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Definition: Hestia from The Macquarie Dictionary

Greek Mythology

the goddess of the hearth and hearth fire.

Summary Article: Hestia
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

In Greek mythology, goddess of the hearth-fire (Roman Vesta); protector of the home; and eldest daughter of the Titans Kronos and Rhea. Sometimes regarded as the personification of Earth as centre of the universe, she was identified with the corn goddess Demeter, and the Phrygian Earth goddess Cybele.

Worship Hestia was honoured principally as goddess of the family hearth but, as an extension of the family in many states, she also had a public cult at the permanently-lit civic hearth of the prytaneum (town hall), which was the centre of the magistrates' assembly and regarded as a sanctuary for suppliants. An emigrant colony would take fire from their old city hearth to found a new centre.

Myth At birth Hestia was swallowed by the supreme ruler Kronos, along with her brothers Pluto and Poseidon, and sisters Hera and Demeter, as he believed that one of his children would depose him. Zeus, hidden as a baby, forced him to regurgitate the siblings before taking power. When the gods Apollo and Poseidon sought her in marriage, she vowed to remain a virgin and was appointed by Zeus to preside over sacrifices.

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