HERA CULT 2
HERA was the Olympian queen of the gods, and the goddess of women, marriage and the sky.
This page describes her cult in central and northern Greece, the Aegean islands and the Greek colonies. Her most important shrine in this area was on the island of Samos--the goddess' reputed birth place. She also had a number of significant shrines in the Greek colonies of southern Italy.
ENCYCLOPEDIA HERA TITLES
ACRAEA (Akraia). Acraea and Acraeus are also attributes given to various goddesses and gods whose temples were situated upon hills, such as Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Pallas, Artemis, and others. (Paus. i. 1. § 3, ii. 24. § 1; Apollod. i. 9. § 28; Vitruv. i. 7; Spanheim, ad Callim. Hymn in Jov. 82.)
AEGO′PHAGUS (Aigophagos), the goat-eater, a surname of Hera, under which she was worshipped by the Lacedaemonians. (Paus. iii. 15. § 7 ; Hesych. and Etym. M. s. v.)
ALEXANDER (Alexandros), the defender of men, a surname of Hera under which she was worshipped at Sicyon. A temple had been built there to Hera Alexandros by Adrastus after his flight from Argos. (Schol. ad Pind. Nem. ix. 30 ; comp. Apollod. iii. 12. § 5.)
AMMO′NIA (Ammônia), a surname of Hera, under which she was worshipped in Elis. The inhabitants of Elis had from the earliest times been in the habit of consulting the oracle of Zeus Ammon in Libya. (Paus. v. 15. § 7.)
ANTHEIA (Antheia), the blooming, or the friend of flowers, a surname of Hera, under which she had a temple at Argos. Before this temple was the mound under which the women were buried who had come with Dionysus from the Aegean islands, and had fallen in a contest with the Argives and Perseus. (Paus. ii. 22. § 1.) Antheia was used at Cnossus as a surname of Aphrodite. (Hesych. s. v.)
ARGEIA (Argeia). A surname of Hera derived from Argos, the principal seat of her worship. (Paus. iii. 13. § 6.)
BOO′PIS (Boôpis), an epithet commonly given to Hera in the Homeric poems. It has been said, that the goddess was thus designated in allusion to her having metamorphosed Io into a cow; but this opinion is contradicted by the fact, that other divinities too, such as Euryphaëssa (Hom. Hymn. in Sol. 2) and Pluto (Hesiod. Theog. 355), are mentioned with the same epithet; and from this circumstance it must be inferred, that the poets meant to express by it nothing but the sublime and majestic character of those divinities.
BUNAEA (Bounaia), a surname of Hera, deived from Bunus, the son of Hermes and Alcidameia, who is said to have built a sanctuary to Hera on the road which led up to Acrocorinthus. (Paus. ii. 4. § 7, 3. § 8.)
CHERA (Chêra), a surname of Hera, which was believed to have been given her by Temenus, the son of Pelasgus. He had brought up Hera, and erected to her at Old Stymphalus three sanctuaries under three different names. To Hera, as a maiden previous to her marriage, he dedicated one in which she was called pais; to her as the wife of Zeus, a second in which she bore the name of teleia; and a third in which she was worshipped as the chêra, the widow, alluding to her separation from Zeus. (Paus. viii. 22. § 2.)
GAME′LII (Gamêlioi theoi), that is, the divinities protecting and presiding over marriage. (Pollux, i. 24; Maxim. Tyr. xxvi. 6.) Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 2) says, that those who married required (the protection of) five divinities, viz. Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Peitho, and Artemis. (Comp. Dion Chrys. Orat. vii. p. 568.) But these are not all, for the Moerae too are called theai gamêliai (Spanheim ad Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 23, in Del. 292, 297), and, in fact, nearly all the gods might be regarded as the protectors of marriage, though the five mentioned by Plutarch perhaps more particularly than others. The Athenians called their month of Gamelion after these divinities. Respecting the festival of the Gamelia see Dict. of Ant. s. v.
HI′PPIA and HI′PPIUS (Hippia and Hippios, or Hippeios), in Latin Equester and Equestris, occur as surnames of several divinities, as of Hera (Paus. v. 15. § 4); of Athena at Athens, Tegea and Olympia (i. 30. § 4, 31. § 3, v. 15. § 4, viii. 47. § ); of Poseidon (vi. 20. § 8, i. 30. § 4; Liv. i. 9); of Ares (Paus. v. 15. § 4); and at Rome also of Fortuna and Venus. (Liv. xl. 40, xlii. 3; Serv. ad Aen. i. 724.)
