Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Greek gods and goddesses i

Greek Gods and Goddesses

... The 12 Olympians ...

The ancient Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses. According to their legends, there were twelve major deities. Together, they were called the twelve Olympians. The twelve Olympians did not rule the world from the very beginning. They had a falling-out with the Titans. The two sides went into war that lasted for nearly ten years. When the fight was finally over, the Olympians had won. They threw the Titans to the underworld. Then they moved to live on top of Mount Olympus. They ruled the world from there.


Ruler of the gods

King of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus;The father of all fathers, the wisdom and light, god of the sky and thunder. Youngest child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Symbols include the thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, scepter and scales. He is often shown in ancient art as a powerful man with a full beard. As god of the heavens, Zeus wields a thunderbolt and has power over the weather. He is also seen as looking down on the world of mortal men and women and is angered by certain kinds of wrongdoing, in particular the breaking of oaths, ill treatment of guests or murder between family members. Zeus himself however, was not to be taken as an example of good behaviour for mortals. Brother and husband of Hera, although  married to Hera, he is known for his many amorous liaisons with both mortals and with nymphs (minor nature goddesses who lived on earth and lived in the woods, on mountains, streams or pools). He is known for turning himself into different animals in order to trick and gain access to those who took his fancy, for example he turned into a swan to approach Leda, who became the mother of Helen the beautiful woman whose abduction lead to the famous war between Greece and Troy.


Wife of Zeus, Queen of gods

Queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage and family. Symbols include the peacock, pomegranate, crown, cuckoo, lion and cow. Youngest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Wife and sister of Zeus. Being the goddess of marriage, she frequently tried to get revenge on Zeus' lovers and their children.


God of the Underworld

God of the Underworld, dead and the riches under the Earth ("Pluto" translates to "The Rich One"); he was born into the first Olympian generation, but as he lives in the Underworld rather than on Mount Olympus, he is typically not included amongst the twelve Olympians. He was married to Persephone, queen of the dead. She was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of crops and the fertility of the land, and he abducted her as a young girl.


Sea God

Lord of the seas, earthquakes and horses. Symbols include the horse, bull, dolphin and trident. Middle son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother of Zeus and Hades. Married to the Nereid Amphitrite, although, like his brother Zeus, he had many lovers.


God of War

God of war, violence and bloodshed. His Latin name, Mars, gave us the word "martial."Symbols include the boar, serpent, dog, vulture, spear and shield. Son of Zeus and Hera, all the other gods (excluding Aphrodite) despised him. He had an affair with Aphrodite, goddess of love but her husband Hephaestus discovered what was happening. In order to get revenge, the craftsman-god created a web of beaten metal, so fine that it could not be seen. He placed this web above the bed so that it fell on Ares and Aphrodite when they were in bed together and Hephaestus brought the other gods and goddesses to witness their disgrace.


Goddess of Wisdom and War

Virgin goddess of wisdom, handicrafts, defence and strategic warfare. Symbols include the owl and the olive tree. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Metis,the story of her birth is curious. Zeus was once in love with a nymph called Metis but was told that if he had a son by her, that son would eventually overthrow him as king of the gods. To prevent this happening, he swallowed Metis whole. Not long after he swallowed her, Zeus was suddenly struck with agonising pains in his head. Eventually, Hephaestus the god of metalwork, took an axe and cracked open Zeus’ skull, immediately the goddess Athene leapt out, fully armed and uttering her war cry. Athene is portrayed as a virgin goddess, a young woman fully armed and wearing a war helmet. She is the patron goddess of Athens.


God of Light, linked to Helios, the sun

God of light,the arts, music, poetry, prophecy and archery. He is portrayed as a handsome young man, often holding a bow or playing the lyre. He was the patron of the Delphic Oracle, a shrine where a priestess would tell the future to those who asked. For centuries people would come from all over Greece to ask questions of this Oracle but the answers given were often riddling and easily misunderstood. Apollo is also known for his affairs with mortals and nymphs. The god also has a darker side; those who died of plague or other disease were often imagined as shot by the arrows of Apollo. Symbols include the sun, lyre, bow and arrow, raven, dolphin, wolf, swan and mouse. Twin brother of Artemis. Youngest child of Zeus and a nymph called Leto.


Smith god

Master blacksmith and craftsman of the gods; god of fire and the forge. Symbols include the fire, anvil, ax, donkey, hammer, tongs and quail. Son of Hera, either by Zeus or alone. After he was born, his parents threw him off Mount Olympus, and he landed on the island of Lemnos. Married to Aphrodite, though unlike most divine husbands, he was rarely ever licentious. His Latin name, Vulcan, gave us the word "volcano."

the Virgin Huntress

Virgin goddess of the hunt, virginity, archery and all animals. A virgin goddess she is portrayed as a young girl who carries a bow and is often accompanied by dogs. She is goddess of hunting, of woodlands and wild places, of young girls and is protectress of babies and all young animals. She is accompanied by a train of nymphs as she wanders the open spaces hunting with her dogs and bow. Artemis guards her virginity fiercely and like her brother Apollo, she can be cruel and ruthless. Myth tells us that when a young man called Actaeon, lost out hunting in the forest, accidentally spied upon Artemis bathing in a pool, she flung water at him turning him into a deer; he was torn apart by his own hunting dogs. Symbols include the moon, deer, hound, she-bear, snake, cypress tree and bow and arrow. Twin sister of Apollo. Eldest child of Zeus and Leto.


Goddess of the hearth and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family;

She was born into the first Olympian generation and was one of the original twelve Olympians, but stories suggest that when Dionysus arrived on Mount Olympus she gave him her place in the twelve to prevent discord. The hearth was very important in ancient Greek homes; it was a source of light and warmth and where food was prepared for the family to eat. Although Hestia was important in terms of everyday Greek religious worship, there are not many stories about her in mythology; she was a quiet goddess.


Messenger of the Gods

Messenger of the Gods;god of messengers, trade, travellers and thieves. Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. The second-youngest Olympian, just older than Dionysus. Symbols include the caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes), winged sandals and cap, stork and tortoise (whose shell he used to invent the lyre). A cunning god, when he was a baby, he was caught stealing cattle belonging to the god Apollo. Hermes married Dryope, the daughter of Dryops, and their son Pan became the god of nature, lord of the satyrs, inventor of the panpipes and comrade of Dionysus.


Goddess of Love

Goddess of love, beauty, and desire . Symbols include the dove, bird, apple, bee, swan, myrtle and rose. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Dione, or perhaps born from the sea foam after Uranus' blood dripped onto the earth and into the sea after being defeated by his youngest son Cronus. Married to Hephaestus, although she had many adulterous affairs, most notably with his brother Ares. Her name gave us the word "aphrodisiac."


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  1. Good stuff good for references
    - Reneé

  2. @ Anonymous @ash

    Thank you, glad to see what do people think about my post. It took me long hours to find nice images to match the Gods and Goddesses. ^_^

    Thank you for coming by and visiting my post,

  3. .. .very beautiful.. .it so fantastic.. .nice,good job.. keep up the good work.. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. i love it... pls.. post some more... maybe other god and goddesses..

  5. I've been looking for the way how Goddesses dresses...and wow...this page became an answer...tnx for your posts...it really helps...

  6. I love this page! I'm just learning about the Greek Gods and Goddesses and this helps so much.


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