Greek goddess of the hearth and 1 of the 12 chief deities of Mount Olympus. She was the daughter of Rhea and Cronus. When Apollo and Poseidon became suitors for her hand, she swore to remain a maiden forever, whereupon Zeus gave her the honour of presiding over all sacrifices. Though mainly a goddess of the family hearth and domestic life, she was sometimes also worshiped at the civic hearth in public buildings.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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