HYPERCHEI′RIA (Hupercheipia,) the goddess who holds her protecting hand over a thing, a surname under which Hera had a sanctuary at Sparta, which had been erected to her at the command of an oracle, when the country was inundated by the river Eurotas. (Paus. iii. 13. § 6.)
IMBRA′IA (Imbrasia), a surname of Artemis (Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 228), and of Hera, was derived front the river Imbrasus, in Samos, on which the goddess was believed to have been born. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 187; Paus. vii. 4. § 4.)
LACI′NIA (Lakinia), a surname of Juno [Hera], under which she was worshipped in the neighbourhood of Croton, where she had a rich and famous sanctuary. (Strab. vi. p. 261, &c., 281; Liv. xxiv. 3.) The name is derived by some from the Italian hero Lacinius, or from the Lacinian promontory on the eastern coast of Bruttium, which Thetis was said to have given to Juno as a present. (Serv. ad Aen. iii. 552.) It deserves to be noticed that Hannibal dedicated in the temple of Juno Lacinia a bilingual inscription (in Punic and Greek), which recorded the history of his campaigns, and of which Polybius made use in writing the history of the Hannibalian war. (Polyb. iii. 33; comp. Liv. xxviii. 46.)
PARTHE′NIA (Parthenia). That is, "the maiden," a surname of Artemis and Hera, who, however, is said to have derived it from the river Parthenius. (Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 110; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 187.)
PELASGA or PELASGIS (Pelasgis), i. e. the Pelasgian (woman or goddess), occurs as a surname of the Thessalian Hera (Apollon. Rhod. i. 14, with the Schol.; Propert. ii. 28. 11), and of Demeter, who, under this name, had a temple at Argos. (Paus. ii. 22. § 2.)
PHARYGAEA (Pharngaia), a surname of Hera, derived from the town of Pharygae, in Locris, where she had a temple. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Pharugai ; comp. Strab. ix. p. 426.)
SA′MIA (Samia), Samia also occurs as a surname of Hera, which is derived from her temple and worship in the island of Samos. (Herod. iii. 60; Paus. vii. 4. § 4 ; Tacit. Ann. iv. 14.) There was also a tradition that Hera was born or at least brought up in Samos. (Paus. l. c. ; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 187.)
ZYGIA and ZYGIUS (Zugia and Zugios), are surnames of Hera and Zeus, describing them as presiding over marriage. (Hesych. s. v..)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
CULT IN BOEOTIA (CENTRAL GREECE)
I. PLATAEA (PLATAIA) Town in Boeotia (Boiotia)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 2. 7 - 3. 8 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"There is at Plataia a temple of Hera, worth seeing for its size and for the beauty of its images. On entering you see Rhea carrying toKronos the stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, as though it were the babe to which she had given birth. The Hera they call Teleia (Full-grown); it is an upright image of huge size. Both figures are of Pentelic marble, and the artist was Praxiteles. Here too is another image of Hera; it is seated, and was made by Kallimakhos. The goddess they call Nympheuomene (the Betrothed Bride) for the following reason.
