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Gods and Goddesses from Greek Mythology
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Run-Down of the Gods
- ZEUS: Supreme God of Olympus. Ruler of the sky. Son of Cronus and Rhea. He overthrew his father, Cronus, to become highest ranking God. Married to Hera, his sister, but had numerous affairs—most offspring from those other than his wives (Hera was his third wife). Thunder and lightning are from Zeus.
- HERA: Zeus’ sister and wife. Very jealous. When she would find out about Zeus’ transgressions she was vindictive and took out her wrath on the women and her entire family. Ironically, she is the Goddess of Marriage.
- POSEIDON: Zeus’ brother. When he and his siblings took power they divided up the Earth and Poseidon got the sea. Also called “Earth Shaker”. Changing tides, storms at sea are his doing. Lives at Olympus, always has his trident.
- HADES: Zeus’ brother. Ruler of the underworld. Rarely goes to Olympus, prefers his “home” down below. Also God of Wealth—protector of the earth’s precious metals.
- ATHENA: Goddess of wisdom and war. When Zeus overthrew his father it was prophesized that he would have a son that would overthrow him. When his wife, Metis, was pregnant, Zeus was worried she was carrying the powerful son he’d been warned about, so he ate her. When it was time for Athena to be born, Hephaestus cracked open his head with an axe and out popped Athena, fully grown and dressed in full armor. She was Zeus’ favorite child-only she had the keys to his thunderbolts. City of Athens, Greece named for her. The Parthenon is her temple.
- HEPHAESTUS: (Zeus and Hera) God of blacksmiths, crafts. His legs were crippled and he was very ugly. He made all of the armor, chains etc…for the gods. He works inside a volcano with his assistant, the Cyclops. When volcanoes erupt, it’s him working. He is very gentle and kind.
- HERMES: Messenger of the Gods. Associated with trade, travelers, thieves and athletes. Married to Aphrodite and they had a child Hermaphroditus—both boy and girl (hermaphrodite) (Zeus and Maia) Wears winged sandals and hat. Was a thief from the day he was born! Stole Apollo’s herd. Zeus made him give them back and then Hermes gave Apollo a lyre, which Hermes had just invented and made out of a tortoise shell.
- APOLLO AND ARTEMIS: Boy/Girl Twins: (Zeus and Leto) Apollo: Very handsome “He’s a God!” Plays a lyre for the gods, god of music, poetry, the arts and the sun (not to be confused with Helios). Artemis: Goddess of the hunt and came to be associated with childbirth.
- HESTIA: Zeus’s sister. Gentlest of all gods, Goddess of all things domestic. Plays no parts in myths, but each city in Greece had a sacred hearth dedicated to her where the fire was never allowed to go out.
- ARES: God of war, very vain and cruel. (Zeus and Hera—they both hated him!). Not a big figure in mythology.
- APHRODITE: God of love and beauty. Married to Hephaestus, but not happy about it (Zeus made her do it). She had many extramarital affairs. (Zeus and Dione)
About this Document
Short recap of all the major players in Greek Mythology