Juno is a prominent goddess in Roman mythology and religion. She is considered the queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage, childbirth, and women. Juno is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Hera, and many aspects of her character and attributes are shared between the two.
As the queen of the gods, Juno is often depicted as a regal and powerful figure. She is the wife and sister of Jupiter (Zeus in Greek mythology), the king of the gods. Juno is known for her beauty, dignity, and fierce protectiveness of marriage and family.
Juno’s primary domain is marriage and fertility. She is revered as the patroness of married women and presides over all aspects of married life, from the wedding ceremony to the birth of children. Roman brides would pray to Juno for blessings and protection during their marriages. As the goddess of childbirth, she also watches over the well-being of pregnant women and newborns.
Juno is often depicted wearing a crown or diadem, symbolizing her regal status, and she sometimes carries a sceptre or a pomegranate, which represents fertility. Peacocks are sacred to Juno and are frequently depicted by her side, symbolizing her connection to beauty and watchfulness.
While Juno embodies the ideal aspects of marriage, she is also known for her vengeful and jealous nature. She is famous for her conflict with Jupiter’s numerous lovers and her involvement in various myths related to infidelity. Juno’s association with the peacock also has a symbolic connection to her vigilant and watchful nature, as the eyespots on the peacock’s tail feathers are believed to represent her all-seeing eyes.
Juno’s worship was widespread throughout the Roman Empire, and she had several temples dedicated to her honour, the most famous being the Temple of Juno Moneta (“moneta” means warner or advisor) on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.