Monday, December 10, 2012

Greek Gods

  • Olympian deities

    Ancient Greek name English name Description
    Ἀφροδίτη (Aphroditē) Aphrodite The goddess of love, beauty and desire. Daughter of Zeus. Although married to Hephaestus she had many lovers, most notably Ares. She was depicted as a beautiful woman. Her symbols include the rose, scallop shell, pomegranate, and myrtle wreath. Her sacred animal is the dove.
    Ἀπόλλων (Apóllōn) Apollo The god of music, healing, plague, the sun, prophecies, and poetry; associated with light, truth and the sun. He is Artemis' twin brother and Hermes' elder (half) brother, and son of Zeus and Leto. He was depicted as a handsome, beardless youth with long hair and various attributes including a laurel wreath, bow and quiver, raven, and lyre. Animals sacred to Apollo include: roe deer, swans, cicadas, hawks, ravens, crows, foxes, mice, and snakes.
    Ἄρης (Árēs) Ares The god of war, bloodshed, violence, manly courage, and civil order. The son of Zeus and Hera, he was depicted as either a mature, white bearded warrior dressed in battle arms, or a nude beardless youth with helm and spear. His attributes are golden armour and a bronze-tipped spear. His sacred animals are the vulture, venomous snakes, alligators, dogs, and boars.
    Ἄρτεμις (Ártemis) Artemis Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague. In later times she became associated with the moon. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo. In art she was usually depicted as a young woman dressed in a short knee-length chiton and equipped with a hunting bow and a quiver of arrows. In addition to the bow, her attributes include hunting spears, animal pelts, deer and other wild animals. Her sacred animals are deer, bears, and wild boars.
    Ἀθηνᾶ (Athēnâ) Athena The goddess of wisdom, warfare, battle strategy, heroic endeavour, handicrafts and reason. According to most traditions, she was born from Zeus's head fully formed and armored. She was depicted crowned with a crested helm, armed with shield and a spear. Her symbol is the olive tree. She is commonly shown accompanied by her sacred animal, the owl.
    Δημήτηρ (Dēmētēr) Demeter The goddess of agriculture, horticulture, grain and harvest. Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus, by whom she bore Persephone. She was depicted as a mature woman, often crowned and holding sheafs of wheat and a torch. Her symbols are the Cornucopia (horn of plenty), wheat-ears, the winged serpent and the lotus staff. Her sacred animals are pigs and snakes.
    Διόνυσος (Diónysos) Dionysus The god of wine, parties and festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, drugs, and ecstasy. He was depicted in art as either an older bearded god or a pretty effeminate, long-haired youth. His attributes include the thyrsus (a pinecone-tipped staff), drinking cup, grape vine, and a crown of ivy. Animals sacred to him include dolphins, serpents, tigers, and donkeys. A later addition to the Olympians, in some accounts he replaced Hestia.
    ᾍδης (Hádēs) Hades King of the Underworld and god of the dead and the hidden wealth of the Earth. His consort is Persephone and his attributes are the key of Hades, the Helm of Darkness, and the three-headed dog, Cerberus. The screech owl was sacred to him. Despite being the son of Cronus and Rhea and the elder brother of Zeus, as a chthonic god he is only rarely listed among the Olympians. The name Pluto became more common in the Classical period with the mystery religions and Athenian literature. He did not have a throne in Olympus, but is still very known for being one of the three sons of Cronus.
    Ἥφαιστος (Hḗphaistos) Hephaestus Crippled god of fire, metalworking, stonemasonry, sculpture and volcanism. The son of Hera by parthenogenesis, he is the smith of the gods and the husband of the adulterous Aphrodite. He was usually depicted as a bearded man holding hammer and tongs—the tools of a smith—and riding a donkey. His symbols are the hammer, tongs, and anvil. His sacred animals are the donkey, the guard dog and the crane.
    Ἥρα (Hḗra) Hera The queen of the gods and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings and empires. She is the wife of Zeus and daughter of Cronus and Rhea. She was usually depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a crown and veil and holding a royal, lotus-tipped staff. Her sacred animals are the heifer, the lion, the peacock, and the cuckoo.
    Ἑρμῆς (Hērmēs) Hermes The god of travel, messengers, trade, thievery, cunning wiles, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, traps, and animal husbandry. He is the messenger of the gods, a psychopomp who leads the souls of the dead into Hades' realm, and the son of Zeus and Maia. He was depicted either as a handsome and athletic beardless youth, or as an older bearded man. His attributes include the herald's wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler's cap. His sacred animals are the tortoise, the ram, and the hawk.
    Ἑστία (Hestía) Hestia Virgin goddess of the hearth, home and cooking. She is a daughter of Rhea and Cronus and sister of Zeus. She was depicted as a modestly veiled woman, whose symbols are the hearth and kettle. In some accounts, she gave up her seat as one of the Twelve Olympians in favor of Dionysus. As well in other tales, she gave up her seat to Aphrodite.
    Ποσειδῶν (Poseidōn) Poseidon The god of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses; known as the "Earth Shaker". He is a son of Cronus and Rhea and brother to Zeus and Hades. In classical artwork, he was depicted as a mature man of sturdy build with a dark beard, and holding a trident. The horse and the dolphin are sacred to him.
    Ζεύς (Zeus) Zeus The king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and fate. He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea, whom he overthrew after Cronus swallowed his brothers and sisters and he is brother-husband to Hera. In artwork, he was depicted as a regal, mature man with a sturdy figure and dark beard. His usual attributes are the royal scepter and the lightning bolt, and his sacred animals are the eagle and the bull.

