The Children of Kronos: Hestia (page 73 lower, with art)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

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Ovid, Fasti 6.319-48

Shall I pass over or relate thy disgrace, rubicund Priapus? It is a short story, but a very merry one. Cybele, whose brow is crowned with a coronet of towers, invited the eternal gods to her feast. She invited all the satyrs and those rural divinities, the nymphs. Silenus came, though nobody had asked him. It is unlawful, and it would be tedious, to narrate the banquet of the gods: the livelong night was passed in deep potations. Some roamed at haphazard in the vales of shady Ida; some lay and stretched their limbs at ease on the soft grass; some played; some slept; some, arm linked in arm, thrice beat with rapid foot the verdant ground. Vesta lay and careless took her peaceful rest, just as she was, her head low laid and propped upon a sod. But the ruddy guardian of gardens courted nymphs and goddesses, and to and fro he turned his roving steps. He spied Vesta too; it is doubtful whether he took her for a nymph or knew her to be Vesta; he himself said that he knew her not. He conceived a wanton hope, and tried to approach her furtively; he walked on tiptoe with throbbing heart. It chanced that old Silenus had left the ass, on which he rode, on the banks of a babbling brook. The god of the long Hellespont was going to begin, when the ass uttered an ill-timed bray. Frightened by the deep voice, the goddess started up; the whole troop flocked together; Priapus made his escape between hands that would have stopped him. Lampsacus is wont to sacrifice this animal to Priapus, saying: “We fitly give to the flames the innards of the tell-tale.” That animal, goddess, thou dost adorn with necklaces of loaves in memory of the event: work comes to a stop: the mills are empty and silent. Latin Text

Hesiod, Theogony 453-54

But Rhea was subject in love to Cronos and bore splendid children, Hestia, Demeter, and gold-shod Hera  Greek Text

Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite 5.21-32

Nor yet does the pure maiden Hestia love Aphrodite’s works. She was the first-born child of wily Cronos and youngest too, by will of Zeus who holds the aegis, —a queenly maid whom both Poseidon and Apollo sought to wed. But she was wholly unwilling, nay, stubbornly refused; and touching the head of father Zeus who holds the aegis, she, that fair goddess, swear a great oath which has in truth been fulfilled, that she would be a maiden all her days. So Zeus the Father gave her an high honor instead of marriage, and she has her place in the midst of the house and has the richest portion. In all the temples of the gods she has a share of honor, and among all mortal men she is chief of the goddesses. Greek Text

Homeric Hymn 24 to Hestia

Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise —draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song. Greek Text

Homeric Hymn 29 to Hestia

Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honor: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet, —where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.

And you, Slayer of Argus, Son of Zeus and Maia, messenger of the blessed gods, bearer of the golden rod, giver of good, be favorable and help us, you and Hestia, the worshipful and dear. Come and dwell in this glorious house in friendship together; for you two, well knowing the noble actions of men, aid on their wisdom and their strength.

Hail, Daughter of Cronos, and you also, Hermes, bearer of the golden rod! Now I will remember you and another song also. Greek Text

Pindar, Nemean 11.1-2

Daughter of Rhea, you who have received the town hall under your protection, Hestia, sister of Zeus the highest and of Hera who shares his throne, welcome Aristagoras to your dwelling. Greek Text

Bakchylides 14B.1

Golden-throned Hestia, you who increase the great prosperity of the rich Agathocleadae, seated in the midst of city streets near the fragrant river Peneius in the valleys of sheep-nurturing Thessaly. Greek Text

Florence, Museo Archeologico Etrusco 4209: Attic  black-figure volute krater by Kleitias and Ergotimos, Hestia, Chariklo, Demeter (first group of goddesses to the right of Dionysos carrying amphora on his shoulder).


A. Furtwaengler and K. Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei: Auswahl hervorragender Vasenbilder (Serie I, 1904), pls. 1-2 (detail)


Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Perseus Art and Archaeology Artifact Browser

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Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, May 2018.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, August 2020

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