hera attempted to prevent the birth from taking place by tying his mother's legs together in knots. However, a servant told Hera that the baby had already been delivered. Because of this, the goddess transformed her into a weasel. When Heracles was an infant, Hera sent two serpents to take the life of the tot while he lay in his bed. However, the baby took a snake in each hand and strangled the life out of them. When the nurse checked on the baby, she found the baby playing with the snakes as if they were toys.


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