Hera, they say, was for some reason or other angry with Zeus, and had retreated to Euboia. Zeus, failing to make her change her mind, visited Kithairon, at that time despot in Plataia [or more probably the God of the Mountain], who surpassed all men for his cleverness. So he ordered Zeus to make an image of wood, and to carry it, wrapped up, in a bullock wagon, and to say that he was celebrating his marriage with Plataia, the daughter of Asopos. So Zeus followed the advice of Kithairon. Hera heard the news at once, and at once appeared on the scene. But when she came near the wagon and tore away the dress from the image, she was pleased at the deceit, on finding it a wooden image and not a bride, and was reconciled to Zeus. To commemorate this reconciliation they celebrate a festival called Daidala, because the men of old time gave the name of daedala to wooden images. My own view is that this name was given to wooden images before Daidalos, the son of Palamaon, was born at Athens, and that he did not receive this name at birth, but that it was a surname afterwards given him from the Daidala. So the Plataians hold the festival of the Daidala every six years, according to the local guide, but really at a shorter interval. I wanted very much to calculate exactly the interval between one Daidala and the next, but I was unable to do so. In this way they celebrate the feast. Not far from Alalkomenai [in Boiotia] is a grove of oaks. Here the trunks of the oaks are the largest in Boiotia. To this grove come the Plataians, and lay out portions of boiled flesh. They keep a strict watch on the crows which flock to them, but they are not troubled at all about the other birds. They mark carefully the tree on which a crow settles with the meat he has seized. They cut down the trunk of the tree on which the crow has settled, and make of it the Daidalon; for this is the name that they give to the wooden image also. This feast the Plataians celebrate by themselves, calling it the Little Daidala, but the Great Daidala, which is shared with them by the Boiotians, is a festival held at intervals of fifty-nine years, for that is the period during which, they say, the festival could not be held, as the Plataians were in exile. There are fourteen wooden images ready, having been provided each year at the Little Daidala. Lots are cast for them by the Plataians, Koronaeans, Thespians, Tanagraeans, Khaironeans, Orkhomenians, Lebadeans, and Thebans; for at the time when Kassander, the son of Antipater, rebuilt Thebes, the Thebans wished to be reconciled with the Plataians, to share in the common assembly, and to send a sacrifice to the Daidala. The towns of less account pool their funds for images. Bringing the image to the Asopos, and setting it upon a wagon, they place a bridesmaid also on the wagon. They again cast lots for the position they are to hold in the procession. After this they drive the wagons from the river to the summit of Kithairon. On the peak of the mountain an altar has been prepared, which they make after the following way. They fit together quadrangular pieces of wood, putting them together just as if they were making a stone building, and having raised it to a height they place brushwood upon the altar. The cities with their magistrates sacrifice severally a cow to Hera and a bull to Zeus, burning on the altar the victims, full of wine and incense, along with the daedala. Rich people, as individuals, sacrifice what they wish; but the less wealthy sacrifice the smaller cattle; all the victims alike are burned. The fire seizes the altar and the victims as well, and consumes them all together. I know of no blaze that is so high, or seen so far as this."
Herodotus, Histories 9. 52. 1 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"They[the Greeks in the Persian War] came to the temple of Hera which is outside of that town [Plataia in Boiotia], twenty furlongs distant from the Gargaphian spring and piled their arms in front of the temple."
Herodotus, Histories 9. 61. 3 :
"Since the Spartans were being hard-pressed [during the Persian War] and their sacrifices were of no avail, Pausanias lifted up his eyes to the temple of Hera at Plataia and called on the goddess, praying that they might not be disappointed in their hope . . . [later] there came a message to the rest of the Greeks, who were by the temple of Hera and had stayed out of the fighting, that there had been a battle and that Pausanias' men were victorious."
Plutarch, Life of Aristides 18. 1 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"The seer slew victim after victim, Pausanias turned his face [historical general of the Persian Wars], all tears, toward the Heraion, and with hands uplifted prayed Kithaironion Hera and the other gods of the Plataian land that, if it was not the lot of the Hellenes to be victorious, they might at least do great deeds before they fell."
II. CORONEIA (KORONEIA) Village in Boeotia
Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 34. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[In Koroneia, Boiotia] is a sanctuary of Hera with an ancient image, the work of Pythodoros of Thebes; in her hand she carries Seirenes. For the story goes that the daughters of Akhelous were persuaded by Hera to compete with the Mousai in singing. The Mousai won, plucked out the Seirenes' feathers (so they say ) and made crowns for themselves out of them."
III. LEBADEIA Village in Boeotia
Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 38. 5 :
"He who descends [into the oracle of Trophonios] sacrifices to Trophonios himself and to the children of Trophonios, to Apollon also and Kronos, to Zeus surnamed Basileus (King), to Hera Heniokhe (Charioteer), and to Demeter whom they surname Europe."
CULT IN OPUNTIAN LOCRIS (CENTRAL GREECE)
I. PHARYGAE (PHARYGAI) Village in Opuntian Locris (Lokris)
Strabo, Geography 9. 4. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Tarphe is situated on a height . . . its territory is both fruitful and well-wooded, for already this place had been named from its being thickly wooded. But it is now called Pharygai; and here is situated a temple of Hera Pharugaia, so called from the Hera in the Argive Pharygai; and, indeed, they say that they are colonists of the Argives."
