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Greek gods: ZEUS, King of the Gods

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Greek gods: ZEUS, King of the Gods

Zeus Name

Unlike many Greek deities, the origin of the name of Zeus are indisputable. “Zeus” is connected to a Dyeus ancient Indo-European deity, which roughly translates as ‘heaven’, ‘day’ (as opposed to night) and ‘clear’. All these points to its role as a god of the heavens, the sky and thunder.


As king of the Greek gods, Zeus is constantly portrayed in art, often with specific aspects or symbols to identify him and his purpose. For example, early classical vase paintings often show him hurling thunderbolts, which identified him as a mighty warrior god, member of Hephaestus the god of the forge and the manufacturer of lightning.

However, as the classical period progressed, it became fashionable to describe Zeus seated on a throne holding a scepter, often accompanied by the goddess Nike, symbolizing his role as king and the patriarch of the gods. It is important to note, however, that Zeus was not regarded as a tyrant and literature presents it as fair and impartial, especially considering that one of its functions mani was lord of Justice.

Regardless of their specific iconography, Zeus is always depicted as an imposing man, fully grown and with a beard – that indicates their status as patriarch of the Olympic family experience, unlike other male deities such as Apollo and Hermes, which often depicted as young men (efebos), beardless, erotically attractive, but not powerful. the power of Zeus is indicated by the symbols of the eagle, bull and oak adult.


Before the Greek pantheon of gods who are familiar with the Olympus ruled on a previous generation of deities, known as the Titans held on to power. The rule of these divine beings was Cronos, son of Gaia (Mother Earth). Crono’s mother had informed him that he would be usurped by one of his sons would be tremendously powerful. Therefore, each time Rhea Cronus wife gave birth to a child who would swallow the infant god to avoid tipping their power.

Birth of Zeus Part 1


Birth of Zeus Part 2

Having swallowed Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon, Cronos was deceived by his wife, love for his son, Zeus led a secret, while offering a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to Kronos in place of the baby. Sources differ as to the upbringing of Zeus, some say he was raised by Gaia, others by the nymph Metis, others maintain that he was raised by the goat Amalthea! In any case, all sources agree that when he was fully grown, Zeus returned to Mount Olympus to confront his father.

Void Zeus Cronos

Again, sources conflict on the details of the encounter between Zeus and Cronus, some say Metis emetic administered a drug so that Cronos devoured his children vomit, while others say that Zeus open the womb of his father free their brothers and sisters.

Zeus proceeded to release the Giants (100 giants of the hand), Cyclops (giant eye) and Hecatonchires (three giants, each with fifty heads), all the brothers of Cronus whom the tyrant had imprisoned in Tartarus. In gratitude for their freedom, the Cyclopes gave Zeus the knowledge of how to craft rays. Armed with these weapons and the help of their brothers and sisters, as well as the giants in the wild, Zeus, declared war on the Titans (this battle is popularly known as the Titans).

The Titans were defeated and consigned to Tartarus to be punished for eternity in the custody of the Giants. Atlas, however, was selected for special punishment as it had been the joint leader of the Titans (with Cronos) and Zeus was forced to bear the weight of the SJK on his shoulders forever. Not all of the generation side of the Titans Cronus, Oceanus, remained neutral, and Promethius is said to have been of great help to Zeus.

Having usurped the ancient gods, Zeus is established as the king of Olympus and lord of heaven, the delegation of domains to their brothers (eg, Poseidon was given dominion over the control of the sea and Hades the Underworld). The only people that Zeus does not claim control over fate and the fates were, which remains infallible throughout the reign of Zeus, as seen in Homer’s Iliad, where Zeus tells Thetis can not save your child’s life which is destined to die.

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After the fall of the Titans, Zeus’s grandmother, Gaia, is angry at the new order of the gods, either because he felt that the Titans were treated unfairly, or because he felt he was not being honest enough in the Olympic scheme new. Therefore, in revenge, gave birth to a race of giants, hideous creatures, gigantic in size and almost invincible.

Among the hordes of beasts were known as Echidna and Typhon. As soon as they were born, these giants launched an offensive on Mount Olympus, the gods forcing wages to fight again. The Giants tried to reach heaven by piling mountains of Thessaly, Ossa and Pelion.

