Greek Mythology who is Hestia

In Greek mythology, Hestia was the goddess of home, domestic life and family. According to Homer in Odyssey, her name signifies an object of religious respect, and Hestia is invoked as a witness of oaths with Zeus. Hestia symbolized the alliance between the colonies and their mother-cities and people under her protection were inviolable. The goddess was the first to be honoured in each home, but she was not worshiped publicly.

Hestia was the older daughter of Saturn and Rea, and sister of Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Demeter. Immediately after they were born, Cronos swallowed Hestia and all her brothers apart from Zeus, who later rescued all of them and led them to a war against Cronos and the other Titans. Although Hestia was initially included in the twelve Olympian gods, later she was replaced by Dionysus. After that, Hestia was responsible for the holy fire at the Olympus Mountain and her altars were included in every home.

Ancient Greeks named the goddess Hestia from the Greek word “estia”, which means “fire”. The domestic fire had celestial origin and it was stemming from the common altars in the sky as a bearer of the wishes and offers of people, who, in that way, communicated with the gods. In sacrifices, the brilliant energy of birth was an inherent part of the worship of celestial forces. Hestia was the first goddess to reveal the presence of fire on Earth. The holy importance of the word Hestia is closely associated to the Holy Fire, which is lighted for the sacrifices. The religious rituals of the Ancient Greeks bear the recollections of the ancient identity of Hestia, which represents the Holy Fire and burns to honour the deity that lives in the altar. Hestia’s altar in Delphi was the “Common Hestia” of Greeks, which was always on and the throne of Hestia was believed to be the “central seat of world”. Her seat was motionless, while all other celestial bodies were rotating.

Tradition reports that Poseidon and Apollo asked her to marry them, but she vigorously denied both of them. Touching upon the head of Zeus, she took a holy oath to remain a virgin for ever. After that oath, Zeus honoured her by giving the right to sit in the middle of the house thus enjoying the bigger portion. Tradition also reports that Hestia was offered these privileges after Zeus’s victory against the Titans.

For quite some time, Hestia did not have a statue. Her worshipers were making sacrifices on her altar because the considered the Holy Fire as the natural statue of the goddess. Over time, the statue of Hestia was established in the Prytaneum of Athens, in Olympia and in the island of Paros, which was dedicated from Tiberius. The goddess was seated, as it suited to her decent and stable character and around the statue there were two candles, which implied her nature of fire.