Hestia (Vesta)

Goddess of the Hearth

Why She Was Important

As the Greek goddess of hearth and home, Hestia was much more passive relative to other Greek gods like Apollo or Athena, and hence is rarely present as an actor in Greek literature. She was showed praise at the start and end of every banquet. Every child was born unto the prayer of Hestia before they were a part of the family.

Her Effect on Mortals

Mortals, when holding banquets, would pour wine in offerings to the goddess, both first and last: one to open the banquet, and the other to close it. At the beginning of every meal at home, a small offering was thrown into the hearth flame. A song was sung in her praise, welcoming the goddess to the home.

Family Facts

She was the sister to Demeter, Hera, Hades, Posiedon, and Zues, and she was son to Cronus and Rhea. She chose to remain virgin throughout her life, and she swore upon the head of Zeus to never marry. Hestia was one of the children to be swallowed by her father. Later, Cronus was tricked into drinking emetic, and vomited her and her siblings out.

Public Worship

Each city had a public hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was never allowed to go out. If a colony was founded, the colonists carried with them the coals from the hearth of the mother-city with which to kindle the fire on the new city's hearth.


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