She was a virgin-goddess, and when wooed by Poseidon and Apollo, swore by the head of Zeus to remain a virgin. She had no throne, but tended the sacred fire in the hall on the Olympus and every hearth on Earth was her altar. She is the gentlest of all the Olympians.
Hestia also symbolized the alliance of the Metropolis ("mother-city") with the smaller settlements which were founded in the colonies. The colonists took fire from the hearth in the prytaneion and kept it burning in their new towns. The Romans called her Vesta, and build a temple for her in the Forum.