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Another title of hers for this reason is Ganymeda , meaning "Gladdening Princess". Hebe was worshipped as the goddess of forgiveness or mercy at Sicyon. Hebe had influence over eternal youth and the ability to restore youth to mortals, a power that appears exclusive to her, as in Ovid's Metamorphoses , some gods lament their favoured mortals aging. According to Philostratus the Elder , Hebe was youngest of the gods and responsible for keeping them eternally young, and thus was the most revered by them. This depiction is seen in classical engraved gems as well as later art.

Eagles were connected with immortality and there was a folklore belief that the eagle like the phoenix had the ability to renew itself to a youthful state, making the association with Hebe logical. The name Hebe comes from Greek word meaning "youth" or "prime of life". Juventus likewise means "youth", as can be seen in such derivatives as juvenile.


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Hebe is the daughter of Zeus and Hera and was seen in myth as a diligent daughter performing domestic tasks that were typical of high ranking, unmarried girls in ancient Greece. In some traditions that were recorded by Servius , her father Zeus gifted her two doves with human voices, and one flew to where the Oracle of Dodona would be established.

One of her roles was to be the cupbearer to the gods, serving them ambrosia and nectar.

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Despite this, Cicero seems to imply that Hebe or Ganymede, who is typically seen as her successor, could serve in the role of cupbearer at the heavenly feast. In rare, alternative version of Hebe's conception, her mother Hera became pregnant merely by eating a lettuce plant. In this version, Hera sought out a way to become pregnant without assistance of Zeus by travelling to realm of Oceanus and Tethys at the end of the world.

There, she entered the garden of Flora and she touched a sole, nameless plant from the land of Olene and became pregnant with Ares. As the bride of Herakles, Hebe was strongly associated with both brides and her husband in art and literature. Hebe was the patron of brides, due to being the daughter of Hera and the importance of her own wedding. In some depictions on vase paintings, such as the Ricci Hydria dated to approximately B. Hebe had two children with Heracles: Alexiares and Anicetus. According to some Classical authors, Hebe was connected to maintaining the youth and immortality of the other gods.

Philostratus the Elder states that she is the reason the other gods are eternally young, and Bacchylides alleges that Hebe, as the princess basileia , is responsible for immortality. In Euripides ' play Heracleidae and in Ovid 's Metamorphoses , Hebe grants Iolaus ' wish to become young again in order to fight Eurystheus.

Hebe was particularly associated with the worship of her mother Hera in Argos and in the Heraion of Argos , one of the main centres of worship of Hera in Greece. It was said that Hebe, in a statue made of ivory and gold, was depicted standing beside a very large statue of Hera, which depicted the goddess seated holding a pomegranate and sceptre with a cuckoo perched on top. Some scholars theorize that one of the Temples of Hera at Paestum may have been dedicated to Hera and Hebe rather than to Hera and Zeus, which is the more common consensus.

Hebe was also depicted, alongside Athena, standing beside a sitting statue of Hera in the Temple of Hera at Mantinea in Arkadia, sculptured by Praxiteles. Hebe also had her own personal cult, and at least one temple in Greece dedicated to her personally. There was an altar to her in Athens, [29] and her own temple in Sicyon , which where the center of her own cult. The Phliasians, who lived near Sicyon, honored Hebe whom they called Dia, meaning "Daughter of Zeus" by pardoning supplicants.

Hebe was also worshipped as a goddess of pardons or forgiveness; freed prisoners would hang their chains in the sacred grove of her sanctuary at Phlius. Pausanias described the Temple of Hebe: "A second hill on which the Phliasians [of Phlios in Argolis] have their citadel and their sanctuary of Hebe. In art, Hebe is usually depicted wearing a sleeveless dress, typically she was depicted with either one or both her parents, at her wedding ceremony, or with Aphrodite.

