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Hera was the Olympian queen of the gods and the goddess of women and marriage. She was also a goddess of the sky and starry heavens. She was usually depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a crown and holding a royal, lotus-tipped staff. Sometimes she held a royal lion or had a cuckoo or hawk as her familiar.

Some of the more famous myths featuring the goddess include:--

  • Her marriage to Zeus and her earlier seduction by the god in the guise of a cuckoo bird;
  • The birth of Hephaistos who she produced alone and cast from heaven because he was crippled;
  • Her persecution of the consorts of Zeus, especially Leto, Semele and Alkmene;
  • Her persecution of Herakles and Dionysos, the favourite bastard sons of Zeus;
  • The punishment of Ixion, who was chained to a fiery wheel for attempting to violate the goddess;
  • The assisting of the Argonauts in their quest for the golden fleece, their leader Jason being one of her favourites;
  • The judgement of Paris, in which she competed against Aphrodite and Athene for the prize of the golden apple;
  • The Trojan War, in which she assisted the Greeks.