20. Hera’s Vengeance Upon Her Husband’s Former Lover Was Epic
Greek mythology depicts Leto as a Titan goddess whose beauty captivated Zeus, and who became his first and favorite lover. However, after Zeus impregnated Leto with twins, he abandoned her in order to marry his sister, Hera. Although the affair and pregnancy had occurred before Hera’s marriage to Zeus, the Queen of Heaven was still jealous of Leto, so she set out to turn her life into a living hell. First, Hera kicked the pregnant Leto out of Mount Olympus, and forced her to wander the world amongst mortals.
Then, when it was time to give birth, Hera prolonged Leto’s labor in order to make her as miserable as possible. Hera decreed that her husband’s former lover would not be allowed to give birth on “terra firma” – the mainland or any island under the sun. She then sent emissaries to all cities and settlements, to warn them that if they offered Leto shelter, food, or water, Hera would visit her vengeance upon them. As a result, Leto was forced to wander the world nonstop, without a chance to settle down anywhere to give birth.