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Rhea

by Micha F. Lindemans
In Greek mythology, Rhea is the mother of the gods, daughter of Uranus and Gaia. She is married to her brother Cronus and is the mother of Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon and Zeus.

Cronus, jealous of the future power of his children and to secure his dominion, ate his own children but Rhea managed to rescue one son, Zeus. She hid him in the Dictean Cave in Crete and gave Cronus a stone wrapped in the clothes of the infant, which he swallowed. Thus Rhea succeeded in making him believe that he had killed all of his children. When Zeus reached maturity he overpowered and dethroned his father and made Cronus disgorge his siblings.

Rhea is identified with mother goddess Cybele from Asia Minor and is also known as Rhea Cybele and Magna Mater ("great mother"). She was worshipped with orgiastic rites. Rhea is depicted between two lions or on a chariot pulled by lions.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Dindumene
  • Pronunciation:
    ree'-uh
  • Etymology:
    Earth

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