Hestia, the goddess of hearth, family, state, architecture, and home is one of the most honored Greek goddesses.
History describes her as a calm, kind, forgiving, and emotionally attached goddess, who always longed for peace all over.
She is depicted as the modestly veiled woman who is holding a branch of a flower or a chaste-tree. And, the donkey is considered as her sacred animal for saving her from Priapus’ bad deed.
Being the goddess of warmth and eternal chastity, Hestia has many interesting facts that need to be known. The top 5 facts about the Greek goddess of Hearth are listed below with details.
1. Family and Origin
Hestia, the virgin goddess of the hearth, was born to Cronus and Rhea. Cronus was the god of time as well as the King of the Titans. Whereas, Rhea was the goddess of comfort and ease.
Cronus ruled the Titans who were formed by the earth and heaven. The Titans were later overtaken by his son, Zeus.
Zeus, the god of gods and goddesses, was one of Hestia siblings. The other siblings were Hera, the queen of gods and goddesses; Poseidon, the god of earthquakes and sea; Demeter, the goddess of agriculture; Chiron, the wisest child, and is, the god of the underworld.
Hestia was the eldest of all and she had very different characteristics than the rest of her siblings.
As per the myth, every child of Cronus was swallowed by him right after their birth and Hestia was the first one to be swallowed. Zeus, being the youngest, was left unswallowed.
He then forced his father, Cronus to pour out all of his siblings and led them to fight against his father and other Titans.
2. Hestia’s Significance
Hestia, despite being the most generous and kind deity, did not have much significance by the Greeks.
However, people of Greek respected her and worshipped her for being the protector of their home and for being the goddess of Hearth.
As Hestia maintained the most important aspect of life, the hearth of fire, without which the household works mainly cooking and keeping the house warm would not be possible.
Apart from this, Hestia also maintained a peaceful environment in the family and also taught people how to build a house.
She was the gentlest of the immortal beings and was always ready to help and protect the ones in need.
3. Rituals and Equivalence
The rituals that are followed by people all over the world are inspired by the rituals that were created or invented hundreds of years ago.
Greeks also had many rituals followed during their time which are still followed nowadays.
Every deity was linked with one or more than one ritual. Likewise, she was also linked with many rituals especially related to her associations.
One of the most common rituals was done with the newborn child, the child was carried around the hearth of the home before he was accepted by the family.
Another major ritual was if a defeater wanted to build a city of his own, he would have to take the remnant from the hearth of his city and make a fresh fire in the new city’s hearth.
Also, any kind of household work could only be done after offering to the goddess. The portion of food cooked or any other offering had to be kept aside as Hestia’s share.
Talking about her equivalence, her Roman Equivalence was Vesta. Vesta and Hestia were considered equivalent to the similarity in their personification.
4. The everlasting Chastity
Greek mythology had three virgin goddesses and Hestia was one of them. The other two were the goddess of wisdom, Athena, and the goddess of the hunt, Artemis.
All three of them were immune to the influence of Aphrodite. None of them could be forced to love or have emotional feelings for anyone.
However, many gods including Poseidon and Apollo were after Hestia. They were wanting to marry her and for that, they fought against each other.
The fight and the violence that was created between the two affected Hestia as she was always looking for a peaceful environment. She decides on being a virgin since then.
Unfortunately, one of the deities, Priapus – the god of fertility went against her vow to remain a virgin for eternity. So, he tried to rape her but could not succeed due to a continuous neighing of a donkey.
5. Mythology and Associations
History, mainly related to deities, is based on numerous myths and incidents. Hestia, being one of the most famous goddesses of Greek History, also has many myths involving her.
The first myth mentions that Hestia was one of the 12 Olympian deities who ruled the Earth. the underworld, sea, and land.
They also ruled over agriculture, love, hunting, handcraft, and marriage. The other deities included Argus, Minotaurs, Sirens, and Cyclopes.
Another myth mentions her as the food provider of the gods. She fed the gods with the combustible portions of the animals during the shortage. Besides this, people also kept a share of their cooked food for her so that she could feed the gods.
The most believed myth goes by saying that Hestia was the eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. And, she was swallowed by Cronus first for being the eldest.
Her other siblings were swallowed after their birth and all of them were kept inside his stomach till the last child, Zeus fought against Cronus.
Moving forward to Hestia’s associations, she was the chief goddess of Greek. She was associated with many powers and responsibilities which include fire, family, domesticity, home, architecture, and hearth.
Two lions and the moon is used to symbolize her. The lion and the moon shows her fearful character and her generous nature towards everyone.
Numerous gods and goddesses inspire people as well as other deities with their significance and good deeds.
Hestia, being one of the most kind and generous deities also has inspired other deities to be like her. She always looked to expand peace and love all around.
The other facts about Hestia that could interest anyone include her not participating in any disputes or wars and despite having the least temples she was worshipped the most in Greek mythology.