In the Iliad, Zeus and Hera are fighting. Somehow, for reasons I don't remember, Zeus asks the names of Hera's favorite cities. After she tells him, he says he shall sack them.

What are the names of Hera's favorite cities? Are direct reasons given in Mythology of why they are her favorites? Any indirect reasons (i.e. she is the patron goddess)?

  • 1
    Another interesting question! Most likely, these were cities where she was patron or especially honored.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 21:01
  • @DukeZhou In what ways would/could Hera have been especially honored? Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 15:31
  • 2
    Well, she was the patron goddess of marriage, which was considered a vital civic institution. She was also the only goddess except Aphrodite who had power over Zeus. (For Aphrodite the power involves lust, as Zeus is a notorious philanderer, but for Hera it derives from her position as wife and ability to make Zeus' life miserable. This seems to have become a template that still exists today in the situation comedy format;) But many scholars also hold to the idea that the Olympian goddesses are dis-empowered versions of the earlier "Great Goddess" generally represented by Gaia.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


First result in a quick Google search brings Ancient History Encyclopedia article on Hera:

In the Iliad, Hera mentions three cities particularly dear to her - Argos, Sparta, and Mycenae (or Mykene).

Wikipedia article on Hera:

"The three cities I love best," the ox-eyed Queen of Heaven declares (Iliad, book iv) "are Argos, Sparta and Mycenae of the broad streets."

In the Iliad:

Then in answer to him spake ox-eyed, queenly Hera:“Verily have I three cities that are far dearest in my sight, Argos and Sparta and broad-wayed Mycenae.

Hom. Il. 4.50

I don't know why she liked Sparta or Mycenae, but Argos had been always her town, where her cult was particularly strong. Homer refers to her sometimes as "Argive Hera".

You can read more in Wikipedia article about the Heraion of Argos.

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