Hestia (Ancient Greek:Ἑστία) was the Greek deity that presided over the familial hearth, home, and the right ordering of domesticity and family. She protected the sanctity of the house, and was the patron of the State Council & Parliament. She was the eldest daughter of Kronos and Rhea.
Hestia recieved the first offering at every meal in the household. In the public domain, the hearth of the prytaneum functioned as her official sanctuary. With the establishment of a new colony, flame from Hestia's public hearth in the mother city would be carried to the new settlement. Her Roman equivalent was Vesta.
Birth, infancy and rescue
Hestia is a goddess of the first generation of Olympians, and is the eldest daughter of Kronos and Rhea. Like Hades, Poseidon, Demeter, and Hera, she was swallowed by Kronos, and spent her childhood inside his stomach, until her brother, Zeus, came and rescued her and her siblings. Because she was the first to be born and swallowed and the last to be to be thrown up by Kronos, she is called both the oldest and the youngest of Kronos' and Rhea's children.
Vow of eternal maidenhood
Poseidon and Apollo wanted to marry Hestia, and they fought about it. Zeus and Hestia both became annoyed, until Hestia told Zeus and the other Olympians she would vow to forever be a virgin.
Once after a party in Olympus, Hestia was sleeping and Priapus wanted to take advantage of her. While he was coming to her bed, a donkey brayed out loudly. Hestia woke up screaming and ran away from Priapus. After that unpleasant situation, she declared that she was to be grateful and defined the donkey as her sacred animal.
Retiring from the Olympian Council
When Dionysus, Zeus' son, was made a god, Hestia gave up her seat in the Council so that Dionysus could be in it.
Hestia was depicted in Athenian vase painting as a modestly veiled woman sometimes holding a flowered branch (of a chaste tree). In classical sculpture she was also veiled, with a kettle as her attribute. She is uasually shown tending the hearth in a large room.