The Olympians are a group of 12 gods who ruled after the overthow
of the Titans.
All the Olympians are related in some way.
They are named after their dwelling place
Zeus overthew his Father Cronus.
He then drew lots with his brothers
Poseidon and Hades.
Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of
the gods. He is lord of the sky, the rain god. His weapon is a
thunderbolt which he hurls at those who displease him. He is married
to Hera but, is famous for his many
He is also known to punish those that lie or break oaths.
Poseidon is the brother of Zeus.
After the overthow of their Father Cronus
he drew lots with Zeus and Hades,
another brother, for shares of the world.
His prize was to become lord of the sea. He was widely worshiped by seamen.
He married Amphitrite, a granddaughter of the Titon
At one point he desired Demeter.
To put him off Demeter asked him to make the most beautiful animal that the
world had ever seen. So to impress her Poseidon created the first horse.
In some accounts his first attempts were unsucessful and created a varity
of other animals in his quest. By the time the horse was created his
passion for Demeter had cooled.
His weapon is a trident, which can shake the earth,
and shatter any object. He is second only to Zeus in power amongst the
gods. He has a difficult quarrelsome personality. He was greedy.
He had a series of disputes with other gods when he tried to take
over their cities.
Hades is the brother of Zeus.
After the overthow of their Father Cronus
he drew lots with Zeus and
Poseidon, another brother, for shares of the world.
He had the worst draw and was made lord of the
underworld, ruling over the
dead. He is a greedy god who is greatly
concerned with increasing his subjects. Those whose calling
increase the number of dead are seen favorably. The
Erinnyes are welcomed guests.
He is exceedingly disinclined to allow any of his subjects leave.
He is also the god of wealth, due to the precious metals mined from
the earth. He has a helmet that makes him invisable. He rarely leaves
the underworld. He is unpitying and terrible, but not capricious. His wife is
Persephone whom Hades abducted.
He is the King of the dead but, death itself
is another god, Thanatos.
Hestia is Zeus sister. She is a virgin goddess.
She does not have a distinct personality. She plays no part in myths.
She is the Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the house around which
a new born child is carried before it is received into the family.
Each city had a public hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was
never allowed to go out.
Hera is Zeus wife and sister.
She was raised by the Titans Ocean and Tethys.
She is the protector of marrage and takes special care of married women.
Hera's marriage was founded in strife with Zeus and continued in strife.
Zeus courted her unsuccesfully. He then turned to trickery, changing
himself into disheveled cuckoo. Hera feeling sorry for the bird held it
to her breast to warm it. Zues then resumed his normal form and taking
advantage of the suprise he gained, raped her. She then married him to
cover her shame.
Once when Zeus was being partcularly overbearing to the other gods, Hera
convinced them to join in a revolt. Her part in the revolt was to
drug Zeus, and in this she was successful. The gods then bound the
sleeping Zeus to a couch taking care to tie many knots. This done they
began to quarrel over the next step.
Briareus overheard the arguements.
Still full of gratitude to Zeus, Briareus slipped in and was able to
quickly untie the many knots. Zeus sprang from the couch and grapped up
his thuderbolt. The gods fell to their knees begging and pleading for
mercy. He seized Hera and hung her from the sky with gold chains.
She wept in pain all night but, none of the others dared to interfere.
Her weeping kept Zeus up and the next morning he agreed to release her
if she would swear never to rebel again. She had little choice but,
to agree. While she never again rebeled, she often intrigued against
Zeus's plans and she was often able to outwit him.
Most stories concerning Hera have to do with her jealous revenge for Zeus's
infidelities. Her sacred animals are the cow and the
peacock. Her favorite
city is Argos.
Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera.
He was disliked by both parents. He is the god of war. He is considered
murderous and bloodstained but, also a coward. When caught in an act
of adultery with Aphrodite her husband
Hephaestus is able publically ridicule him.
His bird is the vulture.
His animal is the dog.
Athena is the daughter of Zeus. She sprang full
grown in armour from his forehead, thus has no mother. She is fierce
and brave in battle but, only wars to defined the state and home
from outside enemies. She is the goddess of the city, handicrafts,
and agriculture. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame
horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow,
the yoke, the ship, and the chariot.
She is the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity.
She was Zeus's favorite child and was allowed to use his weapons
including his thunderbolt. Her favorite city is Athens. Her tree is the
olive. The owl is her bird. She is a virgin goddess.
Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto.
His twin sister is Artemis.
He is the god of music, playing a golden lyre. The Archer, far shooting
with a silver bow. The god of healing who taught man medicine. The god
of light. The god of truth, who can not speak a lie.
One of Apollo's more importaint daily tasks is to harness his chariot
with four horses an drive the Sun across the sky.
He is famous for his oracle at Delphi. People travled to it from all
over the greek world to devine the future.
His tree was the laurel. The crow his bird. The dolphin his animal.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, desire and beauty.
In addition to her natural gifts she has a magical girdle that compels
anyone she wishes to desire her.
There are two accounts of her birth.
One says she is the daughter of Zeus and
The other goes back to when Cronus
castrated Uranus and tossed his severed
genitles into the sea. Aphrodite then arose from the sea foam on a giant
scallop and walked to shore in Cyprus.
She is the wife of Hephaestus.
The myrtle is her tree. The dove, the swann, and the sparrow her birds.
Hermes is the son of Zeus and
He is Zeus messenger. He is the fastest of the gods. He wears winged
sandals, a winged hat, and carries a magic wand. He is the god
of thieves and god of commerce. He is the guide for the dead to go to
He invented the lyre, the pipes, the musical scale, astronomy
, weights and measures, boxing, gymnastics, and the care of olive trees.
Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and
Her twin brother is Apollo.
She is the lady of the wild things. She is the huntsman of the gods.
She is the protector of the young.
Like Apollo she hunts with silver arrows.
She became associated with the moon.
She is a virgin goddess, and the goddess of chastity. She also presides
over childbirth, which may seem odd for a virgin, but goes back
to causing Leto no pain when she was born.
She became associated with Hecate.
The cypress is her tree. All wild animals are scared to her, especially
Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera.
Sometimes it is said that Hera alone produced him and that he has no father.
He is the only god to be physically ugly. He is also lame. Accounts as
to how he became lame vary. Some say that Hera, upset by having an ugly
child, flung him from Mount Olympus
into the sea, breaking his legs. Others that he took Hera's side in an
arguement with Zeus and Zeus flung him off Mount Olympus.
He is the god of fire and the forge. He is the smith and armorer of the gods.
He uses a volcano as his forge. He is the patron god of both smiths and
weavers. He is kind and peace loving.
His wife is Aphrodite.
Sometimes his wife is identified as Aglaia.
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