January 22nd, 2008 by sabrina

Hera is the Greek Goddess of marriage and childbirth, and queen of the Olympian Gods. Daughter of Rhea and Kronos, she is sister and wife to Zeus, king of the Gods, and mother of Ares, Eris, Eileithyia, Hephaistos, and Hebe. As with the Roman Goddess Juno, who was identified with the Greek Hera, she is usually depicted as a jealous wife, taking revenge on her husband’s lovers and children. As Goddess of childbirth, she often tried to prevent Zeus’s children from being born—she had her daughter Eileithyia (also a Goddess of childbirth) sit with crossed legs while attending Alkmene, Herakles’ mother, preventing her from giving birth. When Herakles was delivered, Hera sent two snakes into his cradle to kill him. Herakles, powerful even as a baby, strangled the two snakes.

Another myth involving Hera and Herakles (whose name means “glory of Hera”) explains the Milky Way. Zeus had tricked Hera into nursing Herakles as a baby. When Hera found out who the child was, she pulled him away from her breast. Her milk spurted across the sky, forming the Milky Way.

Hera had many epithets and titles, including:
Queen of Heaven
Queen of the Immortals
Hera Aegophagus
Hera Akraia (of the height)
Hera Alexandros (defender of men)
Hera Ammo’nia
Hera Antheia
Hera Aphrodite (of Aphrodite)
Hera Argeia (of Argos)
Hera Argoia (of the ship Argo)
Hera Ataurote (unbulled, i.e., virgin)
Hera Basileia (queen)
Hera Boopis (cow-eyed)
Hera Bounaia (from a temple set up by Bounos)
Hera Gamelia (of marriage)
Hera Heniokhe (charioteer)
Hera Hippia (of the horses)
Hera Hyperkheiria (she whose hand is above)
Hera Imbrasia (from the river Imbrasus)
Hera Khera (widow)
Hera Krusothronos (golden-throned)
Hera Kypra (of Cupra)
Hera Lakinia (of Lakinios)
Hera Nympheuomene (betrothed bride)
Hera Olympia (of Olympia)
Hera Pais (girl)
Hera Parthenia (maiden)
Hera Pelasgis
Hera Pharygaea
(of Pharygaia)
Hera Prodromia (of the pioneer)
Hera Samia (of Samos)
Hera Sikelia (of Sicily)
Hera Telkhinia
Hera Teleia
Hera Zygia (yoked, i.e., married)

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