12 Olympian Greek Gods

By: Brianna Flood

12 Olympian Gods

The Olympians are a group of 12 Greek gods who ruled after the overthrow of the Titans. All the Olympians are related in some way. They are named after their dwelling place Mount Olympus.

Many stories about how the Greek gods behaved and interacted with humans are found in the works of Homer. He created two epic poems: the Iliad, which related the events of the Trojan War, and the Odyssey, which detailed the travels of the hero Odysseus. These two poems were passed down orally over many generations. The altar to the Twelve Olympians at Athens is dated to the archonship of the younger Pesistratos, in 522/521 BC.

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Zeus: the king of all the gods (and father to many) and god of weather, law and fate

Zeus overthrew his Father Cronus. He then drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the gods. He is lord of the sky, the rain god. His weapon is a thunderbolt which he hurls at those who displease him. He is married to Hera but, is famous for his many affairs. He is also known to punish those that lie or break oaths.
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Poseidon: The Sea, trident, horse, dolphin

Poseidon is the brother of Zeus. After the overthow of their Father Cronus he drew lots with Zeus and Hades, another brother, for shares of the world. His prize was to become lord of the sea. He was widely worshiped by seamen. He married Amphitrite, a granddaughter of the Titon Oceanus. His weapon is a trident, which can shake the earth, and shatter any object. He is second only to Zeus in power amongst the gods. He has a difficult quarrelsome personality. He was greedy. He had a series of disputes with other gods when he tried to take over their cities.

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Hades: The Underworld, cap of invisibility

Hades is the brother of Zeus. After the overthow of their Father Cronus he drew lots with Zeus and Poseidon, another brother, for shares of the world. He had the worst draw and was made lord of the underworld, ruling over the dead. He is a greedy god who is greatly concerned with increasing his subjects. Those whose calling increase the number of dead are seen favorably. The Erinnyes are welcomed guests. He is exceedingly disinclined to allow any of his subjects leave. He is also the god of wealth, due to the precious metals mined from the earth. He has a helmet that makes him invisable. He rarely leaves the underworld. He is unpitying and terrible, but not capricious. His wife is Persephone whom Hades abducted.
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Hestia: Hearth/Home

Hestia is Zeus sister. She is a virgin goddess. She does not have a distinct personality. She plays no part in myths. She is the Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the house around which a new born child is carried before it is received into the family. Each city had a public hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was never allowed to go out.
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Hera: the queen of the gods and goddess of women and marriage

Hera is Zeus wife and sister. She was raised by the Titans Ocean and Tethys. She is the protector of marrage and takes special care of married women.
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Ares: god of war

Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera. He was disliked by both parents. He is the god of war. He is considered murderous and bloodstained but, also a coward. When caught in an act of adultery with Aphrodite her husband Hephaestus is able publically ridicule him.
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Athena: goddess of wisdom and defense

Athena is the daughter of Zeus. She sprang full grown in armour from his forehead, thus has no mother. She is fierce and brave in battle but, only wars to defined the state and home from outside enemies. She is the goddess of the city, handicrafts, and agriculture. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot. She is the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity. She was Zeus's favorite child and was allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. She is a virgin goddess.
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Apollo: god of prophesy, music and poetry and knowledge

Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. His twin sister is Artemis. He is the god of music, playing a golden lyre. The Archer, far shooting with a silver bow. The god of healing who taught man medicine. The god of light. The god of truth, who can not speak a lie.
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Aphrodite: goddess of beauty and love

She is the goddess of love, desire and beauty. In addition to her natural gifts she has a magical girdle that compels anyone she wishes to desire her.
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Hermes: Messenger

Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia. He is Zeus messenger. He is the fastest of the gods. He wears winged sandals, a winged hat, and carries a magic wand. He is the god of thieves and god of commerce. He is the guide for the dead to go to the underworld. He invented the lyre, the pipes, the musical scale, astronomy , weights and measures, boxing, gymnastics, and the care of olive trees.
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Artemis: goddess of hunting, animals and childbirth

Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto. Her twin brother is Apollo. She is the lady of the wild things. She is the huntsman of the gods. She is the protector of the young. Like Apollo she hunts with silver arrows. She became associated with the moon. She is a virgin goddess, and the goddess of chastity. She also presides over childbirth, which may seem odd for a virgin, but goes back to causing Leto no pain when she was born. She became associated with Hecate. The cypress is her tree. All wild animals are scared to her, especially the deer.
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Hephaestus: Fire/Forge,Hammer, quail

Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. Sometimes it is said that Hera alone produced him and that he has no father. He is the only god to be physically ugly., he is also lame. Accounts as to how he became lame vary. Some say that Hera, upset by having an ugly child, flung him from Mount Olympus into the sea, breaking his legs. Others that he took Hera's side in an arguement with Zeus and Zeus flung him off Mount Olympus. He is the god of fire and the forge. He is the smith and armorer of the gods. He uses a volcano as his forge. He is the patron god of both smiths and weavers. He is kind and peace loving. His wife is Aphrodite, sometimes his wife is identified as Aglaia.
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