"The gods were seated near to Zeus in council,
upon a golden floor. Graciously Hebe
served them nectar, as with cups of gold
they toasted one another, looking down
toward the stronghold of Ilion."
(Homer, Iliad, Book IV, 1-5)
In addition to her role as cup-bearer, Hebe also played a small but nonetheless significant part in Greek myth as the wife of the hero Herakles. According to the Odyssey of Homer, after his apotheosis Herakles married the beautiful goddess and enjoyed the pleasures of the Olympian immortals:
"Next I saw manifest the power of Herakles -
a phantom, this, for he himself has gone
feasting amid the gods, reclining soft
with Hebe of the ravishing pale ankles,
daughter of Zeus and Hera, shod in gold."
(Homer, Odyssey, Book XI, 603 ff.)
Juventas was the name of Hebe's Roman counterpart in mythology.
Hebe in Art History
Gallery | For pictures and information about Hebe in art, visit the Mythography gallery!
Who's Who in Classical Mythology