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The Olympians: God and Goddesses of Ancient Greece.

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1 The Olympians: God and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

2 “The universe created the god” Heaven (Uranus) and Earth (Gaia) were the parents of the first gods, the Titans. (Think about this symbolically for a moment. Everything is the result of a marriage of Earth and Sky) The Titans possessed enormous strength and had a physique to match. Cronus rules the Titans, until his son Zeus dethroned him. (Though the Titans and supplanted, they remain important figures for many of the tales involving Greek heroes.) Zeus became the leader of the Olympian goads, who resided at Mount Olympus. Mt. Olympus was a place not quite on earth, but not exactly heaven. It was untouched by weather, and its protected by the Seasons. However, unlike many belief systems, the Greeks gods have many faults: they are prone to fits of jealousy, vanity and temper tantrums.

3 Zeus Hera Poseidon Hades Athena Ares Demeter Aphrodite Apollo Hermes Artemis Dionysus Uranus Gaia Cronos Rhea Altas Prometheus Oceanus

4 Symbols: Thunderbolt, eagle, and oak tree. Responsible for: God of the Heavens. Ruler of the Olympians. (Nothing happens without his consent. His responsibilities tend to be mixed with those of older deities. Connections: Zeus is married to Hera, his sister. Brothers are Poseidon and Hades Father of Athena, Ares, Aphrodite (perhaps), Hercules, Perseus, and 100s of others. (See bullet 3 above for reason.) Keep an eye out for Zeus in the Iliad. Zeus tends to be connected in allegorical ways to other deities. Back

5 Symbols: Cow and Peacock Traits: Hera is the protector of marriage, particularly married women. She tend to be punishing Zeus’ many children, especially the mortal ones. She tends to be a jealous goddess. Family: Hera is married to Zeus and is also his sister. Her children are Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus and a daughter, Ilithyia. Though Hera is a background character in the Iliad she plays an important role in the Trojan war as a whole. Back

6 Symbols: The trident, bulls and horses. (Known as the Earth Shaker) Family: Poseidon is second in power to his brother, Zeus. Responsible for:  God of the Seas.  He has many children. Including the Cyclopses. (Odysseus oops.)  Poseidon was an important God to the Greeks, because they relied on the sea for much of their welfare. (Allegorically this is telling.) Poseidon has little role in The Iliad because it all happens on the shore, but he is the most important God in the Odyssey. Back

7 Family: Brother of Zeus and “Husband” of Persephone. Responsible for:  The underworld.  Not the Devil  King of the Dead.  Not liked by man or God.  Unwelcome in Olympus.  Fair.

8 Symbols: The olive tree and owl Family: Daughter of Zeus. Springs from his head fully grown and clad in armor. Fast Facts:  Athena=Athens? (Yes, Poseidon’s unhappy about this.)  One of the Greek’s favorite Gods.  Described as a Goddess infatuated with battle and craftsman.  Her love of Battle is different than war. (Ironic Much)  Known as “The Gray Eyed Goddess.)  Inventor of the Bridle; hence, giving human use of the horse. Watch for her in The Iliad: She is the protector of Achilles and has a major role in the start of the Trojan War. Back

9 Symbols: The vulture, dog, color red Family: Son of Hera and Zeus, though they hate him. Important ideas:  Ares is the god of War. (In particular the bloodlust)  Greeks do not like Ares. (Romans seem to like him far more.) Ares plays very little role in the Trojan War but he does do the bidding of the Aphrodite; hence, he fights on the side of the Trojans. Back

10 Symbols: myrtle tree, dove, swan and sparrow Stuff to Know: Goddess of love and beauty. That Aphrodite’s beauty awe-struck all men, no matter how wise. She has a major role on the Trojan war. She is the protector of both Paris and Aeneas. Allegorically: The Three Graces were her attendants. The other Olympians forced her to marry Hephaestus. She has an affair with Ares, he is will ing to do her bidding.

11 Back Symbols: Laurel, dolphin and lyre Family: Apollo is Artemis’s twin brother and son of Zeus and Leto. The Greekiest Greek of them all: Apollo is a prominent figure in the arts including poetry and music. God of medicine. (Ironically he often brings plagues and “pestilence.” Fights for the Trojans throughout the Trojan War.

12 Symbols: Cypress tree and deer. Family: The Maiden Goddess is the twin sister of Apollo. Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto.. Goddess of:  The hunt.  She is one of the Archer “Gods”  One of the “Virgin Goddesses” Back

13 Symbol: the grape vine, wine Family: The son of Zeus. Hera tried to kill him while he was a child. What to know:  Then you better thank this God. Known for his gentleness he saved sailors from a watery death by turning them into dolphins.  Dionysus is the inventor of wine.  The Romans begin a cult devoted to him. (Mark Antony joined this cult, check out why during Julius Caesar)  Not mentioned much in most of Greek Mythology. Back

14 Symbols: The hearthstone Family: Demeter is the sister of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. She is also the mother of Persephone whom she never let out of her sight. Kindest of them all:  Demeter is the Goddess of the Harvest.  The Romans have a cult dedicated to her.  Demeter was devastated when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped by Hades. Each spring, Demeter would greet her daughter at the entrance from the underworld. Back

15 Symbols: Winged sandals, low helmet, and Caduceus (his wand). Family: Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia, Atlas’s daughter. What to know:  “The Messenger”  Hermes is one of the most mentioned gods.  “The voice” of Zeus.  God of: Merchants and Traders.  Known as a Master Thief. Sometimes known as the God of thieves as well. Look for him in the Iliad as the voice of Zeus. Back

16 Symbols: Hephaestus does not have any specific symbols like the other Gods. Family: He is the son of Hera. He married Aphrodite at Zeus’s order. Responsible for:  Smiths  He is rarely welcome in Olympus  The best armor and weapons a hero may wield. Back

17 D’Aulaire, Ingri, and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co, Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, Head of Dionyssos (Romn copy based on Greek prototype). 2 nd -3 rd century A.D. Museum of Fina Arts, Boston, MA 11 April 2006 Oil bottle (lekythos)in the form of Aphrodite B.C. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA 11 April Pan Painter. Mixing Bowl. 470 B.C. Museum of Fina Arts, Boston, MA. 11 April Statue of Athena the Virgin (Athena Parthenos) A.D. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. 11 April 2006.http://mfa.org/collections/search_art.asp?coll_package =2350&coll_start=11 Statuette of Zeus. 4 th century B.C. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. 11 April 2006.


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