CULT IN SAMOS (GREEK AEGEAN)
I. SAMOS Main Town of Samos
Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 14 :
"As one sails towards the city [of Samos in the island of the same name] ... on the left is the suburb [of Samos city] near the Heraion (Temple of Hera), and also the Imbrasos River, and the Heraion, which consists of an ancient temple and a great shrine, which latter is now a repository of tablets. Apart from the number of the tablets placed there, there are other repositories of votive tablets and some small chapels full of ancient works of art. And the temple, which is open to the sky, is likewise full of most excellent statues. Of these, three of colossal size, the work of Myron, stood upon one base; Antony took these statues away, but Augustus Caesar restored two of them, those of Athena and Herakles, to the same base, although he transferred the Zeus to the Kapitolion [Capitol of Rome], having erected there a small chapel for that statue."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 13. 8 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"There is an ashen altar of Hera Samia (of Samos) [at Olympia]."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 3. 15 :
"There are to be seen statues in bronze of Konon and of Timotheus both in the sanctuary of Hera in Samos."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 4. 4 :
"Some say that the sanctuary of Hera in Samos was established by those who sailed in the Argo, and that these brought the image from Argos. But the Samians themselves hold that the goddess was born in the island by the side of the river Imbrasos under the willow that even in my time grew in the Heraion. That this sanctuary is very old might be inferred especially by considering the image; for it is the work of an Aeginetan, Smilis, the son of Eukleides. This Smilis was a contemporary of Daidalos, though of less repute."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 5. 4 :
"Two temples in Ionia were burnt down by the Persians, the one of Hera in Samos and that of Athena at Phokaia. Damaged though they are by fire, I found them a wonder."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 23. 9 :
"At Aigion [in Akhaia] you find a temple of Athena and a grove of Hera . . . the image of Hera may be seen by nobody except the woman who happens to hold the office of priestess to the goddess."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 23. 5 :
"If I am to base my calculations on the accounts of the Greeks in fixing the relative ages of such trees as are still preserved and flourish, the oldest of them is the willow growing in the Samian sanctuary of Hera."
Herodotus, Histories 1. 70. 3 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"The Lakedaemonians who were bringing the bowl [as a gift to Kroisos, king of Lydia C6th B.C.,], coming too late, and learning that Sardis and Kroisos were taken, sold it in Samos to certain private men, who set it up in the the temple of Hera."
Herodotus, Histories 2. 182. 1 :
"Amasis [Egyptian king C6th B.C.] dedicated offerings in Hellas. He gave . . . to Hera in Samos, two wooden statues of himself that were still standing in my time behind the doors in the great shrine. The offerings in Samos were dedicated because of the friendship between Amasis and Polykrates."
Herodotus, Histories 3. 123. 1 :
"Polykrates [C6th B.C. Samian sold his property to] Maiandrios . . . who not long afterwards dedicated in the Heraion [temple of Hera on Samos] all the splendid furnishings of the men's apartment in Polykrates' house."
Herodotus, Histories 4. 88. 1 :
"Mandrokles [a Samian architect of the C6th B.C. who made a floating bridge for the Persians across the Bosporos] had a picture made with them, showing the whole bridge of the Bosporos, and Darius [the Persian] sitting aloft on his throne and his army crossing; he set this up in the temple of Hera, with this inscription : ‘After bridging the Bosporos that teems with fish, Mandrokles dedicated a memorial of the floating bridge to Hera, having won a crown for himself, and fame for the Samians, doing the will of King Darius.’"
Herodotus, Histories 4. 152. 4 :
"The Samians took six talents, a tenth of their profit, and made a bronze vessel with it, like an Argolic cauldron, with griffins' heads projecting from the rim all around; they set this up in their temple of Hera, supporting it with three colossal kneeling figures of bronze, each twelve feet high."
Herodotus, Histories 9. 96. 1 :
"Near Calamisa in the Samian territory, they anchored there near the temple of Hera which is in those parts."
Apuleius, The Golden Ass 6. 3 ff (trans. Walsh) (Roman novel C2nd A.D.) :
"You [Hera] reside in your ancient shrine at Samos, which alone can pride itself on your birth, your infant cries, and your nurture."
CULT IN LYDIA (ASIA MINOR)
I. SARDIS (SARDEIS) Main City of Lydia
Plutarch, Life of Solon 27. 5 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"[They] brought their mother to the temple of Hera [at Sardis, Lydia], where her countrymen called her a happy woman and her heart was rejoiced; then, after sacrifice and feasting, they laid themselves to rest."
CULT IN EGYPT (NORTH AFRICA)
I. ALEXANDRIA Main City of Ptolemaic Egypt (Greek Colony)
Suidas s.v. Demetrios (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Demetrios : Nicknamed Ixion . . . He got this nickname (according to some) because he was caught stealing gold leaf from the statue of Hera in Alexandria."
