The Children of Kronos: Hera (page 61 lower)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

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♠ Homeric Hymn to Apollo 3.305-58

She it was who once received from gold-throned Hera and brought up fell, cruel Typhaon to be a plague to men. Once on a time Hera bare him because she was angry with father Zeus, when the Son of Cronos bare all-glorious Athena in his head. Thereupon queenly Hera was angry and spoke thus among the assembled gods:

“Hear from me, all gods and goddesses, how cloud-gathering Zeus begins to dishonor me wantonly, when he has made me his true-hearted wife. See now, apart from me he has given birth to bright-eyed Athena who is foremost among all the blessed gods. But my son Hephaestus whom I bare was weakly among all the blessed gods and shrivelled of foot, a shame and a disgrace to me in heaven, whom I myself took in my hands and cast out so that he fell in the great sea. But silver-shod Thetis the daughter of Nereus took and cared for him with her sisters: would that she had done other service to the blessed gods! O wicked one and crafty! What else will you now devise? How dared you by yourself give birth to bright-eyed Athena? Would not I have borne you a child —I, who was at least called your wife among the undying gods who hold wide heaven. Beware now lest I devise some evil thing for you hereafter: yes, now I will contrive that a son be born me to be foremost among the undying gods —and that without casting shame on the holy bond of wedlock between you and me. And I will not come to your bed, but will consort with the blessed gods far off from you.”

When she had so spoken, she went apart from the gods, being very angry. Then straightway large-eyed queenly Hera prayed, striking the ground flatwise with her hand, and speaking thus:

“Hear now, I pray, Earth and wide Heaven above and you Titan gods who dwell beneath the earth about great Tartarus, and from whom are sprung both gods and men! Harken you now to me, one and all, and grant that I may bear a child apart from Zeus, no wit lesser than him in strength —nay, let him be as much stronger than Zeus as all-seeing Zeus than Cronos.” Thus she cried and lashed the earth with her strong hand. Then the life-giving earth was moved: and when Hera saw it she was glad in heart, for she thought her prayer would be fulfilled. And thereafter she never came to the bed of wise Zeus for a full year, nor to sit in her carved chair as aforetime to plan wise counsel for him, but stayed in her temples where many pray, and delighted in her offerings, large-eyed queenly Hera.   Continue   Greek Text

♠ Ovid, Metamorphoses 7.523-24

“Because this island bears a rival’s name,
a deadly pestilence was visited
on my confiding people, through the rage
of jealous Juno flaming for revenge. Latin Text

♠ Hyginus, Fabulae 52

AEGINA: When Jupiter wished to lie with Aigina, the daughter of Asopus, he feared Juno, and took the girl to the island of Delos, and there made her pregnant. Aeacus was their son. When Juno found this out, she sent a serpent into the water which poisoned it, and if anyone drank from it, he paid the debt to nature. Since Aeacus, his allies lost, could not protect himself on account of the scarcity of men, as he gazed at some ants, he begged Jupiter to give him men for defense. Then Jupiter changed the ants into men, who were named Myrmidones, because in Greek ants are called ‘myrmekes’. The island, however, has the name of Aigina. Latin Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, July 2020

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