Hestia is the home and home life, which is symbolized by the hearth that holds a flame that continuously burns. Hestia requested from Zeus that she become the goddess of the hearth. Her duty then became keeping the hearth at Mount Olympus lit at all times. Sweet and modest, the young goddess is often seen wearing a veil. In this article, you will learn more about Hestia, as well as the promise she made to Zeus.
When portrayed in works of art, Hestia was often seated and looking bashful.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Hestia was calm and gentle. She was perfect for representing the characteristics that were supportive of the family and home. Interestingly, Hestia was one of three goddesses immune to the influence of Aphrodite, who could force people to fall in love with anyone. This coolness also translated into not showing many emotions, which could be seen as a weakness.
Hestia was the eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. In the myths that involve her siblings and parents, she was the first to be swallowed by her father, but the last to reemerge. Hestia’s siblings were Poseidon (god of the seas), Hades (ruler of the Underworld), and Zeus (King of the Gods). Hera (Queen of the Gods) and Demeter (goddess of agriculture).
Along with Hera and Athena, Hestia was one of the three virgin goddesses. She had also caught the eye of both Poseidon and Apollo, but Hestia had given an oath to Zeus to never enter into a relationship with a male. She promised to remain pure and undefiled by another. For this reason, she never married and never had any children. Poseidon and Apollo still attempted to court Hestia, yet she refused their advances. On occasion, she had to avoid attacks from Priapus and other creatures/divinities who wished to sexually entice the goddess.
Sites Paying Homage to Hestia
When people worshipped Hestia, they used public hearths named prytaneion, where Greeks would kindle fire from her hearth in the prytaneion and keep it burning until they reached the hearths of new towns and cities. Places to see such hearths include Olympia and Delphi.
While Hestia did not have a public cult, she was still worshipped at any temple , no matter which god or goddess it was dedicated to. All the other Olympians loved and had respect for Hestia because of her kind nature and forgiving soul. The goddess is also known to have never participated in any wars or disputes.