Leto was most commonly seen as a titaness of motherhood. After she gave birth to Apollo and Artemis, she also became a protector of the young like they both were. She is also a goddess of modesty. Her sister was Asteria, goddess of the night, so Leto is assumed to either be a goddess of night like her sister, or a goddess of light, the opposite of her sister.
Birth of Apollo and Artemis
Zeus and Leto had an affair which caused Hera to hate Leto. When Leto was going into labor, Hera made all land shun Leto so she could find no place to give birth. Poseidon, god of the seas, had recently created a new island called Delos that was not yet attached to the earth, thus, not yet land.
Leto went here and laid under a palm tree to give birth. Yet she couldn't give birth because Hera had forbid Eileithyia goddess of childbirth to go to her. Eventually, the other goddesses felt bad for Leto and offered Hera a beautiful necklace to allow Leto to give birth. Hera accepted and Iris took Eileithyia straight to Leto. Leto, with the aid of a rooster and Eileithyia, gave birth to her twins.
The only thing that Leto was usually depicted doing was lifting her veil, which was a sign of woman modesty.
- Rooster - A rooster was next to Leto all through her birth so she decided that she would take it as her symbol. The rooster was also a symbol of the childbirth goddess, Eileithyia.
- Leto was called Latona by the Romans.
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|Titanides :||Tethys • Phoibe • Theia • Mnemosyne • Rhea • Themis•|
|Second Generation :||Okeanides • Leto • Asteria • Selene • Eos • Ankhiale • Aura • Styx • Doris • Elektra • Klymene • Dione • Metis|
|Related Articles :||Titanomachy • Olympians • Gigantes • Demigods|
|Potamoi • Lelantos • Helios • Atlas • Prometheus • Epimetheus • Menoitios • Astraios • Pallas • Perses|