    Primordial deities

    Ancient Greek name English name Description
    Αἰθήρ (Aithḗr) Aether The god of the upper air and light
    Ἀνάγκη (Anánkē) Ananke The goddess of inevitability, compulsion, and necessity.
    Ἔρεβος (Érebos) Erebos or Erebus The god of darkness and shadow.
    Γαῖα (Gaîa) Gaia or Gaea or Ge Personification of the Earth (Mother Earth); mother of the Titans.
    Ἡμέρα (Hēméra) Hemera Goddess of daylight.
    Χάος (Cháos) Chaos The nothingness from which all else sprang.
    Χρόνος (Chrónos) Chronos The god of time. Not to be confused with the Titan Cronus, the father of Zeus.
    Nῆσοι (Nē̂soi) The Nesoi The goddesses of the islands.
    Νύξ (Nýx) Nyx or Night The goddess of night.
    Οὐρανός (Ouranós) Uranus The god of the heavens (Father Sky); father of the Titans.
    Οὔρεα (Oúrea) The Ourea The gods of mountains.
    Φάνης (Phánēs) Phanes The god of procreation in the Orphic tradition.
    Πόντος (Póntos) Pontus The god of the sea, father of the fish and other sea creatures.
    Τάρταρος (Tártaros) Tartarus The darkest, deepest part of the underworld.
    Θάλασσα (Thálassa) Thalassa Spirit of the sea and consort of Pontos.


    Greek name English name Description
    The Twelve Titans
    Ὑπερίων (Hyperíōn) Hyperion Titan of light. With Theia, he is the father of Helios (the sun), Selene (the moon) and Eos (the dawn).
    Ἰαπετός (Iapetós) Iapetus Titan of mortality and father of Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius and Atlas.
    Κοῖος (Koîos) Coeus Titan of intellect and the axis of heaven around which the constellations revolved.
    Κρεῖος (Kreîos) Crius The least individualized of the Twelve Titans, he is the father of Astraios, Pallas and Perses.
    Κρόνος (Crónos) Cronus The leader of the Titans, who overthrew his father Uranus only to be overthrown in turn by his son, Zeus. Not to be confused with Chronos, the god of time.
    Mνημοσύνη (Mnēmosýnē) Mnemosyne Titan of memory and remembrance, and mother of the Nine Muses.
    Ὠκεανός (Ōceanós) Oceanus Titan of the all-encircling river Oceanus around the earth, the font of all the Earth's fresh-water.
    Φοίβη (Phoíbē) Phoebe Titan of the "bright" intellect and prophecy, and consort of Koios.
    Ῥέα (Rhéa) Rhea Titan of female fertility, motherhood, and generation. She is the sister and consort of Cronus, and mother of Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter and Hestia.
    Τηθύς (Tēthýs) Tethys Wife of Oceanus, and the mother of the rivers, springs, streams, fountains and clouds.
    Θεία (Theía) Theia Titan of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky. She is the consort of Hyperion, and mother of Helios, Selene and Eos.
    Θέμις (Thémis) Themis Titan of divine law and order.
    Other Titans
    Ἀστερία (Astería) Asteria Titan of nocturnal oracles and falling stars.
    Ἀστραῖος (Astraîos) Astraeus Titan of stars and planets, and the art of astrology.
    Ἄτλας (Átlas) Atlas Titan forced to carry the sky upon his shoulders. Also Son of Iapetus.
    Αὔρα (Aúra) Aura Titan of the breeze and the fresh, cool air of early morning.
    Διώνη (Diṓnē) Dione Titan of the oracle of Dodona.
    Ἠώς (Ēṓs) Eos Titan of the dawn.
    Ἐπιμηθεύς (Epimētheús) Epimetheus Titan of afterthought and the father of excuses.
    Εὐρυβία (Eurybía) Eurybia Titan of the mastery of the seas and consort of Krios.
    Εὐρυνόμη (Eurynómē) Eurynome Titan of water-meadows and pasturelands, and mother of the three Charites by Zeus.
    Ἥλιος (Hḗlios) Helios Titan of the sun and guardian of oaths.
    Κλυμένη (Clyménē) Clymene or Asia Titan of renown, fame and infamy, and wife of Iapetos.
    Λήλαντος (Lēlantos) Lelantos Titan of air and the hunter's skill of stalking prey. He is the male counterpart of Leto.
    Λητώ (Lētṓ) Leto Titan of motherhood and mother of Artemis and Apollo.
    Μενοίτιος (Menoítios) Menoetius Titan of violent anger, rash action, and human mortality. Killed by Zeus.
    Μῆτις (Mē̂tis) Metis Titan of good counsel, advice, planning, cunning, craftiness and wisdom, and mother of Athena.
    Ὀφίων (Ophíōn) Ophion An elder Titan, in some versions of the myth he ruled the Earth with his consort Eurynome before Cronus overthrew him.
    Πάλλας (Pállas) Pallas Titan of warcraft. He was killed by Athena during the Titanomachy.
    Πέρσης (Pérsēs) Perses Titan of destruction and peace.
    Προμηθεύς (Promētheús) Prometheus Titan of forethought and crafty counsel, and creator of mankind.
    Σελήνη (Selḗnē) Selene Titan of the moon.
    Στύξ (Stýx) Styx Titan of the Underworld river Styx and personification of hatred.

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