Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hebe - Ἥβη

statue by Antonio Canova

In Greek mythology, Hēbē (Greek: Ἥβη) is the goddess of youth[1] (Roman equivalent: Juventas).[2] She is the daughter of Zeus and Hera.[3] Hebe was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia, until she was married to Heracles, (Roman equivalent: Hercules); her successor was the young Trojan prince Ganymede. Another title of hers, for this reason, is "Ganymeda." She also drew baths for Ares and helped Hera enter her chariot.[4]

In Euripides' play Heracleidae, Hebe granted Iolaus' wish to become young again in order to fight Eurystheus. Hebe had two children with her husband Heracles: Alexiares and Anicetus.[5] In Roman mythology, Juventas received a coin offering from boys when they put on the adult men's toga for the first time.

The name Hebe comes from Greek word meaning "youth" or "prime of life". Juventas likewise means "youth", as can be seen in such derivatives as juvenile. In art, Hebe is usually depicted wearing a sleeveless dress. There is a bronze statue of Hebe, by Robert Thomas; (1966), in Birmingham city centre, England (at 52°29′04″N 1°53′32″W / 52.484438°N 1.892175°W / 52.484438; -1.892175). Antonio Canova also sculpted four different statues of Hebe: one of them is in the Museum of Forlì, in Italy.

From: Wiki
HEBE was the goddess of youth and the cupbearer of the gods who served ambrosia at the heavenly feast. She was also the patron goddess of the young bride and an attendant of the goddess Aphrodite. Herakles received Hebe in marriage upon his ascension to Olympos, a wedding which reconciled the hero with Hebe's mother Hera.

In Greek vase painting Hebe was depicted either as the bride of Herakles, or the cupbearer of the gods, pouring ambrosia from a pitcher. Sometimes she was represented with wings like the goddesses Iris and Nike.

Hebe's male counterpart was the boy Ganymedes and her opposite number was Geras (Old Age). She may have been equated with Selene's daughter Pandeia.



Hebe was the goddess of youth and of the youthful bride. She was a companion of the wedding gods Hera, Aphrodite, the Kharites (Graces) and Harmonia (Marital Harmony).

Hesiod, Theogony 5 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"[The Mousai] utter their song with lovely voice, praising Zeus the aigis-holder, and queenly Hera . . . Aphrodite, and Hebe with the crown of gold, and fair Dione, Leto."

Homeric Hymn 3 to Pythian Apollo 186 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"[As Apollon plays the lyre and the Mousai sing on Olympos :] Meanwhile the rich-tressed Kharites (Graces) and cheerful Horai (Seasons) dance with Harmonia (Harmony) and Hebe (Youth) and Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus, holding each other by the wrist."

Pindar, Nemean Ode 7. 1 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Goddess of childbirth, Eileithyia, maid to the throne of the deep-thinking Moirai (Fates), child of all-powerful Hera, hear my song. For without thee should we see neither the light of day, nor know the kindly dark, nor win the gift of Hebe (Youth), thy sister, the glorious limbs of youth."

Pindar, Nemean Ode 8. 1 ff :
"O sovereign Hebe (Youth), herald of Aphrodite and her sweet passions born of heaven."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 241 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Medea uses her magic to restore the youth of Aeson, father of Jason :] Two turf altars she built [for the ritual], the right to Hecate, the left to Juventas [Hebe, goddess of youth], wreathed with the forest’s mystic foliage, and dug two trenches [to the gods of the Underworld] in the ground beside and then performed her rites [applying her magic potions to the body of the man] . . . and Aeson woke and marvelled as he saw his prime restored of forty years before."

Ovid, Fasti 6. 65 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Hercules’ wife [Hebe] stood there; life’s bloom shimmered in her face."splendid, and underneath the yoke Hera, furious for hate and battle, led the swift-running horses."

Homer, Iliad 5. 905 ff :
"Hebe washed him [Ares returning from battle] clean and put delicate clothing upon him."

Pindar, Nemean Ode 10. 17 ff :
"Beside her mother [Hera], guardian of marriage, Hebe (Youth) fairest of all the goddesses."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 9. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Praxiteles made the images [in a temple of Hera at Mantinea]; Hera is sitting, while Athene and Hera’s daughter Hebe are standing by her side."

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ganumhda Ganymêda Ganymeda Gladdening Princess (ganumai, medeôn)
Basileia Basileia Basilea Princess (basileia)
Dia Dia Dia Daughter of Zeus, Divine (Dios, dia)


I) ATHENS Chief City of Attika (Southern Greece)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 19. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"There [at Athens] are altars of Herakles and Hebe, who they think is the daughter of Zeus and wife to Herakles."