The gods were against the giants, but would not have won if not for the help of Athena (which some sources say he was born in the midst of the battle of the head of Zeus) and Heracles, who struck the death blow to Alcoyoneus The leader of the Giants. The Gigantomaquia was a popular subject in classical art, often displayed in temples, as the eastern metopa the Parthenon in Athens.

The wife of Zeus

Having established himself king of the gods, Zeus made Hera his sister, his wife and the queen (and very likely, because of this union that Hera is known as the goddess of marriage). Hera is almost always portrayed as the wife of Zeus and can hardly be considered an important mythological figure itself hour.

She appears mainly as an interference in the affairs of Zeus, often demanding vengeance fierce lovers of her husband. A good example of this is when Zeus fell in love with Io, Hera, with full knowledge of this, Zeus forced to hide the truth by transforming the girl into a cow (Promethius Bound by Aeschylus). Hera is also known to have viciously attacked the illegitimate children of Zeus, Heracles most infamous, which is caused to go crazy and kill his own wife and children.

Zeus famous lovers and children

Apart from Hera, Zeus’s lovers were many and varied, sometimes their emotions down to the goddesses, other mortal women. As mentioned above, Zeus raped Io, and seems to have had a great love for the girls, going to have sex with girls as Leto (who raised Helen of Troy), Alcmene (who raised Heracles), Europe (which raised Minos and Sarpedon), and many other lesser-known issues are listed along the mythological tradition.

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These women and children, Hera was able to pursue, however, when Zeus decided slept with a goddess is limiting his ability to punish, and Zeus decided that he slept with a goddess often enough. Among her lovers was divine Leto (mother of Apollo and Artemis), Mnemosyne (which gave birth to the nine Muses), Dione (mother of Aphrodite) and Demeter (Persephone wearing).

It is theorized that these relationships were not punished as they were in some way universal and natural – Guerber suggested that as Zeus was the god of heaven, his affairs with beings as Dione (moisture) is symbolic, not unlike its relationship with Juno (the atmosphere).

Therefore, it appears that Zeus affairs with women were many and almost always result in a child. the love of Zeus, however, not restricted to women, as evidenced by the famous example of Zeus, who was obsessed with a handsome young man named Ganymede, kidnap the child and take him to Olympus to be cup bearer immortal the gods and his consort.

Although this type of behavior can be seen as scandalous in today’s society, the Athenian practice of pederasty (in which a senior citizen male take under his wing a young – efebo to present it in the ways of adult society while conducting a sexual relationship) was common and more or less essential part of puberty for a girl. Thus, in this myth, Zeus can see that taking the role of lecherous rapist as in its relations with mortal women, but a mature, responsible citizen, induction of a naive child in the forms of society the gods.

Zeus and Humanity

The relationship in which Zeus held the man is not clear, as different myths concerning the relationship between Zeus and meetings with varied human evidence. For example, in the famous myth of Promethius and Pandora, Zeus forbids man to take fire from Zeus to the gods do not want to and to prevent human beings move by obtaining the cooking methods on food forging tools and keep warm.

When Promethius disobeyed the decree for stealing a spark of divine fire and giving it to men, Zeus chained the Titan and punished him with an eagle kissed his liver every day. Not satisfied with punishing Promethius, Zeus also had their gods fellow workers in the first woman, Pandora, and gave the world a box was never opened. However, Zeus had given him an intense curiosity, which leads to his being unable to follow instruction and opening the box, releasing all the evils of the world to plague mankind.

While history suggests that Zeus had great animosity towards humanity as a whole, it seems that later in the development of the human race softened the feelings of Zeus, as shown in the story of Philemon and Baucis. According to Guerber version of the myth, Zeus often visited the earth, assuming a disguise, and the visit of men to determine the state of the world firsthand.

One day, Zeus deigned to visit the family poor but pious Philemon and Baucis. When Zeus came to the appearance of a mortal, the couple were eager for the hospitality in accordance with the laws of xenia (a specific code to make caring friend invited a guest, by the way Zeus was the guardian of foreigners and the executor xenia) and chose to kill their last chicken to feed their guests. Seeing Zeus revealed his generosity and gave them both a long life of service to the gods as he wished, and when he died Zeus transformed both oak trees standing in front of his church for centuries.

