Juno

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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

the Roman name of the queen of heaven, essentially identical with the Grecian Hera. Juno was the daughter of Kronos (Saturn) and Rhea. She was the highest and most powerful divinity of the Greeks and Romans next to Jupiter (the Greek Ζεύς ), of whom she was the sister and wife. Argos and Samos claimed the honor of her birth. According to Homer, she was educated by Oceanus and Thetis; according to others, by the Hours. Her marriage with Jupiter on the island of Crete was honored by the presence of all the gods. This marriage, according to Homer, was consummated without the knowledge of their parents. Others say that he subdued her by artifice on the island of Samos, and there married her. According to the Greek conception of her character, she was proud, ambitious, and jealous; and in the Homeric poems she is represented as an obstinate, quarrelsome shrew and her temper a source of continual discord between herself and her lord. She often spitefully favors persons who were the objects of his displeasure, and he, in return, treats her with all that severity which, in ancient times, the husband was accustomed to use towards the wife. He scolds and often beats her, and on one occasion, when she had driven Hercules, the favorite of her husband, to Cos by a storm, Jupiter was so angry that he bound her hands and feet, loaded her with two anvils; and suspended her from Olympus; and, to add to the inconveniences of her situation, none of the gods were permitted to help her. During the Trojan War she lulls Jupiter to sleep, in order to give the victory to the Greeks during his slumbers, and with difficulty escapes the blows which are aimed at her when he awakes.

No one of the goddesses dared contend with her. Diana once attempted it, but her cheeks exhibited the most woeful evidences of the strength of the mighty Juno. All, in fine, who assumed to themselves or attributed to others a superiority to her, experienced her vengeance. But she is, notwithstanding, a female of majestic beauty, the grandest of the Olympian goddesses, well calculated to inspire awe, although wanting the soft, insinuating, and heart touching beauty of Venus. As the only wedded goddess in the Greek mythology, she naturally presided over marriage and the birth of children. It is a significant feature of the Roman character that Juno, in addition to her other qualities, was the guardian of the national finances, watching over her people like a thrifty mother and housewife; and a temple, containing the mint, was erected to her on the Capitoline as Juno Moneta (the Money coiner). In the Roman conception she was also the goddess of chastity, and prostitutes were forbidden to touch her altars. She was, in short, the protector of women. She not only presided over the fertility of marriage, but also over its inviolable sanctity, and unchastity and inordinate love of sexual pleasures were hated by the goddess. Women in childbed invoked Juno Lucina to help them, and after the delivery of the child a table was laid out for her in the house for a whole week, for newly born children were likewise under her protection. The month of June, which was originally called Junonius, was considered to be the most favorable period for marrying. As Juno has the same characteristics as her husband in so far as they refer to the female sex, she presides over all human affairs, which are based upon justice and faithfulness, but especially over domestic affairs, in which women are more particularly concerned. The companions of Juno were the Nymphs, Graces, and Hours. Isis was her particular servant. Among animals, the peacock, the goose, and the cuckoo were sacred to her. Her usual attribute is the royal diadem, formed like a long triangle. She is drawn in a carriage by two peacocks. She had several temples in Rome. The first day of every month, and the whole of June, were sacred to her. See Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Biography, 2, 658.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [2]

A Roman goddess, the wife of Jupiter, and the queen of heaven, corresponding to the Hera ( q. v .) of the Greeks; the impersonation of womanhood, and the special protectress of the rights of women, especially married women, and bore the names of Virginalis and Matrona . She was the patroness of household and even state economy. See Zeus .

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