Sky Goddesses


Garden of Hesperides by Albert Herter

Garden of Hesperides by Albert Herter (nineteenth century)

Wikimedia CommonsPublic Domain


The Hesperides—daughters of Nyx and Erebus or, in later traditions, of Atlas and Hesperis—were Greek sky goddesses who were represented as beautiful young nymphs. They were associated with the evening and the West and served as the guardians of the golden apples that Hera had received from Gaia as a wedding gift. 

Their home—fittingly known as the Garden of the Hesperides—was usually located in the Far West, beyond the Atlas Mountains. The Hesperides were probably best known from the myth of Heracles, who was sent to steal Hera’s golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides as one of his final labors. 

The Hesperides were quite popular in ancient art, especially vase paintings.[1]