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Cult of Zeus

Although, as the chief god of the Greek pantheon, Zeus had places of worship in Greece, the largest electoral district and most famous was Panhellenic in Olympia. It was in this place that the ancient Olympic Games originated, and men from all over Greece during the build up to compete against each other for their own honor and his city-state.

These games were very politicized, often in conflict with competing cities for the glory and the prestige of victory. In fact, it is normal to have treasures Panhellenic enclosures in which to save the votive offerings from different cities, the treasures of Olympia is located on the main road through the site, promoting gifts and no city wanted to be shown up by their neighbors for not gifted enough. The temple of Zeus at Olympia was home to the famous statue of Zeus, now lost, was one of the wonders of the ancient world and Pausanias (an ancient Greek travel writer) urges everyone to visit Olympia to experience.

The place of worship of Olympia may have been the largest in existence, but there were other sites throughout Greece, each with slightly different ideas about Zeus, their role and how to worship him. For example, Herodotus tells us that Zeus was often perceived as a god of time, so that worship is often concentrated at the top of the mountains near the sky.

The most important of the mountain of Zeus-sites was, of course, Mount Olympus, although no archaeological evidence of a peak-sanctuary, is likely to have been or some kind of seal on the mountainside, or the Olympic rituals were conducted there. These shrines, however, have dug in other places, for example, on Mount Hymettus, and it seems as if these were related to rain rituals.

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Although rare, Zeus is sometimes referred to in ritual contexts as “signals” or “the harbingers of ‘, suggesting that performed some kind of oracular function. As Zeus was an incarnation of fate, among other things, it seems asked appropriate omens of divine favor rather specific as no amount of prayer will allow Zeus to go against the course of destiny.

This aspect of Zeus is further illustrated by a few oracular sites, at Dodona, in Epirus (reported as the oldest of Oracle in the Greek world, active until the end of the eraas Hellestic well as in Siwa, Egypt. Hornblower states that priests Oracle interpret messages given by God, in the forms of the flight paths of birds in and around the sacred oak trees, divination by lot (cleromancy), by the sound of a gong and / or singing the birds nearby.

As mentioned above, Zeus was traditionally represented as a man fully developed. The cult in Crete, however, seems to have worshiped Zeus as an Adonis like all art that represents it shows a young man with long hair at the edge of manhood.

Many features of Zeus

Zeus, like most of the gods of the Greek pantheon, had many roles and epithets aside from its primary function as a weather god and the king of Olympus. Zeus Panhellenios its title shows its applicability to all of Greece as it literally translates as “Zeus of all the Hellenes.” As mentioned above, Zeus was the lord and executor of Xenia, what is the name of Xenios Zeus, the patron deity of hospitality, friendship and evaluation, punishment of those who violated the laws of xenia. In addition, Zeus watched Agoraios trade relations in the market (agora) and was ready to punish the rogues, thieves and unfair traders.

Another aspect of Zeus was the guardian of oaths and punish those who violate the oath. As a result, oaths were often sworn by almighty Zeus’ and people who violated the terms of his oath were made for
Zeus, man?

Euhemerism is the method of interpretation that seeks to rationalize the fantastic to make it more understandable and hopefully reveal an indication of the truth behind these stories. The founder of this school of thought, Euhemerus, proposed the idea that Zeus was not a god at all, but I was a king, who had been glorified after his death, probably with some kind of extravagant monument, and his fame has led to stories of his life is distorted until it finally became a deity in the minds of later generations. Greek Mythology

More Pictures about Zeus and  Zeus Gallery

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Most Popular Greek Goddesses

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Gaea is Mother Earth. She is from whom everything comes, and she is not only a divinity, she is Earth. She bore the Titans as well as creatures like the 100 armed men, and some of the Cyclopes – others were sons of Poseidon. She was the daughter of Chaos. She was a primeval goddess, born along with creation itself, and had a large role in the populace of the world. She was principally spoken of as a Mother of other Gods, rather than having her own myths. Still, she’s a major player in the myths of the sucession of the King of Kings. Read full story…

