Ancient Greece Gods and Goddesses
By: Trish and Amanda
Hera was the Queen of Gods and the wife of Zeus. She is the goddess of marriage, weddings and childbirth. Jealous of her husbands affairs, she took brutal revenge on the girlfriends and illegimate children of her husband. Hera was extremely jealous of Alkmene's child, Herakles. She delayed the childs birth date so that a different child became king, she also placed two snakes in the baby Herakles' cot but apparently the child managed to survive by strangling the snakes. Hera wore a Polos (a high crown) and a sceptre (a royal symbol of office) which is a symbolises her level in society. A bronze axe head was given in dedication to Hera and was inscribed "I am the sacred property of Hera-in-the-plain..." The birthplace of Hera was Samos, after her birth a brobdinagian sanctuary was built on the spot. The Heraia was a festival dedicated to Hera, it was like the Olympic Games held at Olympia but only women were allow to participate.
Athena is the goddess of war, cunning wisdom, pot-making, wool-working, intelligent activity, arts and literature. Zeus was the father of Athena and her mother was Metis. Before Athena was born, Zeus was informed that the child that would soon be born will be more powerful than he is. After being told that the child that is soon to be more will be more powerful than he is, Zeus swallowed Metis before Athena could be given birth. Not long after, Zeus began to have painful headaches that soon became unbearable to cope with so Zeus requested for his head to be cut open to see what was the cause of it. Athena emerged from the cut in Zeus' head, fully grown and dressed ready for battle. Athena was symbolised by olive trees and owls. The Aegis, a goat skin cloak that was fringed with snakes also symbolised Athena.The autos is a type of pipe instrument that was said to be invented by Athena. She threw the instrument away in disgust when she saw how hideous her face was when she was playing it. Sanctuary or temples were dedicated by the Greek Cities to Athena because she was known to be the 'protectress of the cities'. The Panathenaia was a huge festival held in Athens, that involved: men, women, citizens, slaves and foreigners who inhabited the land. The event included sacrifices, competitions and a huge procession to present a new robe to the ancient statue of Athena located in the top of the Acropolis.