Ancient Greece: Gods and Goddesses!

Hello again dear reader,

Many of us from time to time have had a chance to take some form of quiz, related to variable topics. A couple of days ago, whilst on facebook I came across a quiz “Who is your Greek God Parent?” This was by chance, but a strange occurrence since that day I had been talking about the Greeks and their Gods. The meaning of this quiz is basically which God/Goddess are you most alike to?

You can take the quiz yourself here: http://www.playbuzz.com/audreyrecker10/who-is-your-greek-god-parent (Try not to take it too seriously, ‘ey?)

The reasoning of this discussion about Greek Gods and Goddesses was because I feel quite intrigued by the fact there were so many of them. You could argue (if you are that way inclined) that there are so many Gods and Goddesses because they were then able to make sense of the world around them. For instance they are the compensator’s as to why things happened, so it made sense to have different beings/entities for different jobs e.g. ruling the weather or ruling war and disease… Completely different jobs correct?

Therefore I did a bit of research about the roles of these Gods and Goddesses in Ancient Greece to remind myself all about them,

Here are some facts for you:

  • The main Gods of Ancient Greece were called the Olympian Gods.
  • They overthrew the Titans (their ancestors/parents).
  • They lived on Mount Olympus, which was the highest mountain in Ancient Greece.
  • Their Leader was called Zeus. (Sure you’ve heard of him, right?)
  • They were by all accounts imperfect. Meaning they had human flaws.
  • There said to be no more than twelve Olympian Gods at a time.

This type of religion is called Polytheistic religion (more than one God). They had a hierarchy of Gods and Goddesses much like mankind and animals. They made it so the Gods and Goddesses were not too high above them, which in turn made it so the Gods were not “all knowing and all powerful” so that they could have potential flaws like them. Which I feel made the Ancient Greeks feel closer to their Gods. (Although apparently sometimes this led to having babies with each other. Which I think you would agree is just weird.)

…I could go on further about afterlife and rituals but for now let’s stick to Gods and Goddesses!

Moving on, here a few facts of my favourite Gods/Godesses starting at number five!

5) ZEUS!

  •  “leader of the pack”
  •  King and ruler of the cosmos (world)
  •  Last child of the Titans and took the place of his own Father.
  •  Respected and loved by all.
  •  Had a large number of children.
  •  The Lord of Justice  – Punishing the liars and those who went back on their word.
  •  He was fair and kept the balance of the world (even though he had love affairs, causing his wife to be jealous.)
  •  Responsible for the weather (don’t make him angry)
  •  Limitation to power  – like all the others he couldn’t intervene with the “Fates.”
  •  Symbols: Sceptre, throne and Thunderbolt.
  •  His Tree: Oak Tree
  •  Sacred Animals: Eagle

4) HERA!

  • Her husband was Zeus. (Also unfortunately her brother. Ugh.)
  • The Goddess of marriage, relationships and protecting married women.
  • A fair Goddess but her troubled relationship with her husband meant she would become jealous often.
  • Hera didn’t trouble herself much with people.
  • She was powerful but her flaws were jealousy and being vain due to her beauty.
  • Symbols: Diadem (type of crown), Sceptre and the Pomegranate. 
  • Her flower: The lily
  • Sacred animals: Peacock and Crow

3) POSEIDON!

  • Brother of Zeus and Hades.
  • God of the Sea, Earthquakes and Horses!
  • Famous Child  – Triton (I always think “the little mermaid” when I hear that name, don’t you?)
  • Responsible for supernatural and natural occurrences surrounding the oceans.
  • His Trident could “shake the Earth” causing massive Earthquakes.
  • He could make the Earth drown in water and crumble but could also stop it just as quickly.
  • Poseidon liked to stay in the depths of the ocean with his wife Amphitrite. Even though he could go to Mount Olympus at any time.
  • Symbol: Trident
  • Sacred animals: Dolphin and the Horse.

2) ARTEMIS!

  • Goddess of the Hunt, Moon and protector of pregnant women and the young.
  • She asked her father Zeus to be a virgin forever.
  • Very independent and kept to herself.
  • Had complete authority over nature and gave fertility to places that worshipped her.
  • Loved to hunt with bow and arrows (usually the arrows would be dipped in poison.)
  • Responsible for the movement of the moon, across the night sky.
  • Has some healing powers like her twin brother Apollo.
  • Symbols: Bow and Pike
  • Tree: Cedar tree
  • Sacred animals: Snake, the Bear and the Deer.

1) APOLLO!  (Has to be my top favourite)

  • God of Music, Art, Prophecy and the Light.
  • Invented the Lute – a stringed instrument. However he became popular for his gift in playing the Lyre instrument. (Which looks a bit like a small harp…)
  • He often plays a Golden Lyre
  • Doesn’t lie.
  • Responsible for moving the sun across the Sky.
  • Owns the gift of Prophecy given to him by his father – Zeus.
  • Symbols: The Lyre, Laurel Tree, Tripod and the Navel Stone.
  • Plants: Laurel and the Myrtle
  • Sacred animals: The Wolf, Raven and Lizard. 

And just because it’s Valentines day…

APHRODITE!

  • Greek Goddess of Love, Beauty and Eternal Youth.
  • Her husband was Hephaestus God of Iron. But her heart belonged to Ares – God of War. Which she had a love affair with.
  • Famous children: According to mythology Aphrodite gave birth to our winged cherub – Cupid. Or Eros. He has two famous portrayals – one of an adult male, and the other perhaps more famously as the baby.
  • Connected to the life/death/re-birth of all things.
  • Symbols: Girdle, Seashell and the Mirror.
  • Sacred animal: The Dove.

There you have it, my top five plus a bonus treat. I hope you enjoyed reading? Who would your favourite Greek God be? There are so many to choose from!

Thanks for reading,

Until next time~

Photo: Found here; http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091207054419/disney/images/b/b4/OlympusGates.jpg. Picture edited by me.

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