II. NAUCRATIS (NAUKRATIS) Town in Egypt (Greek Colony)
Herodotus, Histories 2. 178. 3 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"[On the greek settlers who founded Naukratis in Egypt :] The Aiginetans made a precinct of their own, sacred to Zeus; and so did the Samians for Hera and the Milesians for Apollon."
CULT IN SICILY (SOUTHERN ITALY)
I. HIMERA Town in Sicily (Sikelia) (Greek Colony)
Aelian, Historical Miscellany 6. 11 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"After his victory over the Karthaginians at Himera Gelon had the whole of Sikelia (Sicily) under his control [in 480 B.C.]. He then went unarmed into the main square and declared that he was returning power to the citizens . . . For this reason there is a statue of him in the temple of Hera Sikelia, which portrays him unarmed. The inscription attests his action."
CULT IN BRUTTIUM (SOUTHERN ITALY)
I. Near CROTON (KROTON) Town in Bruttium (Greek Colony)
Strabo, Geography 6. 1. 11 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The territory of the Krotoniates [in Italia], and three capes of the Iapyges; and after these, the Lakinion, a temple of Hera [Hera Lakinia], which at one time was rich and full of dedicated offerings."
CULT IN LUCANIA (SOUTHERN ITALY)
I. SYBARIS Town in Lucania (Greek Colony)
Aelian, Historical Miscellany 3. 43 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"At Sybaris a cithara player was singing in the contest they held in honour of Hera, when the Sybarites began to riot on his account, taking up weapons against each other. They player was frightened and took refuge in full dress at the altar of Hera. But even here they did not spare him. Not long after it seemed that blood welled up in the temple of Hera, in the same way as a perpetual spring. The Sybarites sent a delegation to Delphoi and the Pythia responded : ‘Go away from my tripods, there is still blood on your hands, pouring down in quantity, to keep you from my threshold. I shall not deliver oracles to you; you who have killed a servant of the Mousai (Muses) by the altars of Hera, without respect for the vengeance of the gods. For evildoers the fulfilment of justice is not long in coming, nor can it be put off, even if they should be descendants of Zeus. It hovers over their heads and among their children; misfortune after misfortune stalks their homes.’ Justice was not slow; for having taken up arms against the men of Kroton they were overwhelmed by them, and their city disappeared."
CULT IN PICENUM (SOUTHERN ITALY)
I. SILARIS R. River in Picenum & Lucania
Strabo, Geography 6. 1. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"After the mouth of the Silaris one comes to Leukania [in Italia], and to the temple of the Hera Argoia (of the ship Argo), built by Jason, and near by, within fifty stadia, to Poseidonia."
Pliny the Elder, Natural History 3. 70 (trans. Rackham) (Roman encyclopedia C1st A.D.) :
"The 30 miles of Picentine territory [in Italia] . . . was famous for the temple of Argive Juno [Hera] founded by Jason."
II. CUPRA (KYPRA) Town in Picenum (Greek Colony)
Strabo, Geography 5. 4. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Next comes the temple of Kypra (Cupra), which was established and founded as a city by the Tyrrenhoi [in the Picentine country, Italia], who call Hera Kypra [a native goddess identified with Hera]."
CULT IN VENETIA (NORTHERN ITALY)
I. HENETI (HENETOI) Tribe of Venetia
Strabo, Geography 5. 1. 9 :
"Among the Henetoi [of northern Italia] certain honours have been decreed to [the mythic hero] Diomedes; and, indeed, a white horse is still sacrificed to him, and two precincts are still to be seen--one of them sacred to Hera Argeia (of Argos) and the other to Artemis Aitolis (of Aitolia)."
CULT OF JUNO IN LATIUM (CENTRAL ITALY)
I. LAVINIUM Town near Rome in Latium
Aelian, On Animals 11. 16 ff (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"There is a sacred grove in Lauinion (Lavinium, Rome) of wide area and thickly planted, and near by is a shrine to Hera of Argolis. And in the grove there is a vast and deep cavern, and it is the lair of a Drakon (Serpent). And on certain fixed days holy maidens enter the grove bearing a barley-cake in their hands and with their eyes bandaged. And divine inspiration leads them straight to the Serpent's resting-place, and they move forward without stumbling and at a gentle pace just as if they saw with their eyes unveiled. And if they are virgins, the Serpent accepts the food as sacred and as fit for a creature beloved of god. Otherwise the food remains untasted, because the Serpent already knows and has divined their impurity. And ants crumble the cake of the deflowered maid into small pieces so that they can be carried easily, and transport them without the grove, cleansing the spot. And the inhabitants get to know what has occurred and the maidens who came in are examined, and the one who has shamed her virginity is punished in accordance with the law. This is the way in which I would demonstrate the faculty of divination in Serpents."
