Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gods of Olympus-and Earth

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Zeus, rule of the sky, Supreme Leader of the gods. Married to his sister Hera, with her he fathered Ares, Hephaestus, Hebe (goddess of youth), and Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth/children). With other women he also fathered Athena, Persephone, Artemis, Apollo, Hermes, Dionysus (some myths mention he was also the father of Aphrodite) and numerous demi-gods (Herakles being the most powerful and famous).
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Hera, older sister and jealous wife of Zeus, goddess of marriage, family, hearth and home. Known to punish the many children of Zeus by other women, especially Herakles.

Ares god of war and battle lust. He enjoyed battle but was a wimp about personal pain. The queens of the Amazons, Eros, Romulus and Remus were his greatest children.

Athena patron of Athens, goddess of wisdom, crafts and warfare. She is the protectress of agriculture, created the olive tree and invented the plow for the benefit of the Greeks.
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Apollo the sun god and patron of music and poetry. Patron of the Oracle of Delphi, the most famous and important of the centers of prophecy. When angered he could bring plague upon those who faced his wrath.

Artemis the virgin huntress, goddess of the hunt, wilderness, moon and childbirth. Sister to Apollo. She was of special importance to the Spartan's who would not go to war without favorable signs from her.
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Aphrodite, the most beautiful of the god's, goddess of love, beauty and desire. Wife of Hephaestus but has her son Eros with Ares.
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Dionysus, the forever youthful god of Wine, Parties, Joy,Theater and Peace. One of the most popular of the gods.

Hades, older brother of Zeus, ruler of the Underworld realm of the dead. Also know as the "Lord of Riches" as he was the god of the hidden wealth of the Earth from precious metals and jewels to the fertile soil itself. His "marriage" to Persephone is why the seasons change.

Hephaestus, the smith of the gods, god of fire, metalworking, stone masonry and the art of sculpture. He is often described as being crippled by his father Zeus after an argument, Hephaestus then made artificial leg supports that allowed him to walk but with a noticeable limp. Married to Aphrodite, who is always unfaithful to him.

Hermes, messenger of the gods, god of travelers, merchants and thieves. His most famous child was Pan the half-goat, half-man god of rustic music, shepherds and flocks.
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Poseidon, older brother of Zeus, god of the Seas, Rivers, Earthquakes, Floods, Droughts and Horses. His most famous offspring were Triton the merman, Pegasus the winged horse and the demi-god hero Bellerophon.

Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, bread, grain, the harvest and the cycle of life and death. Mother of Persephone, who must live with Hades for six months each year. Demeter's saddness over the loss of her daughter for this time is the reason for Fall and Winter when plants die or go dormant.

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