Hestia was the oldest of the 12 Olympian Gods and the oldest daughter of Rhea & Cronus. When she began her role as a Goddess, she had a throne of her own in Olympus, but when Dionysus grew into Godhood, she voluntarily gave up her throne to him, selecting the hearth as an alternative. She is the Goddess of Hearth and House she is also one of the Three Virgin Goddesses. Her symbol was kept in every house, and whenever a child was born the mother and father had to bring the child around the symbolic representation before he or she could be accepted in the family. She is genuinely fascinating to me, which is why I wrote a whole essay on her. But if you want to skip the academic style and stick with the few myths and such. All about Hestia…

Demeter was another daughter of Rhea and Cronus. She was the Goddess of the Harvest or the Goddess of the Fields. Hundreds of years ago Greeks used to break bread in the name of Demeter as well as drink wine to Dionysus. Sound familiar? Demeter was the mother of Persephone and that was one mother-daughter team you shouldn’t try to mess around with. When Hades did, Demeter threw the earth into an eternal winter season and let nothing grow until somebody helped her find her child. Together, Demeter and Persephone were central to the Eleusian Mysteries. (Check out Eleusis by Carl Kerenyi for more on that.)Later, ideas and myths about Demeter were coopted into the Roman Ceres and maybe even the Magna Mater. Read More…

Hera is most well known for being the wife of Zeus and the Queen of the Gods. She was also the youngest little girl of Rhea and Cronus. Her bird is the peacock, and in almost every myth she is described as being maliciously jealous. But it must also be remembered that she was the Protector of Marriage. It is believed by some scholars that she earned her bad reputation by being combined with a similar Phoenecian goddess. This scholar, however, thinks that the role of the shrewish wife was one has been pretty institutionalized in patriarchal cultures. Construct a culture so that women’s just access to legitimate power is through a faithful relationship to a powerful husband, and you’ll get a culture full of women who guard their only assets fiercely. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. More…


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I could talk about Athena forever, but I’ll attmept to be simple. Athena was the Patron Goddess of Athens, the Goddess of Wisdom, and the Goddess of Weaving. She was the Goddess of lots of other things, too, but I’m not gonna list ’em. She was a warrior – which is why she’s so often shown with a spear and a shield with Medusa’s head on it and armor) and another of the three virgin goddesses (in supplement to Hestia and Artemis). Her father was Zeus. Technically her mother was Metis (Goddess of Prudence), but it is usually approved that she had no mother. Basically, it is an awesome story and I took the time to write it out here. Athena’s got a contributing role in a whole bunch of great myths, like the Odyssey for example. All in all, she’s just fantastic.

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Artemis is the Goddess of the Hunt. She had fifty hounds and fifty Draiads (wood nymphs) and a quiver full of painless silver arrows. Along with her twin brother Apollo, she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto as well as being “littlest” of the 3 maiden goddesses (in addition to Hestia and Athena). Artemis did not carry the moon across the sky, but being a moon goddess was undoubtedly part of her individuality. Stunningly beautiful, she swore never to marry – this is not a coincidence! She was the Protector of Young Women as well as a midwife. She was extremely cool for a lot of reasons, but my favorite is that her praise ranged from very dark (human compromise) to individual (virgins committed her their nighties on the night time they wedded) to just fun (women dressing up like a bear and dancing). See the pictures and read full story about Artemis


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Aphrodite was the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Oh, and the patron of prostitutes. The myth of her birth has a couple of versions. The most well known today has her springing from the blood of Uranus after Cronus castrated him, and floating on the sea to Greece, where she was met by the Three Graces (who will be described later). You know, the whole clamshell thing. She was married to Hephaestus, the Smith God, but she slept with Ares the War God. Her “no work” insurance policy may make her seem like a ditz, but this lady had power in plenty. Like all the best goddesses, there is a bunch of ways of understanding her. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to identify with her more than any other. Plus, she’s got one of the most intriguing “biographies” of any Greek deity I can think about.

