The Greeks gods

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The Greeks gods

The ancient Greeks were polytheists and every god had a role. Every special event was attributed at the gods (earthquakes, drought, sickness…).

The twelve more important Greeks divinities were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hermes, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Poseidon, Demeter and Dionysus.
They all lived on the Olympus mountain
Zeus was the most important god because he was the father of all the gods. However a legend said that Zeus was the son of the god Chronos.
Zeus was the god of the lightning, the rain and the thunder. He had a lot of wifes (Maia, Danae, Europa, Semele, Leda, Themis…) and a lot of sons (Hermes, Heracles, Perseus, Minos, Dionysus, Athena…). His wifes were the symbols of fertility.
Another legend said that the first god was Uranus, husband of Gaea (symbol of earth). From their union were born the Cyclops and the Titans and Rhea; some people predicted that his sons will oust him, so Uranus killed his sons. Rhea, who was alive and pregnant, went to Crete and she gave birth to Zeus.
Hera was, for the earliest Greeks, the great goddess. Every year she married a guy for renew the fertility. Zeus married Hera and she became the goddess of the marriage and the birth.
Poseidon was often remembered as a wild horse and, at the Homer’s time, he was called “earth shaker”. He married a goddess with the shape of a horse (Demeter) and they had two sons: Persephone and Arione the horse. Poseidon became the god of the sea and he married the marine goddess Amphitryte.
Dionysus was born twice: the first time from the womb of his mother and the second from the Zeus leg. He was the god of the wine, the violence, the parties and the orgies. He was also called Bacchus.
Apollo was just the opposite of Dionysus: he was the god of the moderation and the law.
Athena was the goddess of the wisdom. The city of Athens took is name from this goddess.
Hermes was the gods messenger and the trader protector. He had winged sandals and, sometimes, a hat wearer by the Greeks travellers.
Hephaestus was the god of the forge and he was also called Vulcan. He was the Aphrodite’s husband and the son of Zeus and Hera.
Ares, son of Zeus and Hera, was the god of the war. He was a warrior thirsty of blood and the gods of the Olympus hated him except Aphrodite.
Artemis was the beautiful Apollo’s sister. She was the goddess of the hunt and the protectress of the girls. If someone offended her she saw red. For example, on e day a hunter saw Artemis while she was having a bath. She turned him into a buck and he was torn to pieces by her dogs.
Demeter was the goddess of the farming and the corn. She was the mother of Persephone. When Ade kidnapped her daughter, the god of afterlife, the deep sorrow of Demeter dried up the world.
Ade was the god of the afterlife and he stay in his reign called also Ade situated on the bank of the river Styx. Ade comprised the Tartarus, where the wicked men were punished, and the Elysium, where the virtuous men enjoyed their reward. He was married with Persephone.
Charon was another god of the Ade. He ferried across the Styx the souls of the deads in exchange for a coin.
Eros, god of the love and son of Aphrodite, was a good-looking guy. He had a quiver full of arrows; he hit the people with his arrows so they fall in love.
Pan, son of Hermes, was the god of the wild places, of the shepherds and of their flocks. He had horns and goat’s legs. He played his flute and he could infuse terror (panic) in people and animals.
Uranus was the god of the sky. When Chronos killed Uranus, from the sea foam rised Aphrodite, goddess of the love.