Hestia is the Greek goddess of the hearth and household, a domain of primary importance in Greek culture. Without a hearth, there can be no working civilization, as the hearth is where people gather and make sacrifices to the gods. This makes the hearth a significant place in any Greek house. Before someone sacrifices to the gods, he would first make a sacrifice to Hestia. That is how important she was.

The emphasis on hospitality to strangers in Greek culture is another symbol of her significance. Besides the household, the state is also part of her domain. We guess this is because the ancient Greeks saw the state as one large family, a concept which we can hardly fathom in this time and era.

Hestia is the eldest child of the union of Cronus and Rhea, making her Zeus’ big sister. She never took on a partner, nor did she conceive any children. Instead, she swore an oath of celibacy. She did not lack in suitors, as her brothers and nephews did try to win her hand. She ended up refusing all of them, remaining a virgin throughout all stories of Greek mythology: a feat in itself in Greek mythology.