Hebe was occasionally depicted with wings, which has led to confusion by modern scholars on whether depictions of winged female attendants are Hebe, Iris , or Nike. Another notable depiction of a winged Hebe is by the Castelgiorgio painter on a cup, who pairs her with her mother and Ganymede analogously with Zeus; Ares stands in the centre of the scene indicating familial harmony. It is possible that she is one of the winged figures from the Parthenon pediment in the British Museum , as the figure stands as an attendant to Hera and is near Zeus and Ares.

Ares and Hebe here are represented as the product of a legal marriage, reinforcing the sacred marriage between Hera and Zeus, which gives an example of a prolific marriage to the mortal pair shown in the centre of the eastern frieze. As the goddess of the brides, Hebe was often portrayed in wedding scenes. She wears an elaborate dress with the patterns of animals and geometric shapes and wears earrings.

Her hair is shown to be bound with three braids worn over her shoulder. Her prominent position may be due to her association with feasts, being the patron of brides, or because a mortal man is marrying a goddess, referencing her own marriage to Herakles.

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Hebe was a remarkably popular subject in art in the period from about to , having attracted little artistic attention before or after. Like Hecate, "[t]he dog is a creature of the threshold, the guardian of doors and portals, and so it is appropriately associated with the frontier between life and death, and with demons and ghosts which move across the frontier. The yawning gates of Hades were guarded by the monstrous watchdog Cerberus , whose function was to prevent the living from entering the underworld, and the dead from leaving it. Hecate has been characterized as a pre-Olympian chthonic goddess.

The first literature mentioning Hecate is the Theogony c. And [Asteria] conceived and bore Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea.

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She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea.

Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents.

And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock.

Hecate - Wikipedia

The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. So, then, albeit her mother's only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn.

So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honours. Hesiod's inclusion and praise of Hekate in the Theogony has been troublesome for scholars, in that he seems to hold her in high regard, while the testimony of other writers, and surviving evidence, suggests that this may have been the exception.

One theory is that Hesiod 's original village had a substantial Hekate following and that his inclusion of her in the Theogony was a way of adding to her prestige by spreading word of her among his readers. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter composed c. Subsequently, Hekate became Persephone's companion on her yearly journey to and from the realms of Hades; serving as a psychopomp. Because of this association, Hekate was one of the chief goddesses of the Eleusinian Mysteries, alongside Demeter and Persephone.

Variations in interpretations of Hekate's role or roles can be traced in classical Athens. In two fragments of Aeschylus she appears as a great goddess. In Sophocles and Euripides she is characterized as the mistress of witchcraft and the Keres. One surviving group of stories [ clarification needed ] suggests how Hekate might have come to be incorporated into the Greek pantheon without affecting the privileged position of Artemis. Here, Hekate is a mortal priestess often associated with Iphigeneia.

She scorns and insults Artemis, who in retribution eventually brings about the mortal's suicide. In the earliest written source mentioning Hekate, Hesiod emphasized that she was an only child, the daughter of Perses and Asteria , the sister of Leto the mother of Artemis and Apollo. Grandmother of the three cousins was Phoebe the ancient Titaness who personified the moon.

In various later accounts, Hekate was described either as the daughter of 1 Deo Demeter [97] , 2 daughter of Night [98] , 3 Zeus and Asteria [99] , or lastly of Aristaeus [].


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Hecate is the primary feminine figure in the Chaldean Oracles 2nd-3rd century CE , [] where she is associated in fragment with a strophalos usually translated as a spinning top, or wheel, used in magic "Labour thou around the Strophalos of Hecate. In Hellenistic syncretism, Hecate also became closely associated with Isis. Some call me Juno, others Bellona of the Battles, and still others Hecate.

Principally the Ethiopians which dwell in the Orient, and the Egyptians which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustomed to worship me, do call me Queen Isis. In the syncretism during Late Antiquity of Hellenistic and late Babylonian " Chaldean " elements, Hecate was identified with Ereshkigal , the underworld counterpart of Inanna in the Babylonian cosmography.

