Roman name: Juno
Parents: Cronos and Rhea
Brothers: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades
Sisters: Demeter and Hestia
Hera was the queen of heaven and married to Zeus. Though she was the protector of marriage, she had little success in limiting Zeus’s affairs. She is often portrayed as an angry and jealous wife of Zeus and his many lovers. Hera seemed to direct her anger at Zeus’s lovers, instead of Zeus, even though most of the ladies tried to escape his advances. In one story, Zeus changed his lover Io into a white heifer in order to hide the affair from Hera. Hera, aware of the disguise, asked Zeus for the heifer as a gift. Zeus was obligated to give the heifer to her. She placed the heifer under guard of a monster with one hundred eyes. After Zeus learned of this, he sent Hermes to kill the monster and set Io free. When Io was set free, Hera sent a fly to constantly bite her in her cow form. Eventually Io had to beg for Hera’s forgiveness and was returned to her human form.
Another story about Hera’s anger toward Zeus’s offspring was about her treatment of Hercules, Zeus’s son by Alcmene. Hera attacked Hercules by sending serpents to kill him. Later she drove him into a fir of madness that caused him to kill his own wife and children.
Juno by Rembrandt - Armand Hammer Foundation, Los Angeles
Major Gods and Goddesses
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