Who was Hestia? - Greek Goddess Hestia
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Who was Hestia?

roasting a chicken over a fire
Women cooking ca. 500 BC

December 2016 - Hestia doesn't appear in stories much. We have almost no images of her, either. She is one of the daughters of Rhea and Kronos, and so she is the sister of Hera and Demeter. And so of course Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are Hestia's brothers. Hestia never marries and has no children.

Hestia is the Greek goddess of the house, and especially of the hearth (fireplace) within the house, so she is the goddess of safety, security, doing your duty, taking care of things. Probably even though she is not in very many stories, she was actually a pretty important goddess, who was worshipped at home, as part of the ritual of lighting a fire or moving into a new house, or getting married. The Romans had a similar goddess called Vesta - the Vestal Virgins were her main priestesses in Rome.

Learn by doing: Greek Gods Bingo
More about Hestia's sister Demeter
More about Zoroastrian fire worship

Bibliography and further reading about Hestia:

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, by Edgar and Ingri D'Aulaire.

Greek Religion, by Walter Burkert (reprinted 1987). By a leading expert. He has sections on each of the Greek gods, and discusses their deeper meanings, and their function in Greek society.

More about Rhea and Kronos
Ancient Greece
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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