II) PHLIOS Town of Sikyonia (Southern Greece)

Strabo, Geography 8. 6. 24 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"In Phlios and Sikyon the temple of Dia is held in honor; and Dia is their name for Hebe."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 12. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"A second hill on which the Phliasians [of Phlios, Argos] have their citadel and their sanctuary of Hebe."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 13. 3 :
"On the Phliasian citadel [at Phlios, Argos] is a grove of cypress trees and a sanctuary which from ancient times has been held to be peculiarly holy. The earliest Phliasians named the goddess to whom the sanctuary belongs Ganymeda; but later authorites call her Hebe, whom Homer mentions in the duel between Menelaos and Alexandros, saying that she was the cup-bearer of the gods; and again he says, in the descent of Odysseus to Haides, that she was the wife of Herakles. Olen [a legendary Greek poet], in his hymn to Hera, says that Hera was reared by the Horai (Seasons), and that her children were Ares and Hebe. Of the honours that the Phliasians pay to this goddess the greatest is the pardoning of suppliants. All those who seek sanctuary here receive full forgiveness, and prisoners, when set free, dedicate their fetters on the trees in the grove. The Phliasians also celebrate a yearly festival which they call Kissotomoi (Ivy-cutters). There is no image, either kept in secret of openly displayed, and the reason for this is set forth in a sacred legend of theirs though on the left as you go out is a temple of Hera with an image of Parian marble."

III) MANTINEA Town in Arkadia (Southern Greece)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 9. 2 :
"A temple of Hera [at Mantinea, Arkadia], Praxiteles made the images; Hera is sitting, while Athene and Hera’s daughter Hebe are standing by her side."


Aelian, On Animals 17. 46 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
"Mnaseas in his work On Europe [Greek writer C3rd B.C.] says that there is a temple to Herakles and to his spouse [Hebe] whom poets celebrate as the daughter of Hera. Now they say that in the precincts of these temples a large number of tame birds are kept, adding that these birds are cockerels and hens. They feed and consort together according to their sex, are fed at the public expense, and are consecrated to the aforesaid gods. The hens feed in the temple of Hebe while their mates feed in the temple of Herakles. And a never-failing channel of clear water flows between them. Now on the one hand not a single hen ever appears in the temple of Herakles. On the other hand at the season of mating the cockerels fly across the channel and after consorting with the hens return to their own quarters at the side of the god whom they serve, cleansed by the water that separates the sexes. And so to begin with, as a natural result of this union eggs are laid; later on when the hens have warmed them and hatched the chicks, the cockerels carry off the male birds to rear them, while the hens make it their business to rear their daughters."

For more: THEOI
In Greek mythology, the youthful goddess Hebe is the cup-bearer for the gods. She is the daughter of two Olympians - Zeus and Hera - and the sister of Ares and Eileithyia. The following scene from Homer's Iliad depicts Hebe performing her duties as divine cup-bearer:

"The gods were seated near to Zeus in council,
upon a golden floor. Graciously Hebe
served them nectar, as with cups of gold
they toasted one another, looking down
toward the stronghold of Ilion."
(Homer, Iliad, Book IV, 1-5)

In addition to her role as cup-bearer, Hebe also played a small but nonetheless significant part in Greek myth as the wife of the hero Herakles. According to the Odyssey of Homer, after his apotheosis Herakles married the beautiful goddess and enjoyed the pleasures of the Olympian immortals:

"Next I saw manifest the power of Herakles -
a phantom, this, for he himself has gone
feasting amid the gods, reclining soft
with Hebe of the ravishing pale ankles,
daughter of Zeus and Hera, shod in gold."
(Homer, Odyssey, Book XI, 603 ff.)

From: here
Hebe is the goddess of youth, and the daughter of Zeus and Hera. She poured the nectar of the gods on the Olympus until Ganymede replaced her. Hebe also prepared Ares' bath, and helped Hera to her chariot. After Heracles became a god, he married her. The Romans called her Juventas ("youth").

She was portrayed as a young woman, wearing a sleeveless dress. On various vases she is shown as cup bearer of the gods, or as bride of Heracles. Famous was the --now lost -- statue of Hebe, made of ivory and gold, by Naucydes (brother of Polycletus) in the 5th century BCE. This statue was also shown on more recent coins from Argos.

Pronunciation: hee'-bee

From: here
Goddess of youth and spring. Hebe was the daughter of Zeus and Hera. She was the sister of Ares and Eileithyia, and possibly of Eris. Hebe was honoured in Olympus as the cupbearer of the gods, in which she was sometimes known by the name Ganymeda.

She married Heracles when the hero became a god at his death.

When Heracles' children (Heraclids) were persecuted by Eurystheus, cousin of Heracles and king of Mycenae, no one was willing to offer them refugee. Iolaüs (Iolaus), Heracles' nephew and companion was their only protector and guardian. Iolaüs was no longer young and he prayed to the gods. On her husband's behalf, Hebe restored Iolaüs for a single day. Young again, Iolaüs fought a battle. Eventually Iolaüs killed Eurystheus. Eurystheus was beheaded. Eurystheus' head was brought to Alcmene, mother of Heracles. Angry at king's (nephew) persecution of her son and her grandchildren, Alcmene gouged out Eurystheus' eyes.

From: Hebe

1 comment:

  1. Ancient Greek mythology tells a story about a man named Mikael Shadows born from two mortal parents during the century 23 B.C. He was one of seven people to be sacrificed for Ares, god of war. But instead became the first demigod after a human birth by an unknown deity. In exchange for this godly gift, there had to be a sacrifice made and that was his entire family. Mikael is the son of Melite (mother) and Codros (father), he is also the brother of Icarus (brother), Patron (brother) and Isadora (sister). It is said that Mikael will roam free on this earth until he seeks his true vengeance on Ares. Mikael Shadows, God of vengeance.