Symbols: Hearth, fire, kettle
Parents: Cronus and Rhea
Abode: Mount Olympus (sometimes Delphi)
Roman name: Vesta
Hestia is the Greek goddess of home, hearth, and family. She is usually considered one of the Twelve Olympian gods that live on Mount Olympus. Since she didn't get married or have any kids, she wasn't as involved in many of the Greek stories and myths as the other gods.
How was Hestia usually pictured?
Hestia was usually pictured as a modest woman wearing veil and holding a flowered branch. She was a gentle and kind god who didn't get involved with the politics and rivalries of the other Olympian gods.
What special powers and skills did she have?
Hestia maintained the hearth fire of both Mount Olympus and the homes of the Greeks. This fire was important because it was used for cooking and for keeping the home warm. Hestia also helped to keep peace in the family and taught people how to build their homes.
Birth of Hestia
Hestia was the first born child of the Titan rulers Cronus and Rhea. Being the first born, she was also the first of her siblings swallowed by her father Cronus. When Cronus was forced to spit out his children by Zeus, Hestia was the last to come out. In some ways she was the oldest and the youngest of her siblings.
Hestia's siblings included fellow Olympians Zeus, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Together with her siblings, Hestia defeated the Titans and joined Zeus at Mount Olympus.
Cult of Hestia
Although Hestia wasn't prominent in the stories of Greek mythology, the worship of Hestia was an important part of Ancient Greek life. The first offering of every sacrifice in the home was given to Hestia. When a new colony was established, Hestia's flame would be carried to the new city to light its hearth.
Interesting Facts About the Greek Goddess Hestia
- She is only sometimes included in the list of the Twelve Olympian gods. When she is not included, Dionysus is included instead.
- Hestia never married or had kids. Zeus granted her the right to remain an eternal virgin. In many ways she was the opposite of the goddess Aphrodite.
- Both Apollo and Poseidon wanted to marry Hestia, but she refused.
- Hestia is the Greek word for "hearth." The hearth is the floor of the fireplace.
For more about Ancient Greece: