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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. For the full entry on Hestia, visit Britannica.com.