The Gods of Greek and Roman Mythology - Hera (Juno)
Role in the Mythos: Goddess of Marriage
- Queen of the Gods
- Protector of Married women
- Protector of Marriage
- Parents: Cronus and Rhea
- Spouse: Zeus
- Divine Children: Hephaestus, Ares
- Royal scepter
- Vengeful, vindictive—especially towards any woman who sleeps with her husband
Myths to Know:
Judgment of Paris
The three most beautiful goddesses—Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena—hold a competition to determine who is the most beautiful; their competition is instigated by Eris, the goddess of discord, who throws a golden apple among them addressed “to the fairest.” Zeus sends them to be judged by Paris of Troy. Each goddess presents gifts to the prince, and he chooses Aphrodite because she promises him the best gift of all: having Helen of Greece, the most beautiful woman in the world, for a wife. Helen, however, is already married, and Paris’s abduction of her, making her Helen of Troy, sparks the Trojan War. Angry because Paris chooses Aphrodite in the goddesses’ competition, Hera supports the Greeks in the war.
The Golden Fleece
When the Argonauts reach their destination in Colchis, they reveal to King Aetes their mission to obtain the Golden Fleece. The king is less than pleased with the band of heroes, but he cannot kill them because he has invited them into his home. Instead, Aetes proposes an impossible challenge for Jason to complete in exchange for the fleece. The challenge is to yoke together two bulls with bronze feet and with fire for breath. After yoking the beasts together, Jason has to plow a field and plant dragon’s teeth in rows. From the dragon’s teeth will then rise a fearsome army of warriors that Jason has to cut down as they sprout from the ground. The task is humanly impossible to complete, but Hera is on Jason’s side. She goes to the goddess Aphrodite for assistance. Aphrodite sends Eros (Cupid) to make King Aetes’s daughter, Medea, fall in love with Jason, knowing that Medea will help Jason accomplish his task and return to safety. Medea is a powerful magician. Only with her help will Jason be able to succeed. Medea makes an ointment for Jason that will protect his body from harm for a day and helps him secure the Golden Fleece and escape her father’s kingdom.