A goddess of the Titan generation, daughter of Earth (Gaia) and Sky (Ouranos). She is wife and sister of Kronos, and mother of the six older Olympians (Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus). Her important role in the unfolding of the cosmos is described in Hesiod's Theogony (135, 453-506). She is referred to twice in Homer's Iliad (and not at all in the Odyssey), both in speeches by her children (14.203, 15.187). In the first of these Hera alludes to her time living with her foster parents Ocean and Tethys. Rhea seems to have given Hera over to them when she was child, at a time “when Zeus cast Kronos down underneath earth and the barren sea” (14.203-204). The reference implies that Zeus is much older than Hera, whereas earlier in the poem (4.59) Hera is the oldest of Rhea's children (note too the order at Th. 453-458, which places Hera after Hestia and Demeter). R. Janko argues (1992, on 14.203-204) that the children swallowed by Kronos when they were given birth by Rhea (i.e., all but Zeus) did not mature inside him. Zeus therefore grows to manhood in the normal way, whereas Hera grows up only when she is disgorged by Kronos. This explanation seems also to lie behind Zeus' claim to be stronger and older than Poseidon (15.164-167), which Poseidon himself does not really challenge (185-199).
In the Homeric Hymns Rhea is a messenger of Zeus to Demeter (Hymn. Cer. 441-443), and plays a background role in the birth of Apollo (Hymn. Ap. 93).
See also Titans.
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One of the TITANS, daughter of Uranus (Heaven) and GAIA (Earth). She married her brother-Titan CRONUS and bore him five children, HESTIA, DEMETER, H
She bore Cronos six divine children, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus; but her husband, having learnt from Gaia that one...
In Greek mythology, the mother of the gods, daughter of URANUS and GAIA, and sister of KRONUS, the Titan, by whom she bore ZEUS, HADES, POSEIDON, HE