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5 Greek Gods/Goddesses You Should Know More About

John has always been fascinated with Greek Mythology. He believes that even at this time Greek Mythology still remains relevant.

5-important-greek-gods-and-godesses-you-should-know

5 Greek Gods/Goddesses You Should Know More About

The Greek gods and goddesses were far from flawless. Some of them were envious, vengeful, and downright predators. Despite that, they were respected. Each had an important area upon which they presided. When they were angered, they would wreak havoc upon humans. The gods we’ll look at today focus on some elements that are crucial to humans. So, let’s jump right in.

5-important-greek-gods-and-godesses-you-should-know

5. DEMETER

Demeter was the Greek goddess who nourished the earth. She is referred to as the goddess of harvest, agriculture and the earth’s fertility. This makes her an indispensable figure in Greek mythology.

Demeter had a daughter named, Persephone whom Hades admired and, against her will, took to the underworld. This act manifested the true power of Demeter who was distraught by the event. Her attempts to find her daughter bore no fruits. Being the goddess of agriculture, her sorrow immensely affected the growth of crops and lives on earth. Basically, the act doomed the earth to extinction as there was no food for humans.

Zeus became worried about this and directed the other gods to talk to her but all failed. As a last resort, Hermes was sent to Hades to retrieve Persephone. Hades did not resist. He released Persephone but offered her pomegranate seeds which once she ate would confine her to the underworld for 1/3 of the year. Persephone, having no knowledge of this ate the seeds.

So, Demeter did get her daughter back but for 8 months every year. 4 months had to be reserved for Hades.

5-important-greek-gods-and-godesses-you-should-know

4. HADES

After their triumph against the titans, the 3 brothers, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades agreed to decide by lots who would reign over each realm. Zeus got the sky and became god of the skies, Poseidon got to rule the seas and Hades got the underworld.

As god of the underworld, Hades was regarded by some as the lord of all the treasures that resided underneath the earth. That’s why he was dubbed as the “giver of wealth”. Hades got a number of other titles, many of which were given out of fear of using his original name.

The underworld was not particularly pleasant. It was where all the dead souls went. The god Hermes, was an important part of Hade’s story since he was able to move between the territory of the living and the dead with ease. So, he got quite a special task. Every time a person died, the god would collect their souls and deliver them to the domain of Hades. Here, they would meet the ferryman Charon who would guide the dead souls to Hades.

The god of the underworld stayed true to his name and hardly ever left his territory. He performed his duties diligently you might say. If you dared to steal a soul from the underworld, then you would experience his full wrath.

The god was, however, open to talks. At one time, a great musician managed to convince the god to release his wife, Eurydice from the underworld. Hades gave them a condition though, they had to walk out without looking back. Sounds familiar?

The musician, who was called Orpheus, was so close to freeing his wife but got over-excited upon entering our world. As a result, he looked back forgetting that his wife had not crossed yet thus sealing her fate to the underworld for eternity.

5-important-greek-gods-and-godesses-you-should-know

3. HERA

Greek Mythology glorifies Hera as the goddess of marriage, women and childbirth. When she was born, her father, Cronus, swallowed her just like the other children he had sired. He constantly did this out of fear that his children would rise up against him.

He got all of them, except Zeus. The thunder god, disguised as a cup bearer, later tricked Cronus into drinking a poisoned cup of wine thus spewing out his children. It was this cunning plan by Zeus that led to the re-birth of Hera.

To ensure her safety, her mother Rhea, delivered her to Oceanus and Tethys, popularly known as the gods of the sea. It is these two gods who raised Hera.

Hera was immensely beautiful and had great adoration for animals. She managed to catch the eyes of numerous gods. Among them, was Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder. Zeus pursued Hera for quite some time but was constantly turned down.

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He was however aware of Hera’s love for animals. So, masquerading as a distressed cuckoo, he managed to win Hera’s affection before transforming back. Hera, ashamed of how she had been deceived, agreed to marry Zeus.

