Who is Zeuss' spouse

Hera and Zeus

Hera, Roman goddess: Juno, the eldest sister and wife of Zeus, was jealous only once. And that was (almost) always.

For the Greeks she is the patron goddess of marriage and, as the wife of the supreme god, also the goddess with the highest rank or status.

The peacock was Hera's sacred animal. Hera was especially venerated in the cities (polis) of Sparta, Argos and Mycenae.

On the occasion of the wedding between Hera and Zeus, Gaia planted a tree with golden apples in the garden of the Hesperides at the end of the world. These golden apples were considered the apples of immortality.

They were reserved for the gods of Olympus alone. The golden apples of immortality also reappear in Norse mythologies. There, too, a goddess (Idun) is responsible for protecting the golden apples from access by mortal beings.

Marriage between Hera and Zeus

Poor Hera had every reason to be jealous. Her divine consort, Zeus, father of the gods, kept walking after the most beautiful of the beautiful.

Outwitted by Zeus, Hera initially only reluctantly agreed to marry her brother. How the marriage between the Hera and Zeus came about is told very differently in the myths.

According to a myth, Hera falls in love with her youngest brother Zeus when he is born and seduces him when he has reached manhood.

Another myth tells the almost exact opposite. Accordingly, Zeus fell in love with his sister Hera and applied for her hand. Hera rejected his advertisement. Then Zeus resorted to a ruse and - during a violent storm - took the form of an injured, frightened cuckoo. He just knew his older sister.

And right, Hera was taken with pity for the terrified animal and took him up and her lap.

According to one version, that was all and Hera gave birth to three children of Zeus.
According to another version, Zeus turned back in a flash and overwhelmed his sister.

Hera was extremely embarrassed to be outwitted in this way, so that she finally consented to marry Zeus.

In this reading, the task of Hera as the guardian of the marital secret becomes interesting. In all myths, Hera is considered the protective goddess and energetic defender of marriage.

The children of Hera and Zeus

Four children are attributed to the union of Zeus and Hera. Not all sources agree on this. Eileithya in particular is sometimes seen as an aspect of Hera herself.

  • Ares, god of war and lover of Aphrodite. An unpopular god among the Greek gods. Nevertheless, he was an important god and was worshiped by the people.
  • Hebe, the goddess of youth and the wife of Heracles. Today she is considered a rather insignificant goddess, beautiful of course, but without her own heroic deeds. Of course, lifting was still important. Without them, the gods would have starved to death, so to speak: As the gods cupbearer, she provided everyone with nectar and ambrosia - the food of the gods.
  • Hephaestus, god of blacksmithing and craft. He is Aphrodite's husband without ever fathering children with her. Like his mother, he is also famous for his (well-founded) jealousy.
  • Eileithya, the goddess of childbirth. She, too, is a goddess who has an important special task with giving birth. Beyond that, however, Eileithya has little influence on the events of the gods. One could also say: She does not interfere in the intrigues and schemes of the other gods.

Hera and the jealousy

Hera pursues all the beautiful goddesses and human women with whom her godly husband has fun and fathered children with great hatred.

The love adventure with the highest of the gods costs many of the human beauties their young lives.

Semele, for example, is lured into a surefire trap by Hera. She was a particularly beautiful king's daughter whom Zeus had chosen as the mother of Dionysus.

Or the war for Troy. In this myth, Hera is on the side of the Greeks - against the city of Troy. But why?

This time she was presumably not so guided by jealousy as by its successor: vengeance.

Paris, the Trojan Prince, had not chosen her in the dispute over the apple. Instead, the apple was given to the naked, glowing beauty goddess Aphrodite.

Image sources:© Athena, Hera and Zeus, University of Pennsylvania Museum / Duris - Jastrow (2006). Image renamed from Image: Hera Prometheus CdM 542.jpg, public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2184724