Hestia: Goddess of Home in Greek Mythology


     Hestia was the Greek Goddess of Home and Hearth and in Greco-Roman Mythology, Hestia was often represented as one of the 12 (in other versions 15) deities of Olympus.

Hestia in Greek Mythology:

     Hestia, in Greek Mythology, was the Greek virgin goddess of the home, fireplace, architecture, domestic life, family and state.

     Daughter of Cronos and Reia, she was one of the twelve Olympic deities. The order of birth of his brothers, according to Pseudo-Apollodore, is: Hera (the oldest), followed by Demeter and Hestia, followed by Hades and Poseidon; the next to be born, Zeus, was hidden by Reia in Crete, who gave a stone for Cronos to eat. Higino lists the sons of Saturn and Ops as Vesta, Ceres, Juno, Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune, he also reports an alternative version of the legend, in which Saturn buries Orco in Tartarus and Neptune under the sea, instead of eating them .

     Courted by Poseidon and Apollo, she swore virginity to Zeus, and received from him the honor of being venerated in every home, being included in all sacrifices and remaining in peace, in her palace surrounded by the respect of gods and mortals.

     Although it does not appear frequently in mythological stories, it was admired by all gods. It was the personification of stable housing, where people gathered to pray and offer sacrifices to the gods. She was adored as protector of cities, families and colonies.

Sacred Flame of Hestia:

     Its sacred flame shone continuously in homes and temples. All cities had Hestia's fire, placed in the palace where the tribes met. This fire should be obtained from the sun.

     When the Greeks founded cities outside Greece, they took part of the fire from the fireplace as a symbol of the connection with the motherland and with it, lit the fireplace where the political nucleus of the new city would be. Always fixed and immutable, Hestia symbolized the perpetuity of civilization.

     In Delphi, the perpetual flame with which the hestia of other altars was lit was preserved. Each pilgrim who arrived in a city, first made a sacrifice to Hestia.

     His worship was very simple: in the family, he was chaired by his father or mother; in cities, by the greatest political authorities.

     In Ancient Rome, it was worshiped as Vesta (daughter of Saturn and Cybele), and the sacred fire was the symbol of the Empire's perpetuity. Their priestesses were called vestals, took a vow of chastity and were to serve the goddess for thirty years. There the goddess was worshiped by a chief priest, in addition to the vestals.

     She was represented as a young woman, with a long tunic and a veil over her head and shoulders. There were images in its main cities, but his stern and simple figure did not offer much material to the artists.

     Hestia was one of the goddesses with the most beautiful meaning, as she represented both the sacred value of virginity and the spiritual purity of fire.