Hestia, Greek Goddess

793 Words Jun 16th, 2012 4 Pages
HESTIA

Hestia, or Vesta in Roman mythology. The eldest daughter of Zeus and the oldest of Rhea and Kronos. She was a virgin goddess. She, along with Artemis and Athena, were maiden divinities (unmarried goddess’s). She was wooed by Poseidon and Apollo, but she swore by the head of Zeus to remain a virgin. She is the Goddess of hearth, fire, and home. Hestia represented personal security, happiness and the sacred duty of hospitality. She presided over domestic life. Her symbols are the sacred flame, and circle. Though she had no throne of her own, she tended the sacred fire in the hall of Olympus and every hearth on earth was her altar. She was believed to dwell in the inner part of every home and invented the art to building
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When groups, towns, or communities were made, people made public hearths, called prytaneums. That is the place a fire was constantly maintained for the good of all. If the fire ever goes out, someone couldn’t just light it with any normal fire. It had to be done precisely and only with friction or by burning glass, drawing fire from the sun. This was believed to invoke Hestia to guard your hearth. Hestia was depicted (recognized) in an Athenian vase painting as a modestly veiled woman, sometimes holding a flowered branch. In classical sculpture she was also veiled with a kettle as her attribute. She was once considered “Chief of all goddesses” but is now consider to be “the lost goddess.” Her name means “the essence; true nature of things”. People would pray to her for protection and hospitality, and for warmth. They would also pray to her to help us accept the truth of our lives with inner grace. The people would pray to her from the Forum, the house of Vestal Virgins, and even present day at the firesides of their homes.

MYTHS

There are very few surviving stories about Hestia. In myth, Hestia was the first born child of Kronos and Rhea, and she was swallowed by her father, Kronos, at birth. He had had a dream that one of his children would over throw him for the throne and one day kill him. He believed that if he killed them as they were born that would