Asteria facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsAsteria
|Goddess of Delos|
|Parents||Coeus and Phoebe|
In Greek mythology, Asteria or Asterie ( Ancient Greek: Ἀστερία or Ἀστερίη Astería/Asteríē "of the stars, starry one") is a daughter of the Titans Coeus (Polus) and Phoebe and the sister of Leto. According to Hesiod, by the Titan Perses she had a single child, a daughter named Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. Other authors made Asteria the mother of the fourth Heracles and Hecate by Zeus.
Asteria is notable for her pursuit by the amorous god Zeus. In order to escape him and his advances, she transformed herself into a bird and then a wandering island. When her sister Leto, who was carrying Zeus's child, went into labour, Asteria was the only place on earth willing to receive her, defying Hera's orders that forbade Leto any shelter. After Apollo and Artemis were born on her, the island received the name of Delos, and Apollo fixed it in place, making it his sacred land.
The goddess's name "Asteria" (Ancient Greek Ἀστερία, translit. Astería) is derived from the Greek word ἀστήρ (astḗr) meaning "star". Ἀστήρ itself is inherited from the Proto-Indo-European root *h₂ster- (“star”), from *h₂eh₁s-, "to burn". Asteria's name shares an etymology with the names of Astraeus, Asteria's first cousin, and his daughter Astraea.
Asteria was an inhabitant of Olympus, and like her sister Leto was beloved by Zeus. In order to escape the amorous advances of the god, who in the form of an eagle pursued her, she transformed herself into a quail (ortux) and flung herself into the Aegean Sea. It was there that Asteria metamorphosed into the island Asteria (the island which had fallen from heaven like a star) or the "quail island" Ortygia. This then became identified with the island of Delos, which was the only place on earth to give refuge to the fugitive Leto when, pregnant with Zeus's children, she was pursued by vengeful Hera.
|Asteria's family tree|
In Spanish: Asteria (hija de Ceo) para niños
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