Hera: Greek Mother Goddess

Hera is a powerful mother goddess that the Greeks inherited from the earlier inhabitants of Argos. The Greeks brought her into their pantheon as a daughter of Cronos and Rhea and married her to Zeus.

This was marriage was uncomfortable at best and Zeus' countless affairs with anything female, resulted in Hera becoming quarrelsome and jealous. She relentlessly persecuted his lovers and their children.

It is claimed that Zeus courted Hera disguised as a cuckoo and used this guise to hide in her clothes during a downpour of rain. Once the rain stopped, Zeus returned to his normal shape and promised to marry her.

Zeus was quite crafty in his wooing of females and often took animal forms in his amorous quests such as bulls, swans and even rain.

Hera bore him a number of gods, including the war god Ares, the goddess of birth Eileithyia and Hephaistos, the smith god. However some accounts say that she produced Hephaistos on her own and without Zeus' help.

She had powerful followings in Crete and at Samos, where the Argonauts built a great temple in her honor. Hera is also considered to be a triple goddess.