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How Zeus Tricked Hera Into Marrying Him

Hera and Zeus — Jupiter and Juno on Mount Ida, oil on canvas by Charles-Antoine Coypel.

The Seduction of Hera

The story of Hera and Zeus is unlike most love stories.

Long before she became queen of the gods, Hera lived in the region of the Hesperides. The area was renowned as one of the most beautiful places on earth.

When Zeus saw Hera for the first time, he fell in love with her immediately. On many occasions, he tried to court her. But Hera was not easy to charm.

After many unsuccessful attempts, Zeus decided to resort to trickery…

Knowing about Hera Hera’s love and empathy for animals to his own advantage. He triggered a terrible storm and turn himself into a Cuckoo (bird). Hera took pity on the poor bird caught in a storm and warmed it by placing it on her breast. At this instant, Zeus resumed his true form and asked for her hand and accepted. In a more dramatic version, Zeus would have raped her. Covered with shame, Hera would have decided to marry him.

Zeus and Hera Sculpture
Zeus and Hera – Athena Fountain by Carl Kundmann, Josef Tautenhayn and Hugo Haerdtl

The Wedding of Zeus and Hera

The marriage of Zeus and Hera was the first Olympian wedding. It was a great celebration, held in the garden of the Hesperides. The gods were all invited to attend.

The union of Zeus and Hera lasted over 300 years, during which they had four children:

  • Ares, the god of war
  • Hebe, the goddess of youth
  • Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth
  • Hephaestus the god of fire.

Zeus and Hera’s relationship

Zeus and Hera had a tumultuous relationship. They often argued, especially because of Zeus’ many affairs and Hera’s jealous temper. She was powerless to punish him; he was too powerful for her to act against. Instead, she took out her jealousy of Zeus’ lovers by persecuting them. But she remained forever loyal to him despite his unfaithfulness.



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