Greek Mythology 101 III

Chapter Three: Hera


Hello and welcome back! Did you enjoy our last lesson? Well today we are going to learn about Hera, Zeus’s wife, and the queen of gods. She is also the god of marriage, woman, and family. So please enjoy this chapter!


Hera’s father is the titan Cronus, and she is the youngest daughter in their family. Where she was swallowed by her own father. Hera was then married to her brother Zeus ( this happened a lot during ancient Greece, it is very disturbing and sad). After they got married Zeus cheated so many times, most books have to have a single section just for it. 


Anyways, did you know some versions of Zeus and Hera’s marriage are different? For example, there is a version of the story where Zeus turns into a cuckoo during a huge storm that he makes. Hera then finds Zeus disguised as the cuckoo, but unknowing to Hera, she then shields the birds from the storm and Zeus uses this opportunity to cling to Hera till she marries him. In another version, Zeus was told to trick Hera by wrapping a stone figure in cloth and pretending to marry the so-called “person”, Hera then gets word that Zeus is marrying someone and comes back to confront him.  


Heracles is Hera’s stepson and enemy. While Heracles was being born, Zeus announced that Heracles would rule everything around them. Of course Hera was mad because Heracles was a child from affairs. So Hera sent out witches to stop Heracles from being born, but her plan backfired. Her second attempt to assassinate Heracles was when she sent two snakes to his cradle to poison him. But later when she came back to check on him, she found Heracles playing with the snake’s dead bodies like a toy.


Our next story will be about how Hera almost stopped Apollo and Artemis’s birth. When Leto was pregnant with Apollo and Artemis, Hera found out that Zeus cheated on her again and is having two illegitimate children. Hera decided to not let Leto give birth on land, sea, island, or place under the sun. So Poseidon took pity for her, and let her stay on the floating island of Delos, which was never a real island. Eventually Leto was able to give birth to the siblings with Artemis being the firstborn. In other versions of the story it was said Hera kidnapped the goddess of childbirth (Elieithyia) to stop Leto from giving birth, but the other gods bribed Hera to let Leto give birth, and it worked!


Finally our last story will be about the Judgment of Paris. This odd story starts off with a sea nymph named Thetis and a human named Peleus getting married. All the gods were invited except one, Eris, the goddess of discord. When she found out she wasn’t invited, she threw a gift at them, a golden apple that said “ To the fairest”. Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena all claimed to be the fairest, so Zeus sent them to Paris. Paris was a Trojan prince, one of the sons of Priam and Hecuba. So Paris was sent to choose which goddess got the apple. All three goddesses tried to bribe him, Hera offered political power, Athena offered wisdom, and Aphrodite offered that the most beautiful woman would be his wife. Paris chose Aphrodite, giving her the golden apple.


I really hope you enjoyed this chapter and will continue reading this series! I also want you to have a great rest of your day, see you next time!