Greek Gods & Goddesses
Write a short description of the following: what they’re famous for, powers, symbols, family history, adventures, &/or inventions, etc. (2 points each, 3–4 details each)
1. Zeus is the king of gods. Zeus is the ruler of Mount Olympus and the God of the sky, whether, thunder, lightning, law, order and fate. He became king by throwing over Cronus. He is depicted as an older man with a beard. He carries a royal scepter and a lightning bolt. He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea.
2. Demeter is the goddess of agriculture, harvest, growth, grain and nourishment. She is the daughter of Cronus and Rhea and the sister of Zeus. She is the mother of Persephone. She has power over the life cycle of plants. She is depicted as an older woman with a crown. Her symbol is the cornucopia and a winged serpent. She is the goddess who deals with the passage of the human soul through life and into the afterlife after death.
3. Hades is the king of the underworld and the dead. He is also the God of the Earth's hidden wealth including agricultural produce and precious metals. His lover is Persephone. He carries a drinking horn, a cornucopia, a key, a scepter and has a three headed dog named Cerberus. He is the son of Cronus and Rhea. He has sovereign over one of the three realms of the universe, the underworld.
4. Poseidon is the God of the sea, rivers, droughts, floods, earthquakes and the creator of forces. He is known as the Earth Shaker. He is the son of Cronus and Rhea. He is the brother to Zeus and Hades. He rules one of the three realms of the universe as king of the sea and the water. He is depicted as an older man and with a large build and he holds a Trident. His Roman counterpart was Neptune.
5. Athena is the goddess of intelligence, warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts and wisdom. She was born from Zeus’s head. When she was born she was dressed in armor. She is depicted as wearing a crown, wearing an aegis over a dress and holding a spear. She is a patron of heroes. The city of Athens Greece was named after her.
6. Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, and desire and pleasure. She was married to Hephaestus although she had many lovers. Some of her lovers included most notably Ares, Adonis, and Anchises. She was depicted as a beautiful woman and of all the goddesses most likely to appear nude or semi-nude. Poets praise the radiance of her smile and her laughter. She was considered the ideal beauty.
7. Hermes is the God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery, trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, and athletics. He is the son of Zeus and Maia, Hermes is the messenger of the gods. He also led the souls of the dead into the afterlife. He was depicted either as a handsome and athletic beardless youth, or as an older bearded man. He was often depicted as carrying the herald's wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler's cap.
8. Ares is the God of war, bloodshed and violence. He is the son of Zeus and Hera. He was depicted as a beardless youth, either nude with a helmet and spear or sword, or as an armed warrior. He was sometimes portrayed as moody and unreliable. He often represents the chaos of war. His sacred animals are venomous snakes and boars.
9. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Persephone was abducted by Hades who had come for her in a chariot. Hades took her down to his kingdom and tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds. Because she ate the pomegranate seeds she had to spend part of her life with Hades. She is sometimes called the Queen of the Underworld. Because she is so sad during her time with Hades the earth experiences winter. When she leaves Hades the earth has its spring. She is often called Kore, the maiden.
10. Prometheus is a Titan and a culture hero. He is a trickster who created man from clay. He stole fire in defiance to the gods and gave it to humanity. When he gave fire to man it enabled them to progress and become a civilization. He is known for his intelligence and as a champion of mankind. Prometheus was punished by Zeus for stealing fire. He was bound to a rock and an eagle ate his liver every day and it would grow back every day so the eagle would come the next day and eat it all over again as his punishment.
11. Icarus is best known for his attempt to escape from Crete by wearing wings his father made for him from feathers and wax. He flew too close to the sun and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The sea where he fell is named after him, the Icarian Sea. This is taken as a tragic example of failed ambition. He is seen as a mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the sky. The Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after him.
12. Heracles is often called Hercules. He is the son of Zeus and Alcmena. Hercules has many adventures and mythological stories. The labors of Hercules are tasks that the Oracle of Delphi sent him on. They include, killing the Nemean Lion, a monstrous feline, killing the multi headed hydra, bringing back a ravaging deer, catching a boar, cleaning out the massive stables of Augeas, scaring off and killing the metal feathered Stymphalian birds, capturing the Cretan bull and moving then releasing the man eating Mares of Diomedes. Still today when someone is very strong we call them Hercules.
13. Hephaestus is the crippled God of fire, metal working and crafts. He is the son of Hera. He is the husband of Aphrodite. Aphrodite cheated on him all the time. He was usually depicted as a bearded man with a hammer and an anvil. Among his creations was the armor of Achilles. Hephaestus used the fire of the forge as a creative force.
