Hera in Greek Mythology and the Iliad - The Golden Apple of Discord
Hera was very beautiful, but did not have the sexuality and charisma of Aphrodite. The myth about the Apple of Discord in classical Greek mythology tells of a golden apple that was thrown into a banquet of the gods by Eris, the goddess of discord, who had not been invited to the feast. The the apple had "for the fairest" written on it and the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite all claimed it. Paris, the Prince of Troy, awarded it to Aphrodite beginning a chain of events that led to the Trojan War.
Hera and the Golden Apple of Discord
Greek Mythology and the Iliad - The Vanity of Hera
Her lofty position as the wife of the supreme deity, combined with her extreme beauty, caused her to become exceedingly vain. She strongly resented any infringement on her rights as queen of heaven, or any apparent slight on her personal appearance. The vanity of Hera prompted her to adopt various beauty treatments and rituals that were are described as follows by Homer in the Iliad.
The Vanity of Hera
"First, Hera cleared any dirt from her desirable body with ambrosia and then she suffused her body with plenty of oil an immortal oil, pleasant, full of scent.
If you dangled this oil above the palace of Zeus the one with the bronze thresholds, the smell of it would reach the earth and the heaven.
Then, Hera combed her hair with her hands and wove bright braids with it. Beautiful, immortal braids, descending from Hera's immortal head..
She then dressed herself with an immortal dress. Athena had woven and polished this dress for her embellishing it with a lot of embroidery. Hera attached the dress to her chest with gold pins and with a belt with hundred tassels.
She put beautiful earrings in her pierced ears, with three gems that were joined like gooseberries and their grace was glistening greatly.
Above, the wonderful goddess was covered with a beautiful, soft scarf, white like the sun. And beneath her shiny legs she wore beautiful sandals.."
Hera and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods, that included Hera, were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes.
Facts about Hera in Greek Mythology
Discover interesting information and facts about the Greek goddess of the family featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology. The facts about the goddess provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Hera in Greek Mythology.
Mythical Facts about Hera, Queen of the gods
In Greek mythology the goddess is associated with the pomegranate, symbol of marital love and fruitfulness
Zeus punished Hera when she attempted to drown Heracles (Hercules) in a storm. According to the myth she was her hung upside down from the sky
The Hesperides were beautiful maidens who dwelt in a lovely garden (believed by some to be the island of Atlantis). The garden of the Hesperides grew the golden apples which Earth gave to the goddess on her marriage with Zeus.
Athamas was an unlucky man who was driven to madness by he goddess and forced to kill his own son, Learchus
Pelias was king of Iolcus and the son of Tyro and Poseidon who defiled one of her temples. She plotted his downfall with Medea. Pelias suffered a terrible fate of being boiled in a cauldron
Lamia, a queen of Libya, was loved by Zeus. The goddess turned Lamia into a monster and murdered their children.
A nymph named Chelone refused to attend the marriage of Zeus and Hera. Zeus condemned her by turning her into a turtle.
The deception of Zeus - In this myth Hera deceives and distracts Zeus enabling the Greeks to obtain the upper hand during the Trojan War.
After the birth of Athene from the head of Zeus, the goddess was angered and invoked the powers of Heaven and Earth producing the monster Typhon.
The Metamorphoses - The king and queen of the gods turned King Haemus and Queen Rhodope into mountains
Mythology and Legends about the Queen of the gods
Hera with her symbol of the peacock
Hera and her symbol of the Peacock
Hera is often represented in art with her symbol of the peacock. According to ancient Greek mythology Io was the lover of Zeus. Zeus transformed Io into a white cow, in order to defeat the jealous rage of Hera. However Hera placed Io in the guise of the white cow under the care of a man called Argus Panoptes, who fastened her to an olive-tree in the grove of Hera. Argus Panoptes, the guardian of the grove, had a hundred eyes, of which, when asleep, he never closed more than two at a time. Hermes was ordered by Zeus to put all his eyes to sleep with the sound of his magic lyre, and then to kill him. In commemoration of the services which the hundred-eyed Argus Panoptes had given her, Hera placed his eyes on the tail of a peacock, as a lasting memorial of her gratitude.