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A woman and a girl cooking

Hestia, home, and the hearth: A woman and a girl cooking

Hestia’s hardly there

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.

Rhea and Kronos
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And so of course ZeusPoseidon, and Hades are Hestia’s brothers. Hestia never marries and has no children.

Hearth and home

Hestia is the Greek god of the house, and especially of the hearth (fireplace) within the house, so she is the god of safety, security, doing your duty, taking care of things.

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Hestia and Vesta

Probably even though she is not in very many stories, she was actually a pretty important god. People worshipped her at home. She was part of the ritual of lighting a fire or moving into a new house, or getting married. The Romans had a similar god called Vesta (it’s the same word really). They didn’t make pictures of her, either. 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
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