CULT IN IBERIA (SOUTHERN SPAIN)
I. UNNAMED Islands near Gibralta in Iberia
Strabo, Geography 3. 5. 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Others have supposed that the isles near each mountain [on the straits of Gibralta], one of which they call Hera's Island are the Pillars [of Herakles]. Artemidoros speaks of Hera's Island and her temple, and he says there is a second isle."
CULT NON-SPECIFIC LOCALE
The following may be a description of the Heraion in Argos, the sanctuary of Hera on Samos, or a purely fictional shrine.
Apuleius, The Golden Ass 6. 3 ff (trans. Walsh) (Roman novel C2nd A.D.) :
"She [Psykhe having been abandoned by her husband Eros] noticed in a glimmering grove in the valley below an elegantly built shrine. Not wishing to disregard any means, however uncertain, which gave promise of brighter hope, and in her eagerness to seek the favour of any divinity whatsoever, she drew close to its sacred portals. There she observed valuable offerings, and ribbons inscribed with gold letters pinned to the branches of trees and to the doorposts. These attested the name of the goddess to whom they were dedicated, together with thanks for favours received. She sank to her knees, and with her hands she grasped the altar still warm from a sacrifice. She wiped away her tears, and then uttered this prayer [to Hera] : ‘Sister and spouse of mighty Jupiter [Zeus], whether you reside in your ancient shrine at Samos, which alone can pride itself on your birth, your infant cries, and your nurture; or whether you occupy your blessed abode in lofty Carthage, which worships you as the maiden who tours the sky on a lion's back [i.e. a Carthaginian goddess identified with Hera]; or whether you guard the famed walls of the Argives, by the banks of the river-god Inachus, who now hymns you as bride of the Thunderer and as queen of all goddesses; you, whom all the East reveres as the yoking goddess, and whom all the West addresses as Lucina [goddess of childbirth], be for me in my most acute misfortunes Juno [Hera] the Saviour, and free me from looming dangers in my weariness from exhausting toils. I am told that it is your practice to lend unsolicited aid to pregnant women in danger.’"
Hera had a large number of cult titles. The first of these described her as a goddess of women in general in her various stages of live, from Girl (Pais), to Bride (Nympheuomene), Adult (Teleia), Marital Love and Sex (Aphrodite), and Widow (Khera):--
The second set were derived from the locations of important cult centres:--
Of Argos (Argolis)
Of Samos (Aegean)
Of Olympia (Elis)
Of Pharygaea (Locris)
The third set of titles were cult specific, and mainly referred to divine functions and patronage:--
Of the Chariot
Of the Flowers
Of the Ship Argo
Whose Hand is Above
The last set of titles were descriptive of a particular temple or shrine such as Akraia (of the Heights), (because the temple was on a hill, and Bounaia, Lakinia and Prodromia, after the founders of specific temples:--
Of the Heights
Of the Pioneer
Of Bounos (hero)
Of Lakinios (hero)
Finally, a few general cult terms include:--
Temple of Hera
Festival of Hera
(Festival of Hera)
Suidas s.v. Ataurote (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Ataurote (Unbulled) : Meaning a ‘pure’ [woman] and one who ‘has not had intercourse’ : for tauros (bull) is the genitals of a man. And because of this [there is the word] ataurote, she who is pure or not yoked in marriage, and Azuges (Unyoked). And Hera [is called] Boopis (Cow-Eyed) and Zugia (Yoking-Goddess) and Gamelia (Marriage-Goddess)."
- Herodotus, Histories - Greek History C5th B.C.
- Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Plutarch, Lives - Greek Historian C1st - 2nd A.D.
- Aelian, On Animals - Greek Natural History C2nd - 3rd A.D.
- Aelian, Historical Miscellany - Greek Rhetoric C2nd - 3rd A.D.
- Apuleius, The Golden Ass - Latin Novel C2nd A.D.
- Suidas, The Suda - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.