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Fun Facts About the Greek Goddess Hestia

Hestia is considered the most neglected of the twelve Olympians. As Goddess of Hearth, she tends the fires of Mount Olympus and was honored with offerings at the hearth fire of every home. The daughter of Cronus and Rhea, Hestia is sister to Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, and Demeter.

Fun Facts About the Greek Goddess Hestia

Facts about Hestia

  • Warned that his child would destroy him, Cronus swallowed all of his children, including Hestia.
  • Hestia was the first-born child of Cronus and Rhea.
  • After Cronus was slain by Zeus, Hestia was the last child to emerge.
  • Because of these two facts, Hestia is both Zeus' oldest and youngest sister.
  • Hestia was always depicted as a modestly dressed young woman wearing a veil.
  • She is a virgin goddess and swore an oath before Zeus to remain a virgin.
  • Hestia's suitors included Poseidon and Apollo. She was immune to Aphrodite's influence.
  • Hestia is the goddess of orphans and missing children although she does not appear in many myths.

The Hearth

  • Major temples to Hestia were public hearths called Prytaneions in Olympia and Delphi.
  • Pilgrims would light a torch at these hearths and carry them to new towns and homes so that they would be warmed by Hestia's fire.
  • Although Hestia, herself, tends the hearth fire of Mt. Olympus, she chose to reside amongst the mortals.
  • Even though she did not appear in many tales, she was revered by every Greek who kept a house.
  • Hestia was owed the first and last offering of every meal and gathering.
  • Since Hestia is an eternal virgin, it was considered an affront to have carnal relations before the home's hearth fire.

Vestal Virgins

  • Hestia's Roman name was Vesta. She oversaw altars as well as the hearth.
  • She was first amongst most Roman household gods.
  • Servants of Vesta were called Vestal Virgins. They tended the sacred fires.
  • In Roman homes, the Vestal fire was maintained in the atrium, in the center of the home.
  • The Vestal fire was of particular import to the women of the family as it was where they prepared food.
  • In Rome, Vesta's temple was round and covered to protect the sacred fire from rain.

Fictional Representations

  • In DC Comic's Wonder Woman, the golden lasso used by the heroine was imbued with the Fires of Hestia, compelling anyone bound by it to tell the truth.
  • Ovid wrote hymns to Vesta in his work.
  • A 1979 C.J. Cherryh novel was titled Hestia.
  • In the Judge Dredd comic series, the tenth planet of the Earth's solar system was named Hestia.
  • In Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Hestia is revealed to be the little girl tending Camp Half-Blood's fire.
  • In The Last Olympian, Hestia teaches Percy that home and hearth are where life begins and choices are shaped.
  • In Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs, Griffin's aunt is a descendent of Hestia and true to her goddess of the hearth heritage.

Home, Hearth and Family

While myths of Hestia are not as abundant as they are for her fellow Olympians, her influence is found in all aspects of home, hearth, and family. Every tale that refers to Hestia focuses on her nurturing nature, her steadfast resolve, and her welcome countenance at the side of the fire.