What is Hesperia?

In Greek mythology, Hesperia is actually the name of several people and locations. However, it most commonly refers to Hesperia, one of the Hesperides or the guardians of the golden apples, as well as the name of the country in which the Hesperides live.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Hesperides, or the Daughters of the Evening, are the spirits or nymphs of sunset. They are usually presented as three sisters—Aegle (which means "dazzling light"), Erytheia (Erytheis or "crimson" ) and Hesperia ("sunset glow"). Hesperia and her sisters take care of Hera's golden apple tree, which grows apples made...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The Hesperides, or the Daughters of the Evening, are the spirits or nymphs of sunset. They are usually presented as three sisters—Aegle (which means "dazzling light"), Erytheia (Erytheis or "crimson" ) and Hesperia ("sunset glow"). Hesperia and her sisters take care of Hera's golden apple tree, which grows apples made out of gold, while the dragon Ladon guards it. Aegle is in charge of the shining of the apples, Hesperia waters the tree, and Erytheia picks the apples once they're ripe and ready. The apples are very rare and valuable, as they can give immortality to anyone who tastes them, which is why many try to steal them. Hesperia and her sisters are also known as the clear-voiced maidens as they also have beautiful, ethereal singing voices.

The land in which the Hesperides live is located in the far west, where the sun sets and the night gets ready to rise; the name of this land in Greek mythology is also Hesperia. Hesperia is often presented as the western edge of the world, and its location varies depending on the myth; sometimes it's in Europe (mostly Italy or Spain) and sometimes it's in North Africa, near the Atlas mountains, which is also where the Garden of the Hesperides is located. The beautiful garden actually belongs to Hera, but it is the place where the Hesperides look after the golden apple tree.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on