|HERA (HEE-ruh; Roman name Juno)
was the goddess of marriage. Hera was the wife and sister
of Zeus and Queen of the Olympians. She was raised by the
Titans Ocean and Tethys. She is the protector of marrage
and takes special care of married women.
Hera's marriage was founded in strife with Zeus and continued in strife. Zeus courted her unsuccesfully. He then turned to trickery, changing himself into adisheveled cuckoo. Hera feeling sorry for the bird held it to her breast to warm it. Zeus then resumed his normal form and taking advantage of the suprise he gained, raped her. She then married him to cover her shame.
Once when Zeus was being partcularly overbearing to the other gods, Hera convinced them to join in a revolt. Her part in the revolt was to drug Zeus, and in this she was successful. The gods then bound the sleeping Zeus to a couch taking care to tie many knots. This done they began to quarrel over the next step. Briareus overheard the arguements. Still full of gratitude to Zeus, Briareus slipped in and was able to quickly untie the many knots. Zeus sprang from the couch and grabbed his thunderbolt. The gods fell to their knees begging and pleading for mercy. He seized Hera and hung her from the sky with gold chains. She wept in pain all night but, none of the others dared to interfere. Her weeping kept Zeus up and the next morning he agreed to release her if she would swear never to rebel again. She had little choice but, to agree. While she never again rebeled, she often intrigued against Zeus's plans and she was often able to outwit him.
Most stories concerning Hera have to do with her jealous revenge for Zeus and the peacock's infidelities. Her sacred animals are the cow and the peacock.
Hera hated the great hero Heracles since he was the son of her husband Zeus and a mortal woman. When he was still an infant, she sent snakes to attack him in his crib. Later she stirred up the Amazons against him when he was on one of his quests.