It was the union between Zeus and Hera that led to the birth of Ares, the god of war. Other well-known children they had included Eileithyia, the goddess of Childbirth, Hebe, the goddess of eternal youth and last but not least Hephaestus, the god of fire.

5-important-greek-gods-and-godesses-you-should-know

Modern culture displays Hera as a vengeful, jealous and devious goddess. But how did the goddess of marriage, women and childbirth come to be known for such unpleasant attributes? Well, I think we can put the blame on Zeus.

The god of thunder had numerous extra-marital relationships with both mortals and goddesses. These affairs bore a lot of illegitimate children. Perhaps, the most popular of them all was Heracles or Hercules whom he had with Alcmene.

Zeus’s affairs enraged Hera. She would, on every occasion, direct this anger towards the god’s women and children. Once, inflamed with jealousy, she sent snakes to kill Hercules as an infant. However, the child’s exceptional strength allowed him to kill the snakes.

5-important-greek-gods-and-godesses-you-should-know

2. POSEIDON

Hailed as the god of the sea, Poseidon’s anger worried even Zeus himself. Although commonly known as ruler of the sea, his power extended across the land of the humans. When enraged, he would use his trident to cause earthquakes and floods on land. Poseidon’s trident was made by the Cyclops. It is the instrument that personifies the Greek god.

Fishermen and sailors, would often experience Poseidon’s wrath first hand through massive storms while at sea. The god was particularly important to them as he ruled over the domain they most wandered into. So before journeying across the sea, they would pray and make sacrifices to him for protection.

Poseidon married Amphitrite, the sea goddess. She was a Nereid who caught the eye of the god during a dance performance on the isle of Naxos. Together, they had a son named Triton and two daughters, Rhodos and Benthesikyme.

Although married and with children, getting to this point wasn’t particularly easy for Poseidon. Initially, Amphitrite had turned down his offer of marriage. She had even escaped to hide out in Atlas. This was until Poseidon sent a dolphin to find her. Surprisingly, the dolphin managed to convince her to marry Poseidon.

Now you’d think Poseidon would be loyal after that, but he never was. The god of the sea had numerous other relationships with mortals, goddesses and nymphs. Some notable ones include one with her granddaughter Alope, with Caenis, whom he later turned to a man and his involvement with Tyro, a mortal.

Poseidon would often force himself on these women. Perhaps the most prominent case being Medusa, who bore him the famous flying horse, Pegasus. Although portrayed as evil and horrifying, Medusa’s Backstory is quite tragic. But we’ll leave her story for another day.

5-important-greek-gods-and-godesses-you-should-know

1. ZEUS

Zeus is the supreme god and ruler of Olympus where the Greek gods and goddesses dwell. Known as the god of the skies, Zeus controlled the weather elements which included rain, winds and thunder. He is often depicted holding a thunderbolt which is the element that epitomizes the god.

He is particularly important owing to the fact that without him, some of the most prominent Greek gods and goddesses would not have existed. He was the only child Rhea managed to rescue from the grim fate that awaited him. Trickery was a common aspect among the Greek gods and goddesses. So, wrapping a rock in a new Born clothing, Rhea, managed to trick Cronus into swallowing the inanimate object thus leaving Zeus alive.

The boy would later on, with the help of his siblings and other gods, lead a revolt against the titans. This battled was known as the Titanomachy and was waged for a full decade. In the end, the Olympian gods managed to overpower the titans and imprison them in Tartarus.

Zeus was a crafty god when it came to women. He normally used animals to gain favour with them. Hera, his wife, was one of the goddesses who fell for this. Even after marrying Hera, the god had many other extra-marital relationships. To win over Europa, Zeus turned himself into a glorious white bull and made off with her.

The King of the Skies also took the form of other humans to deceive women. A perfect example was when he turned himself into King Amphitryon and slept with his wife Alcmene. From this, Hercules was born.

Although flawed, Zeus was a true leader and more often that not emerged as the winner in battle. He is known to have been victorious against the giants and thwarted many attempts to overthrow him.


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