Greek mythology is always a fascination with such deep history into each of the gods and goddesses. One of the popular Greek stories is an ancient king of the gods in heaven called Zeus. As a great king that was feared by his people, Zeus also feared his wife - Hera. Normally, women with a passion for jealously can take their revenge anywhere. Many centuries ago, jealousy amongst gods and goddesses was like a way of life like earthly cultures.
It was typical to see jealous wives fighting and cursing women that had affairs with their men. However, these traits and anger were expressed by Hera against such adulterers. While these behaviors might be normal, it could be abnormal to most people in the 21st century that women like Hera marry his brother. According to Greek mythology, Zeus took his sister as a wife and bore Hephaestus (one of their sons).
Apart from the significance of this Greek mythology, the story of Zeus's and his seven wives creates a larger than life image of rich culture. Also, he bore Artemis, Apollo, and Alcmene (the mortal) after some escapades of unending adultery. I will share more interesting stories about Zeus and his wives, but you might be inspired by the significance of Hera in Greek mythology.
His Queen: Hera
Hera might be one of Zeus' seven wives, but she features more as an immortal that brings blessings to marriage and families. As a deity, the image of Hera is often depicted with sacred animals. Usually, tourists attend the Heraia festival in Greece to experience how temples and Hera's statues are decorated with lions, cows, and peacock.
Goddess of childbirth
This story of Zeus and Hera is celebrated in theatres and taught in universities as classical history. Also, Hera is revered as the goddess of childbirth, and she's an important Greek deity. According to historians, the lives of both characters are filled with passion for love and rage.
Goddess of women
Hera is the goddess of women and a matronly figure for people that desire the fruit of the womb in marriage. Many historians think that her name comes from hora - a Greek word that means the right season for marriage. As one of the 12 Olympian gods, Hera's images are adorned with the special crowns for great goddesses in every Greek temple. When Hera was born, she was swallowed like a piece of candy by her father (Cronus) and later saved by Zeus.
Titan Cronus was scared that his children might overthrow him because he also overthrew his father (Uranus). Apart from Hera, Cronus consumed other siblings except for Zeus. However, Rhea (Cronus' wife) prevented Zeus from experiencing the same fate by hiding him in a cave. After Zeus survived, he thought of a trick that could save his siblings -Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hecatonchires, and Hera.
According to the mythology, Cronus drank a potion of poison from Zeus and disgorged all Rhea's children. Rhea made a smart decision by offering Hera to the gods of the sea (Oceanus and Tethys) for protection. Also, Zeus married Hera after he succeeded in deposing his father. After the conquest, Zeus's brothers (Poseidon and Hades) rule the seas, and underworlds respectively.
Queen of Heaven
Before Hera ruled over Mount Olympus, she was the most charming immortal. As a deity of the Greek pantheon, Hera was also the Queen of Heaven. She was the ruler of a heavenly abode called Mount Olympus. It was a place where all the gods and goddesses lived.
10 Interesting Facts about Zeus's Love Life and His Wives
After the successful overthrow of Cronus, Zeus gained mastery over the skies. As king of men and the gods, he was the most powerful rule of both the earth and Olympus. However, his Queen and sister-wife were also relevant in the affairs of the 12 Olympian Gods. Before Hera, Zeus married Metis as the wife's first wife.
Metis was a wise Queen whose wisdom was unmatched by other gods and mortal men. The same insecurity of kingship deposition continued when Zeus married Metis. He swallowed Metis like Cronus after she bore Athena. Themis was Zeus's next wife, and she bore Eirene, Eunomia, and the Horae. According to some sources of Greek history, Themis means Divine Justice.
It was a privilege for Themis' other child (Moore) to receive the greatest honor from Zeus. The king of god's third wife was Eurynome, and she was the daughter of Ocean. She bore children with beautiful brows and fair-cheeks. Eurynome had an attractive sister Zeus that became a part of Zeus' history forcefully. Since no mortal and immortal being could resist Zeus, Demeter bore Persephone. The white arm was one of Persephone's divine features.
This never-ending sexual urge led Zeus into marrying Titaness Mnemosyne (Memory), and Leto. While the former bore the Nine Muses, Artemis and Apollo came from their union. It was not a surprise that Mnemosyne gave beautiful genes to her the nine Muses. Their story is a delight to share in Greeks' fables, songs, and festivals. However, the jealousy of Hera was a sad experience for these women.
When Hera was angry, caution was often thrown to the winds. Apart from Zeus's sexual misadventure, Hera's personality of jealousy didn't help her anger management. It was difficult for this beautiful immortal to forgive the women that flirt with Zeus. A small disagreement between Hera and Paris led to a lifetime grudge. He teased Hera that Aphrodite was more beautiful than her.
When Antigone of Laomedon said that she had more beautiful hair, Hera transformed Antigone’s hair into serpents. Also, Hera's vindictive nature triggered the Trojan War not to have a peaceful end. Another effect of her anger was her maltreatment of Heracles. She saw Heracles as Zeus' illegitimate son of Zeus and sent a storm to kill him at sea. When Zeus couldn't hold his anger, he bound her with a golden chain, and feet anvils.
However, we can't discuss Hera without her powerful children like Hephaestus, Eileithyia, Ares, and Hebe. During the humiliation of Hera, it was Hephaestus that moved to free his mother from the bondage of chains. Zeus couldn't be resisted, he flung Hephaestus from Olympus to the isle of Lemnos. , It was the fall that broke Hephaestus' leg and made him a cripple.
Hera didn't agree to marry Zeus until she was raped. Initially, she resisted his advances and was outsmarted in the end. However, one of her weaknesses was her passion for animals. Her brother knew and turned himself into a cuckoo that was left in the cold. Hera noticed this bird and showed pity by warming it with her breast. It was a perfect plan for Zeus because he transformed into a man and raped Hera.
Without wanting any scandal, she married Zeus as a brother-husband. Hera and Zeus had a noble wedding ceremony, and she remained faithful. However, this sexual satisfaction didn't take away Zeus' lust and Hera's jealousy. Zeus' insatiety of adultery and lust also caused Hera to punish any woman that had affairs with him. Additionally, Zeus’ reckless use of his sexual urge led to the birth of goddesses and gods.
While many of his immortal children had Olympian statuses, Dionysus (the god of ecstasy) was exempted from this privilege. The significance of Hera in the Heraia festival can be found in Greek's rich culture. It's still celebrated in the 21st century as an all-female athletic event. Unlike the Olympics, the Heraia holds every four years in Greece. Usually, this competition holds in the Olympic stadium with races starting from the youngest woman.
All contestants have similar dress styles that left their breast bare. According to ancient Greek mythology, festivals that are celebrated in honor of Hera often involved sacrifices. Normally, organizers of the Heraia festival sacrificed cows and mixed the blood with olive to decorate Hera's statues.
Hera had a prominent role in Zeus family affairs and among his wives, escorts, and courtiers. They both have some things in common as siblings and lovers. However, most immortal loved Hera because she was a gracious protector of both heroines and heroes. Apart from Zeus' wives, all his mortal children had unique qualities. He was the father of seven great Olympians, and his genealogy can be traced to a few families in Greece. Zeus was successful in his numerous conquests, but the fear of birthing a son that will be greater than him was a nightmare.