14. Cronus envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Uranus. His mother was Gaia. His mother gave him a sickle and he castrated his father with it. After he did this he became the ruling Titan. His wife was Rhea. Their children were the first of the Olympians. Cronus ate his children when they were born. Rhea tricked him into swallowing a rock instead of Zeus. When Zeus grew up he defeated him and banish them to the underworld.
15. Gaea or Mother Earth, was the great goddess of the early Greeks. She represented the earth and was worshipped as the universal mother. In Greek mythology, she created the entire universe. She also gave birth to the first race of gods called the Titans. She then gave birth to the first humans. Mother Earth made the starry heavens in the form of the sky God Uranus. She created the mountain's, planes, seas and rivers that make up the earth. She is the oldest of the gods of the early Greeks. She presided over marriages and oaths.
16. Hera is the queen of the heavens 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 regal woman in the prime of her life. She was often shown wearing a diadem and veil. She was also shown holding a lotus-tipped staff. Although she was the goddess of marriage Zeus made her mad by cheating on her. Zeus drove her to become vengeful and jealous. In Rome she was known as Juno.
17. Hestia is the Virgin goddess of the hearth, home and chastity. She is a daughter of Rhea and Cronus. She is the sister of Zeus. She was often depicted as a modestly veiled woman. Her symbols are the hearth and kettle. She gave up her seat as one of the 12 Olympians. Her counterpart Vesta, however, was a major deity of the Roman state.
18. Daedalus was also known as Daedalos, meaning "clever worker". He was a skillful craftsman and artesian. He is first mentioned by Homer as the creator of a wide dancing ground for Ariadne. He created the labyrinth on Crete where the Minotaur was kept. Today when objects are finely crafted they are called daidala after him.
19. Apollo is the God of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, prophecy, poetry, purity, athleticism, manly beauty, and enlightenment. He is the son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis. As brother and sister, they were identified with the sun and moon; both use a bow and arrow. Apollo was depicted as a very handsome, beardless young man with long hair and an ideal physique. As the embodiment of perfectionism, he could be cruel and destructive, and his love affairs were rarely happy. His attributes include the laurel wreath and lyre. He often appears in the company of the Muses.
20. Artemis is the 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. She was often depicted as a young woman dressed in a short knee-length chiton. She was depicted holding a hunting bow and a quiver of arrows. She can often be seen with hunting spears, animal pelts surrounded by wild animals.
21. Uranus means sky or heaven. Uranus was often referred to as Father Sky. Uranus was the son and the husband of Gaia. Gaia was mother Earth. Some myths say that his father is actually Aether. Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the first generation of Titans. The Titans were the ancestors of most of the Greek gods. In Roman mythology he was called Cael.
22. Atlas was the son of Iapetus. His brothers were Prometheus and Epimetheus. Atlas fought with the other Titans supporting Cronus against Zeus. Cronus's was very old so Atlas lead the Titan's in battle. Zeus was so mad at him that he punished him by making him carry the entire world on his back. He is the titan of astronomy and navigation. Atlas was the son of the Titan Iapetus. The Atlas Mountains in Africa were named after him.
23. Rhea is the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus. She is known as the mother of the gods. The Greeks saw her as the mother of the Olympian goddesses and the gods in her own right. The Romans identified her with Magna Mater.
24. Core/Kore is the maiden, she is also known as Persephone. She is described in number nine.
25. The Minotaur was a bullheaded monster. He was the child of Queen Pasiphae of Krete after she had been with a bull. The Minotaur lives in a labyrinth, a twisted maze. He was offered regular sacrifices of young people which he ate. He was eventually destroyed by the hero Theseus. The Minotaurs' proper name Asterion, "the starry one," suggests he was associated with the constellation Taurus.
26. Extra credit god/goddess/or hero Minos was a king of Crete. He was the son of Zeus and Europa. Every nine years, he made King Aegeus pick seven young boys and seven young girls to be sent to the labyrinth, to be eaten by the Minotaur. After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in the underworld. The Minoan civilization of Crete has been named after him. Minos wanted to be the king of Krete. He said that the gods had chosen him and to prove it he would show them that whatever he prayed for would come true. He prayed for a ball to appear from the sea and he promised to kill it when it appeared. Poseidon did send to him a bull and he was a ruler because of it. Poseidon was angry that the bull was not killed and turned the bull wild. Poseidon tricked his wife Pasiphae to have sex with the bull and she gave birth to a half bull named Minotaur. Minos hid the Minotaur in a labyrinth.