Aphrodite Photos and Articles

Persephone was special. She was the daughter of Demeter, and called Kore which simply means Maiden. As such, she was the Goddess of Spring. One day, as she was out selecting flowers, Hades, the God of the Underworld, abducted her, raped her, and made her Queen of the Underworld. In that role she has often been described as a cold and unhappy goddess. Some have discussed her as the Light link between the Underworld and Earth as opposed to Hecate. Demeter fought hard to get her daughter back and eventually rescued her from the Underworld, but Persephone must always return to the underworld every year. It involves pomegranate seeds. There’s a major mystery cult dealing with this, but I can’t tell you about ‘cuz it’s a mystery Read full Article about Persephone

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Phoebe was a Titan, one of the original (that is, pre-classical) 14. She and Atlas were given dominion over the Moon, whose planetary power is that of Enchantment, and the second day of the week was their’s. So, Phoebe is another Moon Goddess, her name means Bright Moon. She was the mother of Leto and Asteria through her brother Coeus(Intelligence). There was another Phoebe, a human priestess, who figures briefly in the story of Castor and Pollux. Anyway, it’s Phoebe who was the grandma of Artemis and Apollo, and her name became surnames for both twins.

She was worshipped as a Goddess of Agriculture and was paid by some for the introduction of weaving. She was one of the Agraulides. Basically, she was one of the daughters of Cecrops and Agraulos who wiped out herself – yet started out being worshipped in a sort of heroine cult. If you want to know the story behind her suicide, check out the story of Erichthonius in the Myth pages. I’m not basically sure if it’s there yet. It’s a cool story, though!


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Metis was another Titaness. She was the Goddess of Prudence, but there is a rather unprudent story about her that tells about the birth of Athena. Metis ends up living inside Zeus’ head and giving him advice from there. Her name meant Cunning and she was the personification of it as well as its Goddess. She was also the one who discovered (created) the concoction that caused Cronos to vomit up the six OGs, (to all y’all who understand the joke, thank you for not being either too old or too young). Anyway, her daughter eventually burst from Zeus’ head completely formed – and fully clothed in the armor her that Metis made for her – but Metis apparently had gotten comfortable in her new pad and stayed there. That painting is of Athena because I can’t seem to track one of Metis down. If you are interested in learning more about Metis, I propose you skip her myths and go straight to the heroes most famous for employing her: Odysseus and Penelope.

She was, according to some random dead bishop (!) named Eustathius who was writing about the Odyssey, one of the Charites (I don’t list her because no one else seems to come up with her name). But this guy told a cool story, so why not keep it for posterity’s sake? Aphrodite and the Charites were all having moments of extremely feminine girl self deprecation and arguing about who was the hottest of the hotties. This super wise dude named Teiresias (who really deserves to be on this site) was brought in to make the decision. Now, he’d already had some extensive experience (that involved him getting turned into a chick, check it out)with the fickle nature of the deities, but it’s not like you can just say no thanks … So he said Kale. Interesting choice, since any good self-preservation instincts would say pick the one with the most power, but maybe he’d heard about what Aphrodite gives as a reward (check it out) and didn’t want Thebes going the way of Troy. Anyway, Aphrodite rotated him into an old woman, but Kale gave him nice hair and a vacation to Crete. I’m with Mr. Bell (from whom I got this info since I’m not basically intimately familiar with the works of 12th century bishops) in that Kale’s reward doesn’t quite make up for Aphrodite’s pissed off punishment, but I guess it’s better than the destruction of one’s country. Ahh … the incredible destructive power of sexual women. Take note, dear reader, the root of this negative thoughts is no coincidence! 

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The Horae
They were the goddesses organised things like Seasons, and because of their orderly aspect eventually became goddesses of justice. They measured out the weather as it seemed appropriate and guarded Olympus from any overambitious mortals. They had a few cameos in the Big Myths: the Hora of Spring went with Persephone when she went down with Hades every year, and some of the Horae helped dress Aphrodite as she emerged from the ocean. They got different names (and numbers) from diverse authors, but I like Hesiod’s breakdown:

Eunomia, Good Custom
Dike, Justice
Eirene, Peace

Homer basically tended to keep them strictly with the seasons, and they only worshipped two in Athens, but Hyginus lists at least twenty one Horae (including Horae of the Hours)! Generally they were happy small goddesses. Lots of cavorting, much like the Muses and the Graces (Charites) who they liked to hang out with when they weren’t doing their day job of keeping track of orderly traditions and justice.

