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Greek Mythology > Immortals > Hestia
Hestia is one of the Olympians and is primarily known as the Goddess of the Hearth, i.e. the protector of home and family. She is the goddess of humble domestic joy. She is also one of only three Olympians who are immune to the spells of the goddess of Love, Aphrodite... the other two are Athene (Athena) and Artemis. She has never wed but she protects orphans and missing children and chooses to spend her time, not on Mount Olympos (Olympus), but on earth with the mortals she loves and protects.
Hestia was the first born child of the Titans, Kronos (Cronos) and Rhea. By being the first born, Hestia was the first of six children to be swallowed by Kronos in his attempt to prevent one of his children from taking his throne. After Kronos had devoured five of his children, Rhea substituted a stone for Zeus and he was not swallowed by his pitiless father. After Zeus was grown, he attacked Kronos and he (Kronos) disgorged the swallowed children. Hestia was the last to be spewed forth and so she is considered the youngest AND the oldest Olympian, i.e. the first born to Rhea (oldest) and the last to be freed from Kronos' belly (youngest). Hestia is the sister of: Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Demeter and Hera. A perpetual fire was kept burning in her honor at Delphi and whenever new colonies were founded, fire was taken from Delphi to the new settlement. The first and last libations were poured to her at every banquet. (Theogony, line 454) (Hymn to Aphrodite, line 22) (The two Homeric Hymns to Hestia)
In the Homeric Hymns, Hestia is said to tend the dwelling of Apollon at Pytho. Also, she is linked with Hermes in the Hymns. She and Hermes are kind to the mere mortals, and, in gratitude, her worshipers would sing:
There could be no feast of plenty if the first and last libations of sweet wine were not poured in honor of Hestia.
Hestia is often confused with the Roman goddess, Vesta.
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