A statue of Zeus. Credit rating: Mario Leonardo Iñiguez, CC BY 2./Wikipedia

The ancient Greek gods continue to be a fascination around the globe for Greek mythology lovers. As immortals with uncommon powers, they surface in videos, publications, video games, podcasts and a great number of educational studies.

By Patrick Garner*

These Greek gods are often referred to as the “Olympic gods” simply because some were claimed to stay on Mt. Olympus, the optimum mountain in Greece, towering above the Gulf of Thermaïkós.

As charming as they are, personal Greek gods stay a hodgepodge to quite a few. There are totally twelve Olympians and other divinities as well. How quite a few of us could name even half of them?

Undertaking so is tough simply because of the Romans. When they conquered Greece, they renamed all but a single of the gods. For instance, Aphrodite, the goddess of appreciate, grew to become Venus. Zeus, the mightiest of the gods, became Jupiter. The war-god Ares was rebranded as Mars. Only Apollo, who was revered by successive Roman emperors, retained his Greek title.

The twelve Greek gods are Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Hephaistos, Hermes, Ares, Athene and Dionysos. Other divinities in Greek mythology typically connected with them include Hades, Hekate and Hestia.

Zeus, the Greek god of gods

Zeus, son of Kronos and Rhea, sat at the head of the pantheon. He was the Greek god of gods. Infamous for throwing lightning bolts when angry, he was the sky and thunder god. Renowned in Greek mythology for his a lot of erotic adventures, he fathered three of the Olympians. Utterly amoral, Zeus experienced various wives, conquests and young children.

Poseidon, the God of the seas

Zeus’ brothers have been Poseidon and Hades. They divided up the entire world among them selves by drawing plenty, with Zeus proclaiming the sky, Poseidon the seas and Hades (as the loser) the underworld. Poseidon founded a broad estate for himself less than the seas. Hades, who seldom emerged from underground, built a palace deep in the bowels of the earth.

Devoted to bottle-nosed dolphins and notorious for generating earthquakes, Poseidon dominated the seas and rivers. To impress Demeter, he designed the horse (“hippos” in Greek), and taken care of elaborate stables for his stallions on his underwater estate. Like Zeus, he had several affairs with goddesses, nymphs and mortal women.

Hades was a glowering, humorless Greek god. Not an Olympian, he dominated the underworld where by all mortals went upon loss of life. Well known for absconding with Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, he was hated amid all mortals for his part as overseer of the afterlife. Greeks, scared to draw his awareness to themselves, would even avoid expressing his identify.

Hera in Greek Mythology

A person of Zeus’ seven wives was the Olympian Hera, who was also his sister. She performed the unenvious function of jealous spouse, as Zeus was continuously owning affairs.

The astonishingly wonderful Aphrodite

The goddess Aphrodite, astonishingly wonderful, reigned above all issues having to do with love. She shielded lovers and watched around gals in childbirth. She was married to the Olympian Hephaistos, but was unfaithful, owning a prolonged affair with Ares, with whom she experienced two small children.

Greek gods Apollo and Artemis

Apollo and Artemis were being brother and sister in Greek mythology. They have been born to Leto on the island of Delos. Leto, like so quite a few women, had caught Zeus’ eye. She fled from Hera’s fury to Delos, the place she promised the number of inhabitants fame and glory if they would shelter her in childbirth.

They did so, and Apollo — also recognised as Phoebus — promptly turned revered for his ability to heal and to prophesy. He started Delphi, house of the most significant oracle in Greece. Both Apollo and Artemis have been skilled archers. Artemis was a protector of youthful women and animals, nevertheless was described by historical writers as in consistent pursuit of game with her band of faithful nymphs.

Demeter the earth goddess

Demeter was an earth goddess, celebrated for offering grains to mortals, in accordance to the Greek mythology. When Hades stole her daughter Persephone, Demeter’s grief introduced spoil to all of earth’s crops. Immediately after individuals confronted hunger (and presumably could no for a longer period provide the gods), Zeus questioned Hekate and Hermes to vacation to the underworld to persuade Hades to launch Persephone.

They succeeded, and she was returned to her mom for a portion of just about every calendar year. In celebration, Demeter made the Eleusinian Mysteries in Eleusis, the little town where Persephone emerged from Hades’ darkness.

Hephaistos, the craftsman amid Greek gods

Then there was Hephaistos, the Leonardo da Vinci of his time. He was a master craftsman who invented elaborate equipment, including the initial robots. He lived on Lemnos, built the mansions on Mt. Olympus, and was married, having said that unhappily, to Aphrodite.

Hermes, the messenger of the Greek gods

Hermes, the messenger of the Greek gods, was also the protector of burglars. He was fleet of foot and depicted as having compact wings on his sandals. He was also the best diplomat, and accompanied the lifeless as they were being ferried by Charon more than the River Styx to the underworld.

All through the nineteenth century, the Kingdom of Greece depicted Hermes on postage stamps, implying that letters would be delivered swiftly.

War-god Ares

The Greek war-god Ares usually seems in today’s cinema. He performed a key job in the 2017 Hollywood motion picture “Wonder Female.” In Greek mythology, he personified bloodlust and the passion for war. His terrifying shriek was reported to be ready to be heard above the din of clashing armies.

Athene, goddess of wisdom

The goddess Athene, whose identify often seems as Athena these days, was the protector of Athens, for whom the town was named. At her birth she sprung — fully armed — from the head of Zeus. The opposite of Ares, she was known for her knowledge and intellectual approach to war. She appeared with her owl on the Athenian tetradrachm, the silver coin recognized to all as the “Owl.”

Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and dance

Dionysus was the outlier. Never well-known with the other divinities, he gave several items to the Greek individuals. One of the greatest was wine, which he was credited with inventing. He was also the originator of theater — all of the historical Greek tragedies were focused to him.

Potentially most famously, Dionysus produced the Bacchic Dances, which were females-only raves that took put at evening in the countryside. Participants danced till daybreak, intoxicated with wine, track and passion. Their husbands have been not amused.

The Greek gods are the greatest personification of electricity, rage, lust, devotion and enthusiasm. All through the years, Greek mythology and the Greek Gods proceed to fascinate new audiences — and remind us how minimal humans have altered more than the millennia.

*Patrick Garner is the creator of three novels about Greek gods in the contemporary entire world.  He is also the creator and narrator of the breakout podcast known as Garner’s Greek Mythology, with listeners in 131 international locations.