Ancient Greek God Facts and Mythology
know about life, struggle, wars and kingdom, natural power and cultural history of greek gods, goddesses and heroes exploring ancient greek myths, legends and old stories and other facts.
The Greeks had numerous gods and many stories and myths that surrounded them. They built temples and offered sacrifices to their major gods. Greek Myths have always been an indispensable part of the Greek mentality and culture; since the ancient years, Greeks were creating myths to justify and explain anything they couldn’t understand, things that happened in nature, the birth of flowers and animals, the bad or good luck and anything they wanted to commemorate and glorify. In Greek mythology, there is no single original text like the Christian Bible or the Hindu Vedas that introduces all of the myths’ characters and stories. Instead, the earliest Greek myths were part of an oral tradition that began in the Bronze Age, and their plots and themes unfolded gradually in the written literature of the archaic and classical periods.
Greek mythology is based on legends passed down through generations by word of mouth, so there are many versions of Greek mythology and not all of the stories agree with one another. Myths are traditional stories that have been passed down through generations by word of mouth. Myths explained nature, taught moral lessons, and provided entertainment. Greek poets created epic stories based on ancient legends. An epic is a long poem about great heroes and their deeds.
The Titans were the first or elder gods. There were twelve of them including the parents of Zeus, Cronus and Rhea. They ruled during what was called the golden age. They were overthrown by their children, led by Zeus.
The twelve Olympian gods were the major gods of the Greeks and lived on Mount Olympus. They included:
- Zeus – Leader of the Olympians and god of the sky and lightning. His symbol is the lighting bolt. He is married to Hera, his sister.
- Hera – Queen of the gods and married to Zeus. She is the goddess of marriage and family. Her symbols are the peacock, pomegranate, lion, and cow.
- Poseidon – God of the ocean, earthquakes, and horses. His symbol is the trident. He is Zeus’ and Hades brother.
- Dionysus – Lord of wine and celebrations. Patron god of the theatre and art. His main symbol is the grapevine. He is the son of Zeus and the youngest Olympian.
- Apollo – Greek god of archery, music, light, and prophecy. His symbols include the sun, the bow and arrow, and the lyre. His twin sister is Artemis.
- Artemis – Goddess of the hunt, archery, and animals. Her symbols include the moon, the bow and arrow, and the deer. Her twin brother is Apollo.
- Hermes – God of commerce and thieves. Hermes is also the messenger of the gods. His symbols include winged sandals and the caduceus (which is a staff with two snakes wrapped around it). His son Pan is the god of nature.
- Athena – Greek goddess of wisdom, defense, and war. Her symbols are the owl and the olive branch. She is the patron god of Athens.
- Ares – God of war. His symbols are the spear and shield. He is the son of Zeus and Hera.
- Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty. Her symbols include the dove, swan, and rose. She is married to Hephaestus.
- Hephaestus – God of fire. Blacksmith and craftsman for the gods. His symbols include fire, the hammer, the anvil, and the donkey. He is married to Aphrodite.
- Demeter – Goddess of agriculture and the seasons. Her symbols include wheat and the pig.
Most Powerful gods and olympians
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 affairs. 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 Oceanus. 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.
Interesting facts about ancient greek gods and mythology
- Hestia was one of the first Olympians because her parents were Titans, and she was the oldest child.
- Hera’s sacred animals were the cow and the peacock.
- Prometheus stole from the gods several times.
- Poseidon married a nymph
- Hades is uncle of more than half the Gods.
- Hephaestus cut open Zeus’s head with an axe inside of his head was a baby goddess.
- Ares’ was sometimes helped in war by Aphrodite.
- Once Apollo entered a music contest, and one of the contestants played so badly that he grew donkey ears.
- Artemis was immune to Aphrodite’s love powers.
- Athena invented the loom and other domestic arts of sewing, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yolk, the ship, and the chariot!
- Demeter sometimes can be recognized with a package of grain in art work.
- Daedalus made a realistic cow costume.
- The myths say Atlas held up the sky or the heavens, but Atlas is shown in art as holding up the earth.
- Hercules is a constellation in the northern hemisphere.
- Pandora was the first mortal woman.