Hecate is the Third and final one of the Triple Goddess. She is the Goddess of the New Moon. She was also the Goddess of the Crossroads and the Witch Goddess. She was Thracian in origin, and she dwelt in the Underworld with Hades and Persephone. She was the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria(daughter of Phoebe and Coeus), both were symbols of shining light. Later she was said to be of Zeus and Hera. There were a couple other people thrown in there, too, cuz everyone had a theory but no one agreed. She was the Dark Link between the Underworld and Earth. Her children were Medea, Apsyrtus (a ghost) (but more often they were said to have other moms). Of course, this all sounds well and good, but it doesn’t get to the meat of her. Hecate was super. She was very respected on Olympus and recognized by everyone as having a lot of power. She tended towards beneficence (helping the gods against the giants, helping Galinthias after she got turned into a cat by Hera, helping out when Demeter was looking for Persephone), but people were pretty afraid of that power (which certainly included wealth, victory and wisdom, not to mention sailing and hunting) and the fact that she could choose to withhold her “luck”. So much coolness! Forget about her being the queen of witches and a boogieman for kids who liked to sneak out, she was everything that fits those of us captivated by the idea of a fierce, if underground, women’s power. Scary, yes, but they used to set up figurines of her to keep away baddies, too. And the sacrifices of food to her were left at the crossroads at the end of the month where they were eaten by the poor. See? So perfect! 

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Circe was the daughter of Hecate (or Perse) and Helios (the Sun-God). She was a union of opposites. Just look at her parents: one is the Dark Moon and the other is the Sun. The sorcery bit goes hand in hand with the celestial powers, so that’s alright, but just referencing that she was witchy does not begin to encompass her. Her biggest part is played in the Odyssey (you don’t remember? I’m so ashamed …), and she had her own island (near her dad’s, actually) off the coast of Italy where she liked to catch sailors and other random men and turn them into things (like pigs). Apparently, she was also pretty good in the sack, because Odysseus delayed his “urgent” return to Penelope at least a year and contributed his sperm towards at least two kids (Telegonus and Cassiphone). Although she wasn’t thrilled to see him go (like her predecessor Calypso she gave him super good advice that he really adopted (always listen to witches!). There’s some funky endings to that marriage including that Penelope brought Odysseus’ body to be buried on Circe’s island after he died (what?) and that Odysseus’ son wiped out Circe and then that Cassiphone wiped out him. Another story that made it to the myth pages about Circe and Scylla (and Glaucus) can be found here.

Amphitrite was a Nereid (or possibly an Oceanid, depending on who like better) and she married Poseidon. She was the Goddess of the Mediterranean Sea. Her symbol is the dolphin. The stories say that she was not a jealous wife, and didn’t care if her husband slept with anyone else (except for Scylla, who she poisoned and turned into a sea-monster, unless of course that was Circe). Her children were Triton, Benthesicyme, and Rhode. Her name means, “the third one who encircles,” how mysterious. She and her sister, Thetis, shared the surname Halosydne, which means “sea-born.” Okay, this description blows. She sounds totally boring, and the thing is that I don’t think she was. In fact, I find her a lot closer to how a “normal woman” would be than in fact many of the human women listed here. She didn’t immediately go for her husband, but fell for him after he tried really hard. She generally put up with his shenanigans, but got pissed every once in a while (like when she turned Scylla into a monster). She had a job, she did it, but didn’t get that much worship for it (Poseidon tended to get that), however people did like recognizing her for her beauty and image. A virtual paradigm of womanhood in a patriarchal world this goddess! You could even claim to see the self-perpetuating cycle of women in patriarchal power in her demand for a sacrifice of virgin girls from the first settlers of Lesbos. Heh.

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Thetis was the primary of the Nereids. She was such a hot number that Poseidon, while he was looking for a wife, courted her. Zeus too, courted her, but she rejected him for the sake of Hera, her foster-mother. Then Themis prophesied that Thetis was to bear a son stronger than its father, so Zeus decreed that she must marry a mortal. Hera, remembering Thetis’ rejection of Zeus, set her up with “the best of mortals.” Thetis married Peleus and bore Achilles. But there was more to it than that. She saved her father once; when all the other Gods got pissed and tied him up she went and got the Hundred-Handed Briareus. She also played a large part in the birth of Hephaestus. Like Tethys (see above) the name Thetis indicates Disposer.

