Greek Gods & Goddesses 101

 

References to the gods & goddesses are everywhere in Greece, from street signs to the names of restaurants, statues, bars and beyond. Get to know some of the VIPs (i.e. family, nicknames, passions, lovers, latest gossip) before you travel to the land of the ancient Greeks and dazzle other travelers with your mystical knowledge.

APOLLO

  • God of the Sun, Light, Music and Prophecy
  • Son of Zeus
  • Born on the island of Delos
  • Incredibly attractive and the ultimate ladies man among goddesses and mortals
  • Artemis is his twin sister
  • Known to roll deep to parties at Olympus with the 9 muses in his squad

APHRODITE

  • Goddess of Love, Beauty & Eternal Youth
  • Born from foam in the waters of Cyprus when the Titan Cronus killed his Dad Uranus and casually tossed his genitals into the sea….awkward
  • A serial adulteress after being married off at a young age – Ares was one of her favorite boy toys
  • Also Cupid’s mom
  • Winner of the goddess beauty pageant against Hera and Athena judged by Paris
  • Nude model for the famous sculpture ‘Venus de Milo’ currently at the Louvre in Paris

ARES

  • God of War
  • Violent, dangerous, and untamed
  • Lover of Aphrodite (obvi) and father to their illegitimate daughter Harmonia (Harmony) and Eros (Cupid)
  • Biological father of at least three of Hercules’ enemies: Cycnus, Lycaon, and Diomedes
  • Often seen in literature in humiliating circumstances
  • Liked to wear his helmet most of the time

ARTEMIS

  • Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon
  • Apollo’s twin sister
  • The likely ancient inspiration for  Hunger Games’ Katniss – always with bow and arrow in hand
  • Virgin and protector of chastity – anyone who tried to pull a fast one met a violent punishment
  • The temple built in her honor is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Frequently found roaming the forests with her nymphs
  • Known to go from 0 to 100 real quick – Once sent a wild boar after Adonis after he said he was a better hunter that her, and at one point Artemis transformed one of her nymphs who was seduced by Zeus into a bear and then killed her (nbd)

ATHENA

  • Goddess of wisdom, courage and inspiration – also known as a goddess of war for her expertise in military strategy and reputation to be #fierce and brave in battle
  • Crazy weird birth story – she sprang from Zeus’ forehead fully grown and clad in armor.  With no mother, one of the most commonly cited stories is that Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, and then swallowed her whole as he feared she will give birth to a child more powerful than him because of a prophecy…. but she had already conceived, nice try Zeus!
  • The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens was built in her honor
  • Frequently chills with owls
  • Extra virgin guardian of the olive tree
  • Zeus’ favorite child and got to use his weapons like the iconic thunderbolt on occasion (#jealous)

DEMETER

  • Goddess of harvest, grain, earth, and fertility
  • Her tribe worshipped her at a town called Eleusis near Athens and their rituals was referred to as the the Eleusinian Mysteries.
  • Despite being basic and a “good goddess” she was often depressed and seen with a torch
  • Creator of the seasons based on her daughter, Persephone’s whereabouts: Persephone was abducted by Hades into the underworld, and only allowed to return for 3-4 months a year after eating a pomegranate seed from Hades. Demeter would mourn the loss of her daughter and strip the land of fertility (looking at you, winter), and then replenish the earth to its green and floral bounty (hello spring!)

DIONYSIS

  • God of wine and the grape harvest, ritual madness and partying
  • The original, ancient party animal
  • The ancient Greek rock star
  • Wine connoisseur
  • Sometimes described in literature as androgynous
  • Occasionally goes by the name Bacchus – which sounds familiarly like debauchery
  • Often seen as seasonally depressed and only happy during the wine harvest
  • The last God to enter Olympus

 

 

Who is your favorite? Which god/goddess do you relate the most to? I’m a mix of Athena and Artemis.

Shout out to greekgodsandgoddesses.net for providing some of this ancient knowledge.

 

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