Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes of Greek Mythology

There are many gods, goddesses, heroes, and creatures in Greek mythology, but generally the attention is focused on a select few. Most myths contain at least one of the twelve (sometimes thirteen) gods or goddesses who dwell atop Mount Olympus, and various other lesser gods and goddesses, heroes, and creatures. Hades, who did not live on Mount Olympus, is not always said to be an Olympian god. All Olympian gods and goddesses are descendents of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea, who form the origin of the Olympian family tree.

Zeus, god of the sky and supreme ruler of the Olympian gods, is the chief god in Greek mythology. He is the son of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, and Hera, who was also his wife. He had authority over the sky, the winds, the clouds, rain, thunder and lightning and is usually depicted as wearing a crown of oak leaves, and bearing a scepter in one hand and a thunderbolt in the other (Daly, 123).

Hera, the sister and wife of Zeus, is the goddess of marriage and childbirth and is the queen of the Olympian gods. Because of her husband's unfaithfulness, Hera is a very angry and jealous wife who despised Zeus' many mistresses and their children. Many times in her rage, she killed other goddesses and even their children that were born from Zeus.

The brother of Zeus, Poseidon, is the god of the sea and water. His powers cover that of the sea, the waters, and earthquakes. He has similar powers to Zeus, but is ultimately less powerful than his brother (Clayton, 158). He is always seen carrying his three-pronged trident and is a difficult, greedy and quarrelsome god. Poseidon is said to have created the horse with a blow of his trident thus, making the horse sacred to him.

Hades, the god of the underworld, was essentially a god of terror and inexorable death, and had very few worshipers. In the great division of the world, he was given Hell;

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