Themis was one of the origninal Titans, and shared dominion of Jupiter with Eurymedon (fifth day). Their power was that of Law and her name means Order. The Titaness Themis was the mother of the the Seasons (and some say the three Fates) with Zeus. The Goddess of Divine Justice and Law, Themis was the constant associate of the god Zeus and sat beside him on Olympus. In ancient art she is displayed holding aloft a pair of scales on which she weighs the claims of opposition parties. Before and throughout this, however, she was also the Great Goddess who ordered the 13 month year, divided into two seasons. She was the prophet who declared that Thetis’s son would be greater than his father (ever heard of Achilles). It was Themis who appeared before Deucalion and Pyrrha (see above) and told them how to keep their race from dying out after the flood (click here for more). There was a altar dedicated to her by Pittheus in Troezen. She was very important and with Zeus plotted to create the Trojan War. That’s all about her for now.

Selene was the Goddess of the Moon. She was the child of the two Titans Hyperion and Theia (see below). She married mortal Endymion (a shepherd who she caused to sleep forever so that he wouldn’t get old and gross) and had 50 daughters (I don’t know what happened to them). If you want to read the longer version of the story, read it here. She is a part of the Triple Goddess (there will be a section on the Myth pages detailing the sensation of Triple Goddesses, so keep looking). She rode across heaven in a chariot with milk-white horses. In Roman (puh-tooey) mythology she was called Luna.

Rhea was far more effective in the days before classical (ie, patriarchal) mythology came around. In Orphic she was the “inescapable mother Rhea” who sat outside the house of Nyx defeating a bronze drum and making sure all humans were paying attention the oracle of the goddess. In Pelasgian Myth (soon before classical myth took hold) she was one of the 14 original Titans, paired, of course, with Cronus. They held dominion over the last day of the week, and the planet Saturn. In pre-Hellenic Greece the planetary power of Saturn was peace. Rhea loses a lot of her importance in the Olympian creation myth, but still holds some power. She causes her husband Cronus to stop eating his children, saves Zeus and (indirectly ) brings the Olympian Gods into power. That’s a great story, check it out here. She is raped by her son Zeus when she tells him he may not wed , despite her change to a snake. She also had a big function in her grand son Dionysus’ life. She is also often termed Cybele.

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Cybele wasn’t officially a Greek goddess in that she came from Phrygia, but she was worshipped in Greece and Rome and a whole rack of other places, too so I think she should be here. It is interesting (at least to me) that she was never appropriated as completely Greek, but always seen as exotic (kinda like Dionysus that way). Well, maybe that’s not absolutely fair since she was super strongly identified with Rhea. Anyway, she, like a bunch of the big names, isn’t just a personification. She’s all up in fertility and nature and had some crazy mysteries like Demeter, but Demeter isn’t known for orgies, sadomasochism, or gender queer priests like Cybele is. Interested? Check out her most important myth in the Myth Pages. You can see her in a very typical representation in the photo at right.

Iris is the Messenger Goddess.daughter of the Titan Thaumas and Electra. Although she was a sister of the winged monsters, the Harpies, Iris was manifested as a beautiful maiden, with wings and robes of bright colors and a halo of light on her head, looking across the sky with the rainbow she journeyed on in her wake. She was also called the Goddess of the Rainbow.

Nike was similar to Eris because she was the continuous companion to Athena. Nike was the Goddess of Victory. She was the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the River/Nymph Styx. She doesn’t possess a distinct individuality in any myths I’ve seen. Further, Nike was sort of an epithet of Athena. But Nike, as the personification of Victory was also worshipped as her own Goddess, and generally showed with wings, besides in Athens where she was called “Apteros” (“wingless”), with the idea that she would never leave Athens. Read More about nike goddess… 


Hermaphroditos (or Hermaphroditus in Latin) was the god of hermaphrodites and of effeminate men. He was numbered amongst the winged love-gods known as Erotes. Hermaphroditos was a son of Hermes and Aphrodite, the gods of male and female sexuality. Read More…

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