Hebe in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

(Ἥβη), the personification of youth, is described as a daughter of Zeus and Hera (Apollod. 1.3.1.), and is, according to the Iliad (4.2), the minister of the gods, who fills their cups with nectar; she assists Hera in putting the horses to her chariot (5.722); and she bathes and dresses her brother Ares (5.905). According to the Odyssey (11.603); comp. Hes. Th. 950), she was married to Heracles after his apotheosis. Later traditions, however, describe her as having become by Heracles the mother of two sons, Alexiares and Anticetus (Apollod. 2.7.7), and as a divinity who had it in her power to make persons of an advanced age young again. (Ov. Met. 9.400, &c.) She was worshipped at Athens, where she had an altar in the Cynosarges, near one of Heracles. (Paus. 1.19.3.) Under the name of the female Ganymedes (Ganymeda) or Dia, she was worshipped in a sacred grove at Sicyon and Phlius. (Paus. 2.13.3; Strab. viii. p.382.) At Rome the goddess was worshipped under the corresponding name of Juventas, and that at a very early time, for her chapel on the Capitol existed before the temple of Jupiter was built there; and she, as well as Terminus, is said to have opposed the consecration of the temple of Jupiter. (Liv. 5.54.) Another temple of Juventas, in the Circus Maximus, was vowed by the consul M. Livius, after the defeat of Hasdrubal, in B. C. 207, and was consecrated 16 years afterwards. (Liv. 36.36 ; comp. 21.62; Dionys. A. R. 4.15, where a temple of Juventas is mentioned as early as the reign of Servius Tullius; August. de Civ. Dei, 4.23; Plin. Nat. 29.4, 14, 35.36, 22.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

Read More