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Hera the Greek Goddess

Statue of Hera Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Archeological Wonders Social Studies World History Philosophy

Hera was the wife of Zeus, therefore queen of the gods of ancient Greece, according to Greek mythology.  This image depicts a sculpture of her dating to 420 B.C.

The ancient Romans called her Juno.

What are the main highlights about her?  She was the goddess of marriage, women and birth and lived on Mt. Olympus.  She became very upset when her husband, Zeus, had a son called Herakles (Hercules) with another woman (Alcmene [pronounced Alk-ME-ne]). 

She remained upset about (and with) Hercules for the entire extent of Hercules' life on Earth.  It was Hera who was responsible for putting Hercules into such a rage that he killed his wife Megara and their two children (even though they were living a very happy life). 

As penance for that terrible deed, Apollo (the ancient Greek god of the sun, of prophecy, of healing and music) required Herculus to perform the "12 Labors," tasks so impossible that almost no one (except Hercules) could perform them.  Hera even interfered with that, making already-hard jobs even worse.

Although she had a sanctuary at the Altis, near Olympia, Hera’s main sanctuary was at Argos.  Other temples honoring her stood at Mycene, Sparta, Paestum, Corinth, Tiryns and Perachora.  She also had temples on the islands of Samos and Delos.

Although she was often furious with her husband, Zeus, for his bad behavior, Hera is depicted in ancient-Greek art as a solemn, majestic woman.  The image depicted here is one such example.

Click on the image for a better view.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 27, 2016


Media Credits

Image online, via "Dr. J’s Illustrated Guide to the Classical World," at Hampden-Sydney College’s website.

 

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