Scanned text contains errors.
Delos, the fires "were kindled again, and a new life, as the saying went, began. At Athens he was worshipped in the Academy, in connexion with Athene and Prometheus (see prometheus). In October the smiths and smelters celebrated the Chalkeia, a feast of metal-workers, in his honour and that of Athene; at the Apaturla sacrifices were offered to him, among other gods, as the giver of fire, and torches were kindled, and hymns were aung ; at the Hephcestta, finally, there was a torch-race in his honour. In works of art he is represented as a vigorous man with a beard, equipped, like a smith, with hammer and tongs; his left leg is shortened, to show his lameness (see engraving). The Romans identified him with their Vulcanus (sec vulcanus).
Hera. In Greek mythology, the queen of heaven, eldest daughter of CrSnus and Rhea, sister and lawful consort of Zeus. According to Homer, she was brought up in her youth by Oceanus and Tethys. But every place in which her worship was localized asserted that she was born there, and brought up by the Nymphs of the district. She is said to have long lived in secret intimacy with Zeus, before he publicly acknowledged her as his lawful consort. Her worshippers celebrated her marriage in the spring time. In the oldest version of the story it took place in the Islands of the Blessed, on the shore of the Ocean stream, where the golden apple tree of the Hesperldes sprang up to celebrate it. But this honour, too, was claimed by every place where Hera was worshipped. According to one local story, Zeus obtained the love of Hera by stealth, in the form of a cuckoo.
Hera seems originally to have symbolised the feminine aspects of the natural forces of which Zeus is the masculine representative. Hence she is at once his wife and his sister, shares his power and his honours, and, like him, has authority over the phenomena of the atmosphere. It is she who sends clouds and storms, and is mistress of the thunder and the lightning. Her handmaids are the Horse or goddesses of the season, and Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. Like Zeus, men worship her on mountains, and pray to her for rain. The union of sun and rain, which wakes the earth to renewed fertility, is symbolised as the loving union of Zeus and Hera. In the same way a conflict of the winds is represented as the consequence of a matrimonial quarrel, usually attributed to the
jealousy of Hera, who was regarded as the
stern protectress of honourable marriage. Hence arose stories of Zeus ill-treating hia wife. It was said that he scourged her, and hurled Hephaestus from heaven to earth when hurrying to his mother's assistance; that in anger for her persecution of his son Heracles, he hung her out in the air with golden chains to her arms and an anvil on each foot. There were also old stories which spoke of Hera allying herself with Athene and PSseidon to bind Zeus in chains. Zeus was only rescued by the Giant JSgaeon, whom Thetis called to his assistance. The birth of Athene was said to have enraged Hera to such a pitch that she became the mother of Typhon by the dark powers of the infernal regions, In fact, this constant resistance to the will of Zeus, and her jealousy and hatred of her consort's paramours and their children, especially Heracles, becomes in the poets a standing trait in her character.
In spite of all this, Homer represents her as the most majestic of all the goddesses. The other Olympians pay her royal honours, and Zeus treats her with all respect and confides all his designs to her, though not always yielding to her demands. She is the spotless and uncorruptible wife of the King of Heaven; the mother of Hephaestus, Ares, Hebe, and Illthyia, and indeed may be called the only lawful wife in the Olympian court. She is, accordingly, before all other deities the goddess of marriage and the protectress of purity in married life. She is represented as of exalted but severe beauty, and appears before Paris as competing with Aphrodite and Athene for the prize of loveliness. In Homer she is described as of lofty stature, large eyes, white arms, and beautiful hair. On women she confers bloom and strength; she helps them, too, in the dangerous hour of childbirth. Her daughters Hebe and Ilithyia personify both these attributes.
In earlier times Hera was not everywhere recognised as the consort of Zeus; at the primitive oracle of Dodona, for instance, Dione occupies this position. The Pel5-ponnesus may be regarded as the earliest seat of her worship, and in the Peloponnesus, during the Homeric period, Argos, Mycenae, and Sparta are her favourite seats. Of these, according to the poet, she is the passionate champion in the Trojan War. In later times the worship of Hera was strongly localized in Argos and Mycenae. At Argos she took the same commanding