In the Michigan magical papyrus inv. Strmiska claimed that Hecate, conflated with the figure of Diana , appears in late antiquity and in the early medieval period as part of an "emerging legend complex" known as " The Society of Diana " [] associated with gatherings of women, the moon, and witchcraft that eventually became established "in the area of Northern Italy, southern Germany, and the western Balkans. He adds that such an instrument is called a iunx hence "jinx" , but as for the significance says only that it is ineffable and that the ritual is sacred to Hecate.

Shakespeare mentions Hecate both before the end of the 16th century A Midsummer Night's Dream , , and just after, in Macbeth : specifically, in the title character's "dagger" soliloquy : "Witchcraft celebrates pale Hecate's offerings He noted that the cult regularly practiced dog sacrifice and had secretly buried the body of one of its "queens" with seven dogs. As a "goddess of witchcraft", Hecate has been incorporated in various systems of modern witchcraft , Wicca and Neopaganism , [] in some cases associated with the Wild Hunt of Germanic tradition, [] in others as part of a reconstruction of specifically Greek polytheism, in English also known as " Hellenismos ".

Hecate is also the namesake of the hundredth numbered asteroid , which was discovered by American astronomer James Craig Watson on July 11, Its adopted name alludes to it as being the hundredth named asteroid 'hekaton' being the Greek for 'hundred'. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Hecate disambiguation. Ancient Greek goddess of magic and crossroads. Arete Hubris Xenia. Daphnephoria Dionysia.

Sacred places. Mycenaean gods Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism Julian restoration. Edwards in the American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. Retrieved 24 September Oxford, Blackwell. The Oxford Classical Dictionary Third ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Hesiod's Cosmos.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Clay lists a number of researchers who have advanced some variant of the association between Hecate's name and will e. Walcot , Neitzel , Derossi The researcher is led to identify "the name and function of Hecate as the one 'by whose will' prayers are accomplished and fulfilled. Metaphor and Reality. A Classical Dictionary. Beekes , Etymological Dictionary of Greek , Brill, p. Leiden: Brill. Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book Seven. Shakespeare, William c. A Dictionary of the English Language 10th ed. Rules for pronouncing the vowels of Greek and Latin proper names", p.

Shakespeare seems to have begun, as he has now confirmed, this pronunciation, by so adapting the word in Macbeth And the play-going world, who form no small portion of what is called the better sort of people, have followed the actors in this world, and the rest of the world have followed them. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable : " Hec'ate 3 syl.

Griechenland Heidelberg Berg's argument for a Greek origin rests on three main points: 1. Almost all archaeological and literary evidence for her cult comes from the Greek mainland, and especially from Attica—all of which dates earlier than the 2nd century BCE. The supposed connection between Hecate and attested "Carian theophoric names" is not convincing, and instead suggests an aspect of the process of her Hellenization.

He concludes, "Arguments for Hecate's "Anatolian" origin are not in accord with evidence. Sterckx explicitly recognizes the similarities between these ancient Chinese views of dogs and those current in Greek and Roman antiquity, and goes on to note "Dog sacrifice was also a common practice among the Greeks where the dog figured prominently as a guardian of the underworld.

Oldest ever trace of Hekate cult found. In the course of this beleaguerment, it is related, on a certain wet and moonless night the enemy attempted a surprise, but were foiled by reason of a bright light which, appearing suddenly in the heavens, startled all the dogs in the town and thus roused the garrison to a sense of their danger. To commemorate this timely phenomenon, which was attributed to Hecate, they erected a public statue to that goddess [ Hecate had a cult in Byzantium from the time of its founding.

Like Byzas in one legend, she had her origins in Thrace. Since Hecate was the guardian of "liminal places", in Byzantium small temples in her honor were placed close to the gates of the city. Hecate's importance to Byzantium was above all as deity of protection. When Philip of Macedon was about to attack the city, according to the legend she alerted the townspeople with her ever-present torches, and with her pack of dogs, which served as her constant companions.

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