Hera at a Glance
name | Hera (Hra
role | goddess of marriage; consort of Zeus
symbols | sceptre, diadem, peacock
Hera in Greek Mythology
Hera is a prominent Greek goddess. She appears frequently in both literature and art, where she is usually depicted as being both beautiful and quite adept at making use of her considerable wiles. These two aspects - her beauty and guile - may be in part attributed to her role on Olympus, for as the wife (and sister) of Zeus
, she is the Queen of the Greek gods. As such, she is the patron of marriage for mortals and immortals alike. It is therefore no surprise that Hera plays a part in the oldest of the Greek epics: the Iliad
and the Odyssey
, as well as Hesiod's Theogony
. The goddess is deserving of much attention, so let us begin by looking at her role as the queen of Olympus.
Queen of Olympus
Hesiod mentions Hera in his introduction to the Theogony
(the introduction is a dedication to the gods and the Muses
). He describes the goddess as "queenly Hera, the Lady of Argos who walks in golden sandals" and connects her with her husband Zeus. This passage emphasizes Hera's importance within the Greek pantheon by stressing her relationship with the ruler of the gods. Hesiod is in effect justifying the legitimacy of Hera's claim as the queen of the heavens by stating:
"Zeus made Hera his buxom bride,
and she lay in love with the king
of gods and men and bore Hebe
and Ares and Eileithyia."
In this way, Hera's status as wife and mother also serves as the divine model for the role of women in human marriage. However, the conjugal bliss between the king and queen of Olympus was sometimes, well, not so blissful. For more information about difficulties in the marriage of Hera and her husband, see the Mythography page devoted to Zeus.
Legends of Hera
Hera in Art History
Gallery | For pictures and information about Hera in art, visit the Mythography gallery!
Do you have a specific question about Greek mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!
Of golden-throned Hera I sing, born of Rhea, queen of the gods, unexcelled in beauty, sister and glorious wife of loud-thundering Zeus.
- Homeric Hymn to Hera
Who's Who in Classical Mythology
This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend. And there is a good entry on Hera.