Saturday, 11 October 2008

Hera and her children

Hera, daughter of Cronus and Rhea, had the Seasons as her nurses. After defeating Cronus, Hera's twin brother Zeus sought her out and courted her. She wasn't interested but he tricked her by taking on the form of a bedraggled cuckoo. When she warmed it in her bosom, Zeus took on his own form again and ravished her, shaming Hera into marriage.

As a wedding gift, Mother Earth gave her a tree with golden apples and the wedding night lasted three hundred years. Together they had Ares, Hephaestus and Hebe, though some say Ares and his twin sister Eris were conceived when Hera touched a flower, Hebe when she touched a lettuce and that Hephaestus was also her parthenogenous child. Others say that Hephaestus was her son by Talos, nephew of Daedalus. Hera regularly bathes in a sprong to renew her virginity.

Hebe was made cup-bearer to the gods and eventually married Heracles, after Ganymedes had usurped her office.

Robert Graves, The